I really love country music. Lots of people are puzzled by this fact: I skew socialist politically and libertarian socially, and am pretty much as far from conservative as you can get.
And yet – the guileless charm of country music, its emotional frankness, its straightforward embrace of simple pleasures – really moves me. Ditto the simple song structures, the yearning melodies, vocal harmonies and banjo and fiddle.
Maybe it’s because of my roots: my grandpa came from the hills of West Virginia and my grandma was from North Carolina. Music was important to both of them. My grandpa was a preacher and suspicious of the trappings of secular culture. Still, his extensive music collection included Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Randy Travis (plus a ton of bluegrass gospel).
Maybe it’s because of my rootlessness: having lived all over the world, I’m at home everywhere and nowhere. Country music lets me imagine that I have a culture that I can call my own.
Whatever it is, it fills my heart with delight and makes me feel really good.