“There’ll be a load of compromisin’ on the road to my horizon.”
In music, when it comes down to saying what needs to be said, and saying it so simply but with all the subtlety of a bulldozer which rams directly into the gut, no one does it quite like the country singer.
Reminisce. It’s what they mostly do in their music, almost always about lost love, and it has this way of reaching deep into the soul and touching a chord. For me at least.
I grew up listening to all kinds of music as I’ve mentioned before. But, not as much as I listened to good old fashioned country music. From Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton who reigned the country music circuit for ages, to Conway Twitty, Glen Campbell, Tucker, Cline, Pride, we had tapes that required their own special shelves.
I also watched a lot of old Westerns, and the combination of country music and old wild west movies turned from mere indulgence and infatuation to a full blown love affair which hasn’t ended still. But, I’m not just a fan of the tunes. I’m also an enthusiast, and a serious collector of anything country.
In the Goan community here in Karachi, the presence of guitars at family gatherings, parties and even beach trips was and is still very common. Old uncles and aunts, young boys and girls, (both my kids begin guitar lessons this year) it doesn’t matter, many could/can play and play they did. And, country music usually dominated those sing-a-long sessions, so much so I think every person who grew up with me will know to sing country songs backwards if they had to.
All of that eventually expanded into Country themed concerts and dances which happen frequently within the community, and I’m glad it does.
It is not, however an easy genre to indulge in. Country music stands apart because it is so simplistic on the outside. From within (and contrary to popular belief) it requires not just a good drawling voice and the ability to strum a guitar. It’s a skill many spend years trying to master. If you have no soul for it, you will never do it justice.
It is also a fascinating genre, be it movies, books or music. The history is rich and real, brutal and soft, gutsy and warm. The genre holds onto charm with simplicity and the least bit of pomp, fierce pride and solid tradition. And, for me that was probably it’s biggest appeal.
Now after many years of just holding it all so close to my heart and only enjoying it, I am slowly starting to bring it out in my work. You will see it if you haven’t already. And, I chose to do it because I love to draw on my own experiences and love for things, then see if I can write it with as much heart as I devote to it on the inside. It’s one of the most important parts of my writing process. Tapping into what is inside and molding it into something better, richer.
However, it is also a big compromise I make with myself while trying to maintain a balance between what I feel and what I say, because deep down I am a very private person, even though I tend to talk so much people never believe that about me.
I am short on time this weekend so I’ll stop my ramble here and let you listen to the sounds of some good old fashioned country (if you want to, click the link below and scroll down) but, not before wishing you all many simple and sweet moments this weekend.