What Country Means To Me
By Shaun Smith
Country music started for me in a rather unusual way. As a 16 year old teenager I was hugely into rock and heavy metal, I wouldn’t allow myself to sit and listen to any other kind of music. I was also a huge fan of pro wrestling and I had purchased a video tape of a new promotion starting up in the US and it’s safe to say my blinkered was about to change. They were promoting a special musical guest known as Toby Keith. “who?” was my one and only thought, and that there’s no way in hell I’m going to enjoy it.
How wrong I was! They played a short clip of How Do You Like Me Now and I instantly thought it was pretty good.
Toby played Angry American live and got involved in a match. I was intrigued and instantly hit Limewire and began to download every song I could find. 15 years later, country music has become the soundtrack to my life.
From the first note that hit my ears it taught me to be open minded and to open up to new and exciting experiences. It’s seen me through hard times from break ups to losing people who mean something to me. It’s allowed me to get close to my brother, to make some incredible friends and I can safely say it’s helped make me who I am. I was a fairly emotionally closed off teenager and I credit this music for making me open up these emotions. There is nothing like country music on this planet. A Dierks Bentley song is even going to be my first dance at my wedding in 2017. I feel incredibly lucky to not only like this music, but to love. Without country, my life would be missing something that I’m not sure how I could fill.