Thursday, June 14, 2007

Musical Maturation

As I have gotten older, it is interesting to look at how my taste in music has developed over the years. When I was in high school, I was pretty typical. I tended toward music that my parents really didn't relate to - hard rock and heavy metal for the most part. While this is still great music to listen to while at the gym, I don't seek it out as a matter of course. I've even found myself listening to and liking music that I proclaimed at one point in time or another, "I'll never be caught dead listening to that!"

One such genre is country music. No, I don't really care for what Nashville is touting as "country" these days. However, I have become a very big fan of Johnny Cash over the last ten years. His sessions with Rick Ruben distributed by American Records reached a new fan base that had never had much interest in "The Man in Black". Now some of these recordings - especially American II: Unchained - could be argued to be more rock 'n roll than country, but it I think it roused curiosity about Cash in people that had paid him very little prior attention. No one could argue that Cash had the best voice ever recorded, but he had something to say - and it was usually worth saying. That's one of the big differences I've noticed in what I choose to listen to now. The lyrics are very important. It's not that I completely ignored them in the past, but it was really more about crunching guitars and high energy drums.

Speaking of lyrics, my favorite song these days is one that most of you have probably not heard. Sarah Harmer's last CD has a song called The Ring. It's a very melodic song that is very heavily influenced by bluegrass (my former boss and good friend Mark is now in shock!), as is the entire CD. It's really a simple song about the people who have been there for you in tough times and helped you get through them. Can you read the lyrics and not think about your parents, spouse, or dear friends?

I'm sure there are plenty of other bold proclamations from my teenage years over which I could eat crow, but like all things we'll take this in moderation. :)

Until next time...


Vicki Gupton said...

Bluegrass, huh; I love it. Here's a twist: Bill and I like the old country best, but we like the new bluegrass better than the old. I like Sarah Harmer and her music too. I really like the words to some of these songs, too, but I also love the bluegrass style music. Mom.

Anonymous said...

Hey that's a huge change for me to hear as well considering you were the one who introduced me to GnR and Metallica in high school. Of course, we both have changed in our music tastes and took a liking to jazz. John Coltrane rocks.