Songs with a twang

I like listening to music. One of the great things about an Ipod is that you can store enough music to satisfy all of your musical whims, whatever they may be. One day it’s classical music, another it’s jazz, and another day yet it’s music from the 1960s.

In my trip to Boston this week I listened to country music. I don’t like “modern” country music, for the most part — it tends to be boring and bland. I like older country, with a twang. It’s good traveling music, and the storytelling that is a fundamental part of that kind of country music often brings a smile to my face. Country music wouldn’t be what it is if there weren’t lots of songs about drinking and failed relationships.

Until recently, I didn’t really listen to country music, because I associated it with “Hee Haw” and redneck culture. A few years ago, however, I bought some George Jones CDs and realized how good the music could be. If you haven’t listened to country music, I recommend seeing if you like the following songs, which are some of my favorites:

The Bottle Let Me Down, by Merle Haggard — a song with a great set of lyrics, and terrific guitar playing, and — of course! — the sad story behind the lyrics

Little Ways, by Dwight Yoakam — classic drums, and a real twang in the vocals

Luckenbach, Texas, by Waylon Jennings (with an assist from Willie Nelson) — a song with an important message, sung by an artist with a world weary voice

She Thinks I Still Care, by George Jones — I think George Jones has a perfect voice for country music, and most of his better songs tell a compelling story, too.

Tammy Wynette and Patsy Cline have recorded lots of good songs, too.

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