Growing up in Texas, Country music was everywhere. Although primarily associated with the ever present redneck, its popularity made it all pervasive. Although by temperment I preferred classic rock growing up, I could probably sing the full lyrics to any number of 70s country hits. The Devil Goes Down to Georgia, Coalminers Daughter, Swingin', all those songs bubbled into my subconcious due to repetition and surroundings.
As I became a teenager I took a concious stand against country, due to what I percieved as its inherent racism, sexism, ect. Punk rock, then Hardcore spoke to my feelings of alienation more perfectly than any music I had heard up till that point and its social message fit right in with my perception of the world around me. Although I would still go drinking with my kicker friends (mohawk proudly on full display) and sing the songs when plastered, I was contemptuous of the message and lifestyle (probably as much as my kicker friends were of my lifestyle choices).
Years have passed and mercifully prejudices have as well. I now see country as a parallel to soul and folk. Older country music in particular strikes a deep cord in me. The rawness and honesty is a refreshing blast in comparison to much music and I sometimes find myself "with a tear in my beer" after listening to Hank Williams sing of love's betrayal.
Hope you enjoy these tracks:
Carter Family - Can the Circle be Unbroken
Hank Williams - Your Cheatin' Heart
Patsy Cline - She's got you
Tammy Wynette - Stand by your man