Country music has become a huge part of my life for the last 7 years, I first discovered my love of country music on a family holiday to Florida in 2011. Blake Shelton was number one with 'God Gave Me You' and it really struck a cord with me at the time, I just thought that the lyrics and meaning behind the song was so beautiful and different from any genre of music I had listened to. I knew a few of the older and more traditional "country and western" songs of course and enjoyed a few hits by Dolly and Kenny but that was about it.
I also couldn't escape listening to country music in the States, there are so many country radio stations but the music is easy to listen to and there was lots of driving across Florida; from Orlando down to Key West, country music was playing!
There were some great hits out that year including Luke Bryan's 'I Don't Want This Night To End' and Lady Antebellum's 'Need You Now' and 'Just A Kiss'.
As soon as that trip finished and I came back to the UK, I had to work hard to access country music as it's not played as much over here. I started tuning into Bob Harris Country every week on BBC Radio 2 and streaming stations from the US to hear the latest songs released.
Over the last few years the genre has grown massively and it's getting bigger with the UK and Ireland bringing some of their own country artists to the scene including The Shires and Ward Thomas. In this blog I'll tell you about my favourite artists in both the UK and the US and I'll be looking to hear your own recommendations as there's so many people out there I am yet to discover including some traditional country music.
Keep it country!