By Claire Nunez
Co-Editor in Chief
I am a little afraid to be writing this right now. Will this change the way people view me? My reputation is already questionable. I am totally going to lose respect because of what I love…and that is bluegrass. I love bluegrass music. I was once totally ashamed of it, but now— I still kinda am. Why am I afraid to tell the world that I am infatuated with banjo strums and raspy voices? Well, the answer, my friends, is not at all simple.
My music choices are not often considered to be “good.” Actually, I listen to pretty basic and lame songs and artists. I have been described as a “pop music hoe” by people who think they know what they are talking about (they may actually have an ear for musical notes and tones, but I think all of this is very subjective). I listen to the likes of Katy Perry, an inarguably terrible artist; the Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga, and literally whatever is playing out of the radio at work that only gets one station. My only redeemable fanhood would probably be Hozier— and I don’t even know the last time he came out with new music. I listen to “Take Me To Church” probably a hundred times a week. Isn’t that sad? Someone sign me up for What Not To Listen To because I could use a music-style makeover.
Bluegrass is different to me. I listen to it when I am just hanging out or studying. I just like the sound of it. The soft strumming of a guitar or the soothing yet abrasive voices give me some sense of calm. I am not from the bluegrass country, but I am instantly transported into the soft, crisp grass of the mountainside; the fresh air blowing my hair gently into my face as I play a fiddle with a floral print dress on. That is probably just a weird bluegrass fantasy I have, but that is the vibe the music gives me.
So why is it that I keep my love of bluegrass in the dark? To be honest, I am a bit scared that people will either 1) think ill of me for being a fan of bluegrass or 2) think ill of the genre for having me as a fan. Either way, I am scared of the perceptions of others. I am generally a very confident and independent woman who does not give a flip about what people think, but for some reason, bluegrass gets me.
Maybe it is because I somewhat associate bluegrass with country music and I hate, HATE country music. There is just something about a guy singing, with a straw cowboy hat on, about tractors and beer that makes me incredibly angry. How can a genre squeeze out so much money on tractors and wagon wheels? It is ridiculous. I cannot stand country music or the Instagrams of people who go to those summery concerts wearing flannels and cowboy boots in 95-degree weather. It is an absolute NO from me.
But bluegrass is different. It is not as pompous. It is more low-key and calming. There are no exclamations that beer is in fact the best beverage on earth, nor are there professions of love to a scarecrow. Bluegrass is more folksy and relaxing. Whenever I listen to it, I either feel really calm or like I want to do some light dancing— yes, light dancing. I love the way it makes me feel when I listen to it, and I think it is time for me to let people know that I love bluegrass.
I am very much done with caring about what people think. If you decide to criticize me or bluegrass because I like it, that is very so much a you problem. I am going to live my life and listen to my banjo music and have a bluegrass band at my wedding and maybe even learn to play the fiddle. I am coming out of the bluegrass closet. I will not care if people think it’s weird. I really think people have the capacity to be tolerant enough to let me listen to my damn bluegrass music whenever I want to. It is cool. If you don’t like it, oh well. I am going to keep bopping along to the smooth strums of the guitar.