Kicking it country

You can rag on country music all you want.
Go ahead. I have. Moving from New York to the South took a taste adjustment I’m still getting used to.
But I’ve got to hand it to the country music world.
When’s the last time you saw a rapper pull a pint-sized girl onto the stage and walk her around, her little hand wrapped in his big ol’ paw, to meet every single member of the band?
Rascal Flatts lead singer Gary DeVox did it on the stage at Bethel Woods Sunday night without ever missing a note.
He covered her eyes while he shimmied.
He led her out onto the bump-out stage and helped her wave to the crowd.
That’s the way you get me. Give the little kids what they came for.
At last year’s Brad Paisley show in Bethel, a youngster walked away with the star’s cowboy hat.
If I hadn’t already crossed the country line when I made my way over the Mason-Dixon, I would have fallen – hard – that night.
Those are – in truth – the best interviews.
The ones who appreciate the every day, the people who made them who they are.
I’ve been to my fair share of concerts – plenty more in the years since Bethel Woods opened for sure – and I’ve seen my fair share of performers who think rather highly of themselves.
It’s their right, I guess. After all, they’re on stage. I’m just writing about it.
But the country performers tend to set themselves apart with their humility.
I’ve come to grips with liking a few of their songs too – I even admit to being a full-fledged fan of Paisley and Rascal Flatts.
Laugh if you will. I know my friends did when I moved back North.
But it’s their eagerness to sign autographs, their special attention to the kids – that’s what makes them worth seeing.
Because, in the end, who wants to pay to listen to another self-important windbag? We can turn on the TV for that, log online – get it for free.
But if you’ll be nice to a little kid – nice one day perhaps to my little kid – I’ll lend you my ears.
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