New Music Monday: Jenn Bostic- Jealous

I have to tell you a bit of a story in order for this post to be complete, so just bear with me on the change of format…

So, I went to the Grand Ole Opry on Friday night with my family while they were here in Nashville. We celebrated my birthday at the Opry, how cool is that?! Here’s an obligatory picture to show you how I felt about my Opry birthday swag, and the fact that they wished me a happy 20th birthday from the stage:

Opry Birthday SwagAt any rate, it was a great show. There were a few names I did know, and a few I didn’t. One of the ones I’d never heard was Jenn Bostic. When she came out to perform her set, she was wearing a formal dress, and she sang this really upbeat song and was all over the stage. I was almost overwhelmed by the amount of energy she had, and I wasn’t really sold on the music.

She sat down to play her second song on the piano, and she began by telling the crowd that she started writing music after she lost her father to a car accident when she was ten. The song, “Jealous of the Angels,” was about her dad, and from the first note she played, I felt so much emotion in her performance, it was unreal. By the end of the song, Jenn was choking up, and tears were streaming down my face. I’m not sure if this video will do justice to the incredible moment I experienced when I saw Jenn perform it live, but it’s a fantastic song nonetheless.


She received a standing ovation from about half the crowd in the Opry house that night, and with good reason. I was just… moved. Lately I’ve been questioning if I’m cut out to be a songwriter– I don’t want to smoosh my writing into a mold to create a country (or whatever genre) hit song. I realize more and more that I want to write what’s on my heart, and I want it to resonate in someone else’s soul and help them to cope with situations similar to what I go through in my own life. I think part of the reason Jenn’s performance touched me so much is because she did just that. She sang exactly what had been on her heart since losing her father, and it was very obvious that it resonated with people in that room.

So, Jenn, thanks for re-inspiring me to write music with that one song. Country music needs more writers like Jenn Bostic and more songs like “Jealous of the Angels,” and I hope she gets all of the attention she deserves in the country genre (and any genre, for that matter). I hope one day I’ll meet her and join her journey toward more raw honesty and less cliché in songwriting.

Last week, Jenn released an album, Jealous. I’ve listened to several songs from the album already, and I can tell I’m really going to like this girl. Her music is definitely piano-driven on this album, and her voice can be both powerful and delicate. But don’t take my word for it– stream the album on Spotify here and find it on iTunes here.

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie

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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!

-Allie

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!

-Allie

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 Gadling.com

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

Keep talkin’ twangy!

-Allie