Throwback Thursday: 8.30.12

Alan Jackson’s version of “Pop a Top” is well-known among today’s generation of country fans, and before hearing Jim Ed Brown on the Opry, I didn’t know that Alan Jackson wasn’t the original singer of that song. Jim Ed Brown’s version peaked at number 3 on the Billboard chart in 1967 long before Alan Jackson’s version hit 32 years later.

Since we’re now in the year 2012, both versions can be considered a throwback! I hope you enjoy these two versions of a classic country song.

Song: “Pop a Top” (1967)
Artist: Jim Ed Brown
Album: Just Jim 

Song: “Pop a Top” (1999)
Artist: Alan Jackson
Album: Under the Influence

Keep talkin’ twangy!



Show Review- Dierks Bentley’s Country and Cold Cans Tour

On Dierks Bentley’s rather short “Country and Cold Cans” Tour, Athens, Georgia was the first stop. Dierks’ decision to start the tour at the glorious University of Georgia was most definitely a good one, but hey, I may be a bit biased…

The concert was on Legion Field– right in the middle of UGA’s campus– on Monday night, August 20th. For me personally, the twangy delight began in the early afternoon. I came home and plopped down on my couch only to discover this incredible nugget in my Twitter feed:

Needless to say, I showered and primped in record time (seriously, I’ve never put on three coats of mascara that fast), grabbed a few friends who were feeling spontaneous with me, and blew off my homework to hightail it to the Georgia Theatre. After waiting outside for the longest twenty minutes of my life, they let us inside, and there in all his country glory was Dierks Bentley himself.

To make a long story short, we spent the next two hours dancing to the song “Tip It On Back” and conversing with Dierks while he was onstage between takes (and yes, I was elated to be that close to him).

I didn’t get one bit of my homework done that day, but that experience is without a doubt one of the coolest things I’ve done since I’ve lived in Athens, and I don’t regret it one bit.

Anyway, fast forward to the actual concert. As I expected it would be, Legion Field was completely packed. I had a radius of approximately .23 inches in every direction in which I could shift if I pleased. Nonetheless, the cramped quarters were worth it because Dierks put on one awesome show.

The band that opened for him, Cadillac Black, was less than my favorite. Their sound was cranked exponentially louder than Dierks’, and I can’t say that I appreciated it. Every one of them had long hair and a general appearance of having just emerged from living in the woods for several months (or years). I’m not a proponent of judging a book by its cover, but in this case their appearance and sound went hand in hand. To be quite honest, I wasn’t paying very close attention to their actual music simply because I was reeling from how insanely loud it was.

While I wasn’t really a fan of the opening act’s performance, I will give the lead singer (whose name I cannot recall and do not care to look up at this particular moment) some points for his songwriting. During Dierks’ set, he called out Cadillac Black’s lead singer to accompany him on a song that he had also co-written, and the song, entitled “The Woods,” is actually one of my favorites on Dierks’ latest album. That’s about all the kudos I can personally give to Cadillac Black, but hey, if you’re the type who’s into loud hybrids of redneck sound and a slightly caveman-like appearance, they could definitely be your kind of band.

Cadillac Black

When Dierks himself finally graced the stage around 9:40 PM, the crowd of course went crazy. Dierks sang a good mix of older and new songs, and even in that cramped environment it was difficult not to dance while I belted out every word. I’m a huge fan of his, so he could’ve walked up there and sang the alphabet and I would’ve been perfectly content. He got the crowd riled up with some of his older classics, “What Was I Thinkin'” and “Lot of Leavin’ Left to Do,” but he also turned it down a few notches with a story about his dad, who recently passed away. Dierks mentioned that his father would’ve wanted him to get on with his happiness and not mourn too long, but his story added a bittersweet dose of raw emotion to his acoustic performance of “My Last Name.”

At one point he confessed his undying love of bluegrass music, and I was jumping up and down in anticipation of the twang that was to come. He stepped aside while his band got down to business with an abundant amount of banjo, and I loved every twangy second! I was disappointed that he didn’t play more songs from “Up On the Ridge” than just the title track, but I suppose the bluegrass-y jam session made up for it.

