I was fortunate enough to grow up in Austin, Texas, which happens to be the live music capital of the world. I don’t know if being from Austin and being exposed to so many different types of music and art  has formed me into the person I am today, or if I just have really good taste. I’d like to think its both.

I love all types of music. I love artists like [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Otis Redding[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]James Taylor[/lastfm] ,[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kanye West[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ben Harper[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Stevie Wonder[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Bill Withers[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Maroon 5[/lastfm], and the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Foo Fighters[/lastfm]. I love [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Clay Walker[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jack Ingram[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Eric Church[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Kevin Fowler[/lastfm], and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Pat Green[/lastfm]. I could write you a list of all the artists who I admire and who have impacted my life, but frankly there are not enough hours in the day to go over all of them. I believe there are country music fans just like me, ones who love and enjoy all types of music because it speaks to them in more ways than one.

I started listening to country music when I was in middle school. At this time [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Garth Brooks[/lastfm] has just started shaking things up. I started listening to the radio each night and  when I first heard [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Dolly Parton[/lastfm] and the song “Jolene”, I was forever hooked. Dolly Parton was beautiful, sang like an angel and is a true song writer. There is nothing manufactured about her music, its genuine and honest and spoke to so many people. Even at such a young age, I picked up on that. I also thought she could rock a pair of stiletto heels and had the biggest and best hair in the universe.

85832073 8 Country Music Is... Powerful[Photos] The King Of Country, George…From Dolly I evolved to [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]George Strait[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Tim McGraw[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Alan Jackson[/lastfm],[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Clay Walker [/lastfm] and GarthBrooks. I became obsessed with country music. And when I say, obsessed I mean fatal attraction, boiling a rabbit in the kitchen type of obsessed.  I loved it. I went to every show I possibly could and when doing that became exposed to more artists new and old. I remember Clay Walker singing “Ramblin Fever” by [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Merle Haggard[/lastfm] in his live shows. So I went and bought Merle Haggard records. From there I found [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Don Williams[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Willie Nelson[/lastfm], [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Lyle Lovett [/lastfm]and so many more that influenced me throughout the years.

I have to admit, being in love with country music wasn’t the “cool kid” thing to do at the time. But I didn’t care. I’m rebellious like that I guess. In High School I knew I wanted to do something in country music. I didn’t know what exactly, but I started trying to book concerts for local singers  for my prom, or a homecoming concert, even a car wash. I was trying to immerse myself into that world one way or another. When I had my “one on one” with my guidance counselor about my future my senior year I told her I wanted to do something in country music. She laughed at me and told me to pick an “actual career”. First off  let me just say, I am just a victim of the public school system so I forgive her for her response. Second I’m glad I completely ignored her, maybe I should be thankful I’m stubborn to a fault or that I just knew the path I was supposed to go on. Thanks to my love for country music,  I’ve actually been working in country music in one form or another for the past 15 years.

I find it fascinating how certain artists are influenced by other artists and how they take that influence and merge it into their own creative style. Country music artists seem to me to be so open minded and passionate that they create this style of music that can connect with different demographics and reach so many people. I am lucky enough to work in radio where I am exposed to amazing artists and music every day.

I find it virtually is impossible to define country music, probably because I am so passionate about it. Its hard to simply put all of those emotions and elements that make country music what it is and put it on paper. When I was asked to write about  what country music is in my opinion, I will tell you this, country music is more than just a life style, its more than just a type of music. Its music that touches people to their core. And that’s why country music fans are so loyal and love this music. Ask any country artist today the best part about their job is, and they will tell you it is the fans. And the reason the fans are so phenomenal  is because the music continues to make a statement in their day to day lives. Country music is powerful stuff, ya’ll, and it continues to change and grow everyday.

Without country music I’d be lost. And unemployed. So I am so thankful for it and what it has done for my life professionally and personally. Country music is simply awesome.

You can follow Brooke on Facebook and Twitter(@BrookieBMeris) and read her blog posts on http://www.kilt.com.


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