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I grew up in a small community steeped in country music. For years, the only band that visited our area was the Good Brothers and it deeply offended my teenage sensibilities. I had never seen them perform, but I knew that all of my father’s hard-drinking co-workers went to see them frequently and I disapproved. Later, when all of my peers became enamoured of New Country, I looked on in horror, refusing to accept that teenagers could possibly be fulfilled by the likes of Garth Brooks. My disdain lasted until the year my grandmother died. The last Christmas we spent together was often punctuated by the singing of cowboy songs, country ballads and Roger Miller tunes. It was the last time my grandmother looked truly happy. So, ever since, I have made a conscious effort to find room for country music in my life. It’s true that we are far from reaching a truce, but I no longer snicker with derision whenever the sound of an autoharp hits my ears. And I’ve been to see the Good Brothers and made my peace with them. So even though Clay George isn’t necessarily to my taste, my grandma would definitely give him her approval. (Karyn Bonham)

CD, Copperspine Records

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