Keeping tradition alive

This week, one of my roommates made the comment that “a lot of the country on the radio right now isn’t all that country.” I’d have to agree that country music these days is influenced by different genres, such as pop, rock, and even rap (who would’ve seen that one coming?). Some people argue that those influences are taking the country out of country music, but I personally enjoy the variety of styles. I’ll jam out to Jason Aldean’s “Dirt Road Anthem,” but I’ll also crank up the Patsy Cline, Alan Jackson, and Diamond Rio, believe me.

There are some current artists out there who haven’t strayed from a more traditional country sound. One of my favorite traditional artists in today’s scene is Easton Corbin. I love hearing his latest single, “All Over the Road” on the radio. I think part of the reason I like Easton’s music so much is because his songs paint a picture of a life lived straightforward. He’s honest and down-to-earth, and he sings about appreciating the small things, like riding around town and goofing off with the one you love in “All Over the Road.”

The video for the song is actually quite hilarious…

His sound really reminds me of George Strait. In fact, the first time I heard Easton’s song “Roll With It,” on the radio, I was convinced that George Strait’s voice had changed and that’s who was actually singing.

So, no matter what changes may come, I hope the welcoming, lively, honest, historically-rooted culture of the country music world sticks around. As long as they keep the music as heartfelt as I’ve always known it to be, I’ll certainly keep listening.

What kind of twang tickles your fancy– traditional country, modern, or a mix of both?

Keep talkin’ twangy!


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Kenney Chesney in Athens– who knew?

Today in one of my music business classes, the talent buyer from the 40 Watt Club here in Athens, Georgia came and spoke about her job and the business of venue management in general. As she talked about booking bigger names, she casually mentioned that Kenny Chesney had played at the 40 Watt. I was completely unaware of this, but I now know that his video with Uncle Kracker for “When the Sun Goes Down” was partially filmed in the 40 Watt! If you look in the background, you can see a sign in the video that’s inside the 40 Watt and carries its name.

Hopefully, Dierks Bentley’s video for “Tip It On Back” will be released soon, and I can share with you my rise to stardom (kidding!) as it begins with an appearance as an extra in that video. That video was also filmed in a legendary Athens venue, the Georgia Theatre (read the whole story here!).

Keep talkin’ twangy!


“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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Music with a heritage.

I don’t consider myself to be a history kind of person. I’m not good remembering who did what on which day and in which year. I never have been.

But when it comes to country music, history makes me come alive. When I was in Nashville with some friends earlier this month, I can’t tell you how excited I was to be able to give them a not-so-brief history of the Grand Ole Opry when we stopped by the Opry House. Sometimes when I’m in the car with my family, I can supplement a classic country song on the radio with a relevant fact. I’ve even started recognizing record producers’ names when I look through old records.

I’ve done some reading this summer, and through that I’ve learned about the origins of country music as an industry. I can’t explain it, but I feel like knowledge of earlier country pioneers and trailblazers will give me a better understanding of the music I love hearing on the radio today. History lets me imagine life in another time, and the best part about country music history specifically is that it’s accompanied by melodies that can truly carry me to another time and place.

When I sat down and really thought about why I love country music, its rich history was definitely a significant reason. Country music lets me forge a connection with those who came before me because so many of the traditions and sounds of the genre are still alive and thriving even after several decades.

I don’t know of too many genres that can say the same, and I can’t wait until I can truly be a part of making some new musical history.

Keep talkin’ twangy!


Just as grand as always!

When I was in Nashville this weekend, I moseyed over to the Grand Ole Opry House with a few friends because we happened to be close by. As I was explaining the history and purpose of the Opry to them, I realized just how unique and important the show itself is to country music.

Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry

Just think about it. Do you know of an R&B organization that showcases its performers multiple times a week? Can you think of any radio programs that have been broadcast every Saturday night since the 1920s?

Photos courtesy of WSM Radio and Webb Wilder

It has such a rich and exciting history, and countless huge name stars in country music have taken part in the Opry. Both the Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry House in east Nashville have housed it since it’s beginnings, but no matter where it goes, the Opry creates a rare community that could only be built on the foundation of heartfelt music.

Without the Opry, country music might not be what it is today. The Opry has given talented musicians a massive platform to share their music with the world, and in return those artists have gone on to make the artistry of country music into the culture and world that I love so much today.

The Grand Ole Opry is both an honor for performers and an irreplaceable experience for audiences. As its name implies, it truly is grand, and I certainly hope it’ll be around for many generations to come!

Photo courtesy of

To listen to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights, tune in to WSM Radio’s live stream here!

Keep talkin’ twangy!


May we never forget.

Country music has always been quick to show appreciation for the United States of America, and musical displays of patriotism have become even more of a priority since 9/11.

If it weren’t for those who fought and continue to fight for our freedom, I don’t know if we’d be able to listen to the music we want to, wear the things we want to, or say the things we want to.

Even in changing times and a power-hungry world, may we never abuse those privileges that we have because so many have given their all.

And may we never become so spoiled in our blessed lives that we forget how many people have worked and made incredible sacrifices so that we can live the way we do.

I hope today was a wonderful reminder of how blessed we really are to live in the USA. And if not, then maybe a little musical reflection will help.

Song: “Home”
Artist: Dierks Bentley
Album: Home

Song: “Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)”
Artist: Alan Jackson
Album: The Essential Alan Jackson

Song: “American Soldier”
Artist: Toby Keith
Album: Toby Keith: 35 Biggest Hits 

Song: “Have You Forgotten?”
Artist: Darryl Worley
Album: Have You Forgotten?

Song: “God Bless the USA”
Artist: Lee Greenwood
Album: 20th Century Masters- The Millenium Collection: Best of Lee Greenwood

Keep talkin’ twangy!


If you’ve been anywhere near a TV or a computer today, you know that Andy Griffith passed away this morning. It may have just been my own ignorance, but until someone posted about it, I wasn’t aware that Andy Griffith was the old man in Brad Paisley’s video for “Waitin’ on a Woman.”

Thinking about his death today brought tears to my eyes, and I of course never even met him. You knew simply by watching him that he was just the kind of person who could impact people in the best way possible, and he did that for millions of people. I know he’ll be missed by not only his family but by so many people around the world– whether they knew him in person or not.

Hopefully Andy’s found himself a comfy bench up there in heaven 🙂

Welcome to my adventure!

If you’re reading this, you’ve stumbled upon my newest project somehow, and I’m so glad you’re here!

I’m a college student who’s completely in love with country music and the entire industry surrounding it, so this blog will showcase what I’m up to and what I find in my quest to explore country music as fully as I can.

To be quite honest, I don’t have a mission statement for this adventure yet, but I’m hoping that as I write about my obsession with country music, a purpose and a solid plan will become apparent to me. For now, stay tuned while I post everything that weighs on my heart… in relation to country music, of course!

If you want to stay updated with whatever this adventure evolves into, follow me on Twitter… @talktwangytome! I can’t wait to see what happens!

Keep talkin’ twangy!