Driving home from work earlier this week, I heard musician Tracy Chapman on the local PBS radio station, talking about her top three favorite songs. I only remember two: Peter Gabriel’s Solsbury Hill and Gillian Welch’s Orphan Girl.
The former I’m familiar with, thanks to the Hubby (a long-time Genesis and Gabriel fan). But the latter not so much, and I wanted to hear to the rest of it (as the radio program only played a barely 20 second snippet). Thanks to YouTube, I got to hear the rest of it.
Searching out Welch’s song reminded me of a co-worker of mine when I was a zealous heavy metal fan, back when I was sixteen years old. I was working part-time (mostly summers and weekends) in the medical records department of a south Dallas hospital. One of the full-time staff members was an early 30-something grizzly-bearded dude who listened to country music at his desk. I used to tease him about it, saying something along the lines of “Hey, my PARENTS listen to music like yours,” and he would give me a little smile and reply, “Just wait. I used to listen to hard rock like Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. Country will creep up on you like it did me.”
“Uh-uhhh!!!” was my oh-so-sophisticated reply back then.
Well… he was right. Thanks to Southern Fried Rock/Alt-Country crossovers like Uncle Tupelo and blues-grassy/gospel stuff like, well, any song on the O Brother Where Art Thou soundtrack — of course, living in Texas since I was ten-years old helps — country music has caught up with me.
Just as well. It’s easier to listen to a song’s lyrics without screaming guitars and shredded vocal chords. 🙂
And — no — I don’t hate rock now. It’s just now, I have to be in a certain mood to listen to it, when it used to be my default radio-format-in-my-head. Eh… maybe I *am* just getting old. 🙂