Country ... a facinating genre!

When I was recently asked to spin Country I hesitated thinking it a genre I was less familiar with and perhaps a little below my sense of musical standard. Boy was I wrong. After only a few days reviewing over 150 songs I quickly found myself absorbed in an expansive and exploding world of great sounds, talents and new possibilities. 

My study is revealing many sub-genres and moods rich with a wide range of emotions, experiences, ideas and rhythms ... lots to choose from ... the folks around here love it ... there are elements of jazz as well ... I feel like I'm going through my second childhood reviewing this stuff. 
What's best is the people who love it and the spirit they share with old friends and happy memories. There's plenty of excitement in the music and down home tailgate fun that could draw the unschooled a little too close to the edge from my vantate point, but there's plenty of good humor and some solid heartfelt advise to keep one on the straight and narrow.
There are some striking parallels between American Country Music and my International sounds.
Both possess music that's often deep and soulish, sentimental, and full of passion.  They certainly share a strong sense of ballad and story telling.  Since very few sounds in North America can be considered truly indigenous many Country styles originated in Europe --while the blues are known to have their source in North Africa.

Country is Country ... no matter where you go. It's about the people, the place we live and what we all love.
Bassekou Kouyate exchanging notes with Cuban singer and guitarist Eliades Ochoa in Havana.