WHAT has happened to me!

If you know me at all, you know that I am NOT a lover of Country Music. With that said there have always been a few exceptions take Patsy Kline for example, while I don’t like all of her music there are many songs that I actually enjoy. I KNOW this is because I remember my mother singing them when I was a young child. Another exception is The Zac Brown Band. His music is generally fun and in my opinion, not strictly country. My wife on the other hand is a fully immersed lover of the genre. If you took one look at her iPod, you would quickly surmise that it’s basically split into three genres: Praise Music, Elton John & Country music.  I LOVE Praise Music! In fact, I sang on various Praise Teams for about 17 years and I even enjoy Elton John every now and then, but I’m here to tell you…when Saturday rolls around, Lisa usually gets the hankerin’ to get her country on…I’m pretty good and generally put up with it for a time (HEY! I even took her to a Garth Brooks concert a few years back!), Lisa can usually tell when I’ve had enough…might be the loud sighing and eye-rolling, but you’ll need to ask her to be sure.

I was recently introduced to Spotify. If you aren’t familiar with Spotify, it’s a music streaming service similar to Pandora. The sound quality is supposedly better on Spotify, I don’t really know. Anyway, So it wasn’t long before I started putting together playlists: Kansas, ELO, Casting Crowns, Crowder…you can even put playlists from different albums like I have a Broadway playlist that contains my favorite songs from many various shows. Oh, and a Bluegrass Gospel…wait, WHAT? How’d THAT get in there…and moreover, WHY? When I revealed this to Lisa, she laughed at me and was very surprised! After all, here I am, a very outspoken anti-country music person…and yet, Bluegrass.

Wicked Path of Sin
In this awful world of sorrow
On this wicked path of sin
Never thinking of tomorrow
Or what I'd lose in the end
Oh I can hear (oh I can hear) the joy bells ringing
Where my friends (where my friends) and loved ones wait
Oh I can hear the angels singing (sweet singing)
Just inside (just inside) those pearly gates
I can hear my savior calling
Saying come unto me
Wash away your sins forever
And you shall rest eternally
Now I'm safe with my Jesus
He will guide me on my way
I will sing His praise forever
We'll meet in heaven some sweet day

…I had to really think about why I had this attraction to this genre of music. I seriously contemplated this for about 3 days…the obvious element is the harmonies. I’ve sang in enough choirs and men’s quartets that harmonies come very naturally to me and when I hear them, I quite naturally want to add my own. However, it was more than the harmonies. When you listen to the song above, you can’t say these guys have well trained voices…none of them do…there’s something about early music…raw, not over-produced that I find interesting and am drawn to it. Some of this has to do with the simplicity of it…the music, the words even. Simple, but true. But even with these realizations…there was something deeper. There was something that connected Bluegrass deep within me. A few days later, I called my sister Donna and during our conversation I brought this Bluegrass thing up and she reminded me that when we were quite young (4 or 5 for me, 6 or 7 for her), my parents were friends with another family. These were great people, if my dad ever needed help with something, the Mr of the house would be there to help him. That aside, this family was or was the closest thing to real hillbillies I had even seen. What Donna reminded me was that on Friday nights, people (maybe relatives, I don’t know) would gather at their house with guitars, mandolins and yes, washboards and play Bluegrass music. Us kids would be playing in another room, but we plainly heard the music, people laughing, singing and Joe always had his pipe.

So Bluegrass connects me back to my childhood, memories of Friday night’s spent at Joe & Eunice’s and of simpler times…vintage times. Excuse me while I sit back and listen to Rank Strangers.


  1. I'm so glad you let me "get my country on"....and one of these days you will be able to admit that you love it ;)


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