Country music: summer fad or here to stay?


This summer was filled with southern voices accompanied by the smooth strums of acoustic guitars.  Country music fills the Queen City every summer because of the highly acclaimed music venue Riverbend and an award winning radio station, B-105.

But as popular as the genre is in the summer, it always seems to lack a following after school goes back into session.  There are still many year-round country fans like Elder High School senior Jimmy Dirr, but why does country’s popularity fade away and hibernate until the next summer?

The end of another school year brings kids a feeling of freedom and plenty of opportunities to have fun.  Many country songs are upbeat and represent these two ideas that so many high school kids are looking forward to when they think of summer vacation.

Riverbend is a hot spot for country music during summer vacation, and this is where many high school students can be found listening to their favorite country artists.  Riverbend hosts many of the top talents in country music like Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley, and Kenny Chesney.  These concerts lead us all the way to the end of the summer. Even though there are a few concerts that are after summer, it is not the same feeling as it once was in the summer.

Once the temperatures drop, car windows are rolled up and stereos become mute to all who are outside the vehicles.  As these temperatures fall, country music goes into hibernation like a bear in winter.  Everything that country music stood for in the summer, freedom and living life to the fullest, flies south for the winter.  There are plenty of times in the winter to have fun, but it does not feel the same as it did in the summer.

“Country music is usually about summertime,” said Kyle Koppenhoefer.  “After summer, it gets depressing because you think about summer.”

There are plenty of country songs that are not upbeat and have more of a depressing tune.  Many country artists and bands have both upbeat and calmer songs. For example, Zac Brown Band performs the songs “Knee Deep” and “Colder Weather”, and these two songs are almost complete opposites of each other.  “Knee Deep” has a more positive message about being on the beach, and “Colder Weather” has a more somber feel to it.  There are people that like the variety that country music brings to the table, but others will tell you that country music is only good in the summer and when it has an uplifting feel to it.

Early in the spring, Riverbend announces their country concert line-up, and that is normally the spark that starts the fire that is country music in the summer.

Alas the summer will roll back around, and the cycle will begin again as people live it up with southern twang buzzing through the air.