Wednesday, November 17, 2010

backseat ballads

I have always been a music lover, and in design school I became a music snob. I devoured as much obscure punk and indie as I could get my ears on, then grew into indie folks bands and old time. I still collect records, and am proud to say my pickup truck has more Radiohead and Iron and Wine than anything else...but I have come around and lost that idiocy that is musical snobbery. Good music to me is music that makes you smile, that makes you sing along, that makes you happy. I started tuning into the local country station last year on hay runs and now it is what I listen to all the time in my Ford. I've discovered that modern country music is one of the few genres keeping traditional ballads alive, telling stories and teaching lessons in a few minutes. This storytelling is what pulled me into my love of old time music, too. So hand me some cowboy boots and a very large belt buckle, gents. I know every damn word of Zac Brown's Chicken Fried.

Sorry, Sub Pop.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know what you mean. I feel the same way about country music, even contemporary country pop.

So much of the knee-jerk reaction against it seems to me to come from people who are afraid of being though uncool if they admit liking it.

November 17, 2010 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger From the Country Farm said...

Isn't this a fantastic song?! I love it. I think you might also like Michael Grimm, got a couple records out and he's full of soul!

November 17, 2010 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Jen ( said...

I like a lot of music (I am not a snob). I cannot handle listening to country for hours on end. I can listen to it for an hour and then it just grates on my nerves. Somewhat like people who dislike techno say.

There is some country that I can handle (Garth Brooks, mainly). I like a few Taylor Swift songs. However, any country purist will say that they are not actually country.

I like "old" country... bluegrass and kitchen bands and fiddles. I just don't like it when it's the commercialized country "band" and then put on the radio in whiny nasally tones. (I'm sorry!!)

It has nothing to do with being "uncool," because there are just far too many ways already in which I tell society to shut up and sit down. :)

November 17, 2010 at 8:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just have to tell you....I found your blog a while ago. I didn't really read the details of your bio or the side links. I just liked your humor in your posts. But I just finished reading a book last night and when I got to the end, I realized it was yours!!!! I was like, "I **know** her!" I mean, I don't, really. But to sign up for your blog and get your book without knowing the two were linked, I thought that was pretty crazy. Anyway, it was"Made from Scratch." I liked it. I live in the city and want to be a farmer. So, I go to this place, called Gale Woods Farm. It's a public working farm, so you can go there and pretend to be a farmer. It's also where I bought your book!!! Well, have a good day.......

November 17, 2010 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You should give a listen to Dierks Bentley's new CD Up On the Ridge. I have a feeling you might like it. :)

November 17, 2010 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger Bonniejean said...

Chicken Fried is one of my all time favorites! Love me some Zac Brown Band. I'm a city girl by birth, country girl by heart and horse (I board my sweet pea in the country). Country music has always moved me, and it's definitely the stories. I know this, because when I get so excited about a new song and tell my husband (who doesn't listen to country) about it, I'm telling him a story. "... and then she has twins... and it's 'one boy, one girl....'" bwahhhahhhahhhsobsobsob!

November 17, 2010 at 9:03 AM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

He has an interesting voice. Now it is time to find some more.

November 17, 2010 at 9:46 AM  
Blogger kandy Gray said...

o.k. ...i cried....

November 17, 2010 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Heather said...

Jenna, you might really like Sarah Jarosz. I heard her on NPR- she's young and very gifted, like a Taylor Swift of acoustic folk music. She has killer cover of a Decemberists tune and is also a song writer. Her song "Broussard's Lament" brought tears to my eyes. You can take a listen at my blog, Semi-Farmed, in the Oct 17th post "Just Because" if you'd like.

November 17, 2010 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Sylvan said...

Don't share that opinion with you Jenna. Most country music makes me want to upchuck.

November 17, 2010 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Claire Boyles said...

I love that Lee Brice song, but I'm not afraid to be sentimental about stuff. I'm a reluctant convert to country music too. . .but it's just always on out here in the country.

November 17, 2010 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Ann said...

Music snob, come around . . . I resemble that remark!

November 17, 2010 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger treehuggers kitchen said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE that song!!! What a beautiful story. I am a bit eclectic when it comes to music. I am a HUGE music lover, and can truly, truly appreciate music whatever it's background. I think through and through I have hard rock in my bones, but I grew up listening to country. I tried to start listening to it in the past month or so, on pandora, but it seems like every country song I heard was about an unhappy marriage. Even though my husband and I are happily married (together since I was 15, he 18), the country songs I was listening to were making me damn depressed. I had to stop. Maybe I'll check out this Zac Brown and a few others you all have mentioned. Thanks for sharing this with us, Jenna!