Bluegrass jam time!

As the show went on, his energy didn’t die down one bit as he played party-friendly tunes like his summer smash “5-1-5-0” and “Am I The Only One.” During “Sideways,” I was more than happy to scream out, “I can see you came to rock in your blue jeans and white tank top,” as that line had inspired my attire for the evening to a T. I don’t go halfway on these things, and neither did anyone else in the crowd; as expected, the country fans of the Bulldog Nation didn’t fail to reflect a party-ready attitude despite the fact that it was merely a Monday night.

Overall it was well worth the $10 I paid for my student ticket and more. I’ve always wanted to see Dierks Bentley live, and I hope if I ever do again that he’ll reach deeper into his bluegrass notions. Dierks mentioned several times that he loved Athens, and he’s most definitely welcome if he ever wants to come back.

Keep talkin’ twangy!


I apologize for the lack of pictures from the show, but sadly my camera is at my parents’ house, and I am not. And my phone camera doesn’t take wonderful pictures unless I’m very close to the subject, which unfortunately wasn’t possible at the concert. The few pictures that I do have are courtesy of my friends Katie and Sarah.


New Music Monday- Dustin Lynch’s Debut Album

Dustin Lynch’s debut album came out last Tuesday, the same day as JT Hodges’ debut album. I knew I wanted to blog about both, so this week it’s Dustin’s turn in the spotlight!

I’ll be honest and say that I haven’t yet heard anything from the new album other than “Cowboys and Angels,” but that song has easily stayed on my list of top ten favorites for this summer. I especially like the acoustic version I’ve heard a few times; in fact I may like it better than the slightly amped up radio version because it lets real talent shine through. Dustin’s voice has a unique sound that you don’t expect, and I can’t wait to explore the rest of the album and discover some more favorites.

With that being said, go check out Dustin’s new album on iTunes here, and relish in the lovely, perfectly-stripped-down, acoustic version of “Cowboys and Angels.”

Keep talkin’ twangy!


Throwback Thursday: 8.23.12

Did you know this song was released in 1999? It was. Did you also know that it’s still played on the radio? It’s true– I heard it just the other day. Talk about longevity. I personally think Keith Urban’s style is a lot better nowadays, but hey, he’s been playing good music all along, no matter what his appearance has been like. Go Keith!

Song: ”Where the Blacktop Ends”
Artist: Keith Urban
Album: Keith Urban

Keep talkin’ twangy!


New Music Tuesday- JT Hodges’ Debut Album

I realize that it’s not actually “New Music Monday” because today is Tuesday, but I wanted to wait so I could post about JT Hodges’ new album, which came out TODAY! I’ve mentioned JT’s music in a previous post, and I’m pumped that his whole album is finally out.

“Goodbyes Made You Mine” has been one of my favorite current country songs since I first heard it, and I’ve seen the video for “Hunt You Down” several times on TV. Since giving the album a good listen, “Right About Now” is standing out to me as another potential favorite. I’m also loving the almost rockabilly vibes on “Rather Be Wrong Than Lonely.”

As if I wasn’t already excited about the album release, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s currently $6.99 on iTunes! Check it out on iTunes here, and while you’re at it, enjoy JT’s video for “Hunt You Down.”

Keep talkin’ twangy!


Throwback Thursday: 8.16.12

Well, it’s been a while since I posted… oops. Since my last post I’ve moved into a new house and started my second year of college! Hopefully now things will settle into a routine and my appointed blogging times can finally be reinstated!

This song has been stuck in my head all week, so I wanted to share it. I really like 90s country– probably because I grew up listening to it. This video is also pretty humorous to watch… it was the 90s, after all!

Song: “I’m Alright”
Artist: Jo Dee Messina
Album: Jo Dee Messina: Greatest Hits

Keep talkin’ twangy!


