I am quite a sentimental person by nature. Its something that I keep hidden from people that I don't know that well. Its like I'm afraid to let others know what really makes me tick. My wife knows of course and so do most of my friends and family but to the outside world, no they don't, not yet anyway. So perhaps its time to share a guilty secret. Are you ready? Its a biggie!
Music makes me very sentimental. I like listening to songs with meaning. Country music is a big favourite of mine due to its story telling aspects. No not the bloke singing about his tractor or the key lime pie hes just eaten. I'm talking about songs with meaning. The ones that draw you in and make you think and feel something when you hear them. Songs that move me. Some may laugh, but do you know what if Ive learnt anything from writing this blog its that I'm putting myself out there to be shot at, I don't care anymore. That's a huge bridge for me to cross personally as Ive always worried about what people think of me. These are my thoughts and passions and if you want to read them cool if not read the next one. I'm not having a go and saying I'm right, but this has turned into an amazing outlet for me to share my opinion with the select few I allow to read them. I'm grateful for that as well. Grateful that people read my inane drivel as well as take the time to comment. So thank you it is appreciated. Why am I getting defensive all of a sudden? I'm not sure I suppose that whenever in the past Ive shared this Ive been laughed at by people that haven't tried it. You don't know what you are missing.
As I write this Ive got Keith Urban playing on the ipod. Don't know him? Well how about Mr Nicole Kidman? Oh that bloke! Yes him. He is a huge favourite of mine as he writes songs that I can relate to. If I'm in a mood where I want to chill out I listen to him. Like now as I write this. Nobody Drinks Alone, Raining On Sunday, Stupid Boy, Tonight I Wanna Cry, Til Summer Comes Around to name a few. Songs of lost love and hope for the future. Songs you can lose yourself in and make you realise how lucky you are. Emotive songs, happy songs, sad songs, songs that will last a lifetime.
I got into Country Music many years ago when I saw a man called Garth Brooks appear on The Des O'Connor Tonight Show. There was this Texan in a great big stetson and red checked shirt, cowboy boots and jeans and I laughed at him, the stereo typical country singer. Then he got behind a piano and sang. I was hooked the song was called The Red Strokes.It struck a cord with me that I have never forgotten. I went and bought the album the next day and listened to it for months on end. The album was filled with classics's and I finally found what I had been looking for years. Songs I could relate to. Songs that meant something to me.
I got laughed at a lot when I mentioned this, after all this was the time of Brit Pop and Oasis vs Blur. I liked them both but I couldn't relate to them the way I did with Garth Brooks. Not many people know this fact fans but he is the biggest selling artist of all time. Yes bigger than Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. Don't believe me look it up its there in black and white. I then searched HMV and over the coming months bought all of his albums. I found new gems like, That Old Wind, The Storm, The Dance, Red Strokes, That Summer, If Tomorrow Never Comes ( No not the Ronan Keating rubbish) and Shameless. I must confess my wife doesn't share my love of this type of music she says its depressing, I say she's missing out.
Garth Brooks retired from music at the end of the nineties and I was heart broken. No more songs for me. So I looked again at a genre I had never shown any interest in before and found three others to fill the void. One Ive already mentioned but the other two were just as good. Kenny Chesney, not heard of him? Renne Zelwigger ring a bell? Yep he was married to her. Id found another artist I could relate to. More songs came my way, This Old Chair, Dancing For The Groceries, Who You'd Be Today, Don't Blink, Wife and Kids, songs once again I could relate to. I again listened to them for hours, still do as well. I also discovered a group called Sugarland, a duo who have made my favourite song of all time Stay. The video is so simple and pure look it up on YouTube and then tell me you weren't moved by it.
Country music has moved on so much since the Dolly Partons and Kenny Rogers days. Its matured and is now written by some very talented artist's that are now crossing over into the main stream. Billy Ray Cyrus, yes him of Achy Breaky Heart fame, is one of the most accomplished artists out there at the moment. If you have a daughter I dare you to listen to Get Ready, Don't Go the duet with him and Miley Cyrus and not be moved by it. Or listen to He's Mine if you have a son and not be moved by that. They touch a part of me that music hasn't done since the soul of the 80's ( I refuse to call it R&B) which I will cover at a future date.
Its songs for every occasion, songs that move me, make me smile and make me reflect. Bring back memories of first loves and also of future happiness. Its a huge market of music out there and Ive only scrapped the surface by listening to these four. Id love to go to Tennessee and spend a fortnight there going around the bars, in my stetson and cowboy boots of course and discovering more of this music. You never know I may even get the wife to come. If not Ill take Laura who at 10 dances around the kitchen with me when I put this music on. We slow dance, she says practising for her wedding dance, me just cherishing memories I can hold for ever, then I get on my knees and dance with Grace who loves to dance with her dad. Those times money cant buy and after when I listen to those songs on my own, those are the memories I have.
My name is Anthony Hodgson and I love the sentimentality of Country Music and I'm not ashamed.
Go on give it a go its better than you think. Oh alright then if you ask nicely I might even let you borrow a few Cd's and I promise not to tell anyone :-)