November 17, 2010 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger CallieK said...

I had the pleasure of working with a Canadian country artist by the name of Aaron Lines this summer and I fell in love with a couple of his songs.

This one will make you cry

And this one is my go to song when I need a bit of motivation

November 17, 2010 at 10:44 AM  
Blogger hlbrack said...

Well said, Jenna! There's just something so unpretentious and true about a lot of country music. And you're right - music that makes you smile, makes you feel good - is really what it's all about.

November 17, 2010 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Jennifer Liane said...

Jenna, if you like the Zac Brown Band, buy their first album "The Foundation". The last song on the album is hillarious. It's called "Sic 'em on a chicken" and with your Chuck Klosterman experience I know you'll appreciate it.

November 17, 2010 at 11:01 AM  
Blogger jenomnibus said...

What a coincidence that the day after I finally send you some music, you post about music! But now, I realize I should have countrified it a lot more. Just you wait, missy - I'm going to see if I can stump you with my next batch and send you some great artists you've (possibly) never heard.

November 17, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger antvee said...

My closest neighbor passed away a couple months ago. He and his wife just liked a couple months being married 70 years. She was 16 and he was 18 when they married, but they grew up together fron early childhood. He was the sweetest man and loved his wife with a passion that you could still see in his eyes whenever he looked at her. His last words to her were - "I love you now, as I loved you then."
At the funeral I held it together pretty well until this song came on with a video of pics from beginning to end of their marriage.
It was my undoing. It was so beautiful, but so sad.

November 17, 2010 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

November 17, 2010 at 5:45 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

Uh...I like Zac Brown's 'Sic 'em on a Chicken' too, though it really is an idiot song.

Iron & Wine is coming to Tallahassee in December. I'm gonna try to be there.

Recommendation: Long Black Train by Josh Turner. I could listen to that man read the phone book--really. What a voice.

November 17, 2010 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

In my little city in southern Colorado we get about six stations clearly - 3 are country. I went from northern Jersey not having a country station to pretty much playing county whenever I am in a car. I love it.

November 17, 2010 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

You need to check out Joy Kills Sorrow if you haven't already...

November 17, 2010 at 9:04 PM  
Blogger Cheryl said...

I was country when country wasn't cool!

November 18, 2010 at 6:13 AM  
Blogger The Craigs said...

Welcome to the best of country music! The ballads, as well as great "real" country tunes are out there, you just gotta dig through the country pop fluff.
One of my favorite groups is "Little Big Town." Their songs are great and the harmonies are swoon-worthy!

November 18, 2010 at 7:43 AM  
Blogger Morgan Spring Community Garden said...

Hi Jenna,
I just discovered your blog after reading your book. I am on a similar path as you in life, although I'm sure there are plenty of differences. It's great to see someone living her dream and your book was fabulous. Our family lives in Bennington. Maybe we will run into someday.

November 18, 2010 at 8:42 AM  
Blogger Sense of Home Kitchen said...

This song brought tears to my eyes this morning. A good song, call me crazy.


November 18, 2010 at 9:26 AM  
Blogger Joy Bear said...


I second that emotion! Country music just hits me where I live (or, more precisely, where I want to live since I'm currently living in the city). My favorite is Alecia Nugent's "Hillbilly Goddess" because it both describes the person I am ("she may not be a glamour queen/her life is full of simple dreams") and the person I want to share my life with someday ("To him she looks like Venus in her camoflauge pajamas/Thinks she deverves a monument in Athens...Alabams!"). Long live country music!

November 21, 2010 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Sarah Rachelle said...

Wow. That was awesome. Thanks for sharing.

November 22, 2010 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger Sacha Joy said...

This is nearly exactly what happened to me. I grew up in a rural area where everyone listened to country, thus I scraped country music from my shoes as soon as I could.

But then I was having to go on long drives to town, as I lived in a very remote location in Washington's N. Cascades, and ended up listening to country stations, out of the few that came through on my old Jeep radio, because they were the ones that kept me awake; they actually had a storyline.

February 5, 2011 at 10:13 AM  

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