New Music Monday- Gloriana’s New Album: A Thousand Miles Left Behind

Last week, Gloriana released their energetic new album, A Thousand Miles Left Behind. Since the release of their debut album, Cheyenne Kimball has parted with the group, but the quality of their music definitely hasn’t faded since she left.

Gloriana’s latest single, “Kissed You (Good Night)” has been a staple song of this summer (it’s number two on the country Billboard chart at the time of this post!). The video for the song fits it perfectly and gives a subtle nod to those who serve in the military.

Another single from the album, “Wanna Take You Home,” was recorded and released while Cheyenne was still a part of the group.

You can find more of Gloriana’s signature sound on their new album, available here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!


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Country and Gospel: A Unique Spiritual Connection

Country music has always had a unique connection to gospel music. Since today is Sunday, I think it’s a perfect time to enjoy some of the country music–both old and new– that’s rooted in Christian beliefs. I know there are countless country artists who have done wonderful renditions of gospel and Christian songs over the years, but here are just a few that I’ve enjoyed listening to lately.

Song: “Faith to Fall Back On”
Artist: Hunter Hayes
Album: Hunter Hayes
This is one of my favorites from Hunter’s debut album. The lyrics are a reminder that when things seem to be going wrong in life, if we have a little faith, God will get us through any situation and through our own mistakes.

Song: “I Saw God Today”
Artist: George Strait
Album: Troubadour
This song rings true with my own life– “I know He’s here but I don’t look near as often as I should… His fingerprints are everywhere.” It’s a reminder that God has left his mark everywhere– all over creation, in fact.

Song: “Life’s Railway to Heaven”
Artist: Patsy Cline
Album: Best of Patsy Cline
This is one of those songs that gets me with imagery. I love the lyrics that compare our lives to a train trip, and I of course love Patsy’s voice as it overflows with soul in this song.

Song: “When I Get Where I’m Going”
Artist: Brad Paisley (with Dolly Parton)
Album: Time Well Wasted
Both Brad and Dolly sing this with just the right amount of emotion, and that lets the song paint a beautiful mental image of what heaven will be like. I can’t think of a better combination of voices to sing such a heartfelt, beautiful song.

Keep talkin’ twangy!


Throwback Thursday: 8.2.12

Carrie Underwood released her latest music video for “Blown Away” earlier this week (watch it here), and it spawned me to look back on the early days of her incredible career as a country recording artist. Carrie’s music video for “Jesus Take the Wheel” was released in 2005, and I can’t believe it’s been seven years since she got her major start on Idol. Nowadays, she looks different, acts much more natural in front of a camera, and now has an air of maturity about her that we didn’t see in the girl crowned as American Idol’s season five winner. But despite those changes, she’ll never lose her graceful dignity. Or her soul-stirring voice, of course!

Song: “Jesus Take the Wheel”
Artist: Carrie Underwood
Album: Some Hearts

Keep talkin’ twangy!


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“Funny how a melody sounds like a memory…”

If you listen to country radio, you’ve heard Eric Church’s “Springsteen” all over the air this summer. Since the first time I heard it while driving through Athens in May, I’ve been enamored with the song both for its unique sound and thought provoking lyrics.

My favorite line is “Funny how a melody sounds like a memory,” and the entire song perfectly conveys just how powerful music can be in capturing experiences within our hearts. In my own life, just a short piece of a song can carry me to a different time, and when I stop and listen, that melody brings with it all the emotion of a memory. Sometimes I relive a sweet moment; other times it brings up things I’d rather forget. Either way, I’m pretty sure that line of “Springsteen” is talking about a sensation that happens in everyone’s life, not just mine.

I know I have songs that will probably never fail to evoke a memory from my heart. Don’t you think that speaks volumes for the power of music?

I want to know how music has helped you capture and relive memories– good and bad. Is there a song that will always make you smile to yourself? One that sends a pang through your heart? One that lets you experience a moment of pure joy as if it were still happening?

If you have a melody that “sounds like a memory,” leave a comment and share your story!

Keep talkin’ twangy!


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