In February I had the chance of a lifetime to cross a top item off of my bucket list and go to Nashville. Growing up on country music, it was always a place I saw on TV, but never thought I’d get to go. But I had the opportunity when my Radio Broadcast class went on a trip to the Country Radio Broadcasters Seminar held in the heart of Nashville. We saw so many artists, it would take some effort to think of all of them without a list in front of me. But one of them that stuck in my mind was Texas-native Kacey Musgraves.
I first heard of Kacey when she sang with the Josh Abbott Band on their single Oh, Tonight a few years ago. A few years later she released her first Nashville record and her first single off of that record Merry Go ‘Round made some ears perk up.
While in Nashville, I saw her perform a couple of times, including an acoustic one-song set at the historic Ryman Auditorium. The picture below is of that performance. The song she played made everyone I was with an instant fan of hers, and a few of them would tell you they aren’t country fans at all. She played a song called Follow Your Arrow – the main message being don’t let typical society views and norms dictate how you live your life, just “follow your arrow wherever it points”.
One of the first things I did when I got back from Nashville was pick up a copy of Kacey’s album, Same Trailer, Different Park, and it’s been on repeat in my car ever since. Every song embodies the mentality that any small-town girl – or boy – can relate to. Each has a raw, real feeling and tone to it. The album as a whole leans more toward an acoustic sound instead of a lot of production, and it helps reinforce the truth behind each lyric.
Some of the content may be a little risky and push the limits of usual country music, but in my opinion that’s the beauty of it. Kacey doesn’t hold back, and her style may be reminiscent to some to that of Miranda Lambert, which makes sense. The two grew up together, and Kacey is the writer behind Miranda’s current hit Mama’s Broken Heart and also sings harmony on the track.
If you like straightforward, relatable songs, I highly recommend Same Trailer. I feel like oftentimes the singles that artists release to radio are just the tip of the iceberg, and some really great stuff exists in the rest of the album. I still go out and buy whole albums for that reason, and that is without a doubt the case with this record.