1. There’s a lot to choose from.
Country has been around forever. In the 1800s, folks from up North headed South for more opportunities. Crossing the Appalachian Mountains was tough and they couldn’t bring much with them, but they were sure to bring their instruments. Nights often ended in campfire gatherings where people would sing their stories. In the 1920s, these settlers started moving to the cities and their music, at the time called “hillbilly music”, gained popularity. Since then there have been 6 generations of country music marking shifts in the genre, each one making it more popular than the last. Long story short: a lot have people have been making country music for a long time, and you can practically never run out!
2. Anywhere you go, you’re sure to find it.
Country music overtook classic rock as the most popular genre in America, and radio stations reflect it. Radio is still really important in country music, and it shows — there are more country radio stations than Top 40/Pop, Rock, Adult Contemporary, and Hip Hop…combined. You could go to the middle of Idaho, stick an antenna in a potato and still pick up a country station. Probably.
3. There’s something for everybody.
It’s no secret that not all country fans love all country. Good news: you don’t have to! There’s something for everybody. Easing into country from a rock background? Check out Texas country artists like William Clark Green or mainstream guys like Brantley Gilbert. A fan of the oldies? Bob Wills and Hank Williams may be gone, but there are still great artists like The Time Jumpers and Asleep At The Wheel. Garth Brooks and Shania Twain bridged the country/pop gap in the 90s and artists have kept that tradition alive today. Newcomers like Sturgill Simpson and Chris Stapleton harken back to outlaw country, while Colt Ford and The Lacs merge country and Hip Hop. You don’t have to love all types of country to be a great country fan.
4. Country stars have the best live shows.
Garth Brooks sold out 7 shows in Dallas in one and a half hours. Zac Brown Band is known to leave fans is a musical frenzy after an onstage jam. George Strait can fill up a 100,000-person stadium and huge headliners like Tim McGraw and Kenny Chesney have been known to team up for mega tours. But it’s not just about size. Countless artists like Wade Bowen and Brandy Clark have been known to deliver searingly beautiful and intimate performances.
5. Country comes from the heart.
The best country music comes from the heart. Listen to songs like “Live Like You Were Dying” by Tim McGraw or “Raymond” by Brett Eldredge and hear the sincerity in every word.
6. Country artists LOVE their fans.
Country stars have been known to go above and beyond for their fans — on social media, at shows and in person. Watch Lady Antebellum bring an adorable cancer survivor on stage, or Lee Brice help two young lovebirds get engaged.
7. Who doesn’t love a good story?
Country music is known for telling a great story. Check out classics like Johnny Cash‘s “A Boy Named Sue” and Reba McEntire‘s “The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia.” Then move on to Garth Brooks’ “The Thunder Rolls” and The Dixie Chicks‘ “Travelin’ Soldier.” And for great story songs from the past year, listen to “Lonely Eyes” by Chris Young and “A Guy Walks Into A Bar” by Tyler Farr.
8. No matter how bad of a day you’re having, somebody in a country song is having a worse one.
Particularly the fella in “This Ain’t Nothin'” by Craig Morgan.
9. But if you get too sad, you can always find a pick-me-up.
One of the best? Travis Tritt‘s “It’s A Great Day To Be Alive.”
11. Country sticks up for its own.
Unless you’re The Dixie Chicks, unfortunately. Here, let Brad Paisley explain it to you.
10. But country is not afraid to confront society.
Country music is not afraid to take an unpopular stand. From Loretta Lynn‘s famous ode to birth control, to Martina McBride bringing spousal abuse to the forefront, to Kacey Musgraves telling you to kiss lots of boys or girls or whatever you’re into, country artists will go against the grain to stand up for what they believe in.
12. Big hats!
Who doesn’t love big hats? We don’t judge you for your big hats in country. Big hats for everyone!
13. Festivals everywhere.
Country music festivals have made a roaring resurgence. Stagecoach in California, Country USA in Wisconsin and FarmBorough in New York City are all examples of huge new country festivals across the country.
14. Accents are fun.
Spend the day talking like Reba. It’s infectious!