Great thread, Giles. I want to say up front, I wouldn’t normally tell people I like country music. I’m not sure why, but here int he South it carries a stigmata that it’s your ONLY thing, or at least that’s my perception. But I do love the occasional tune and my father absolutely adored country music (and Motown music, strange combo,) so you can’t help but have that rub off on you a bit. But more than that, I’ve ended up leaning on Country music at key times in my life and they become cemented as part of that time period. I attribute a lot of that to the fact that Country is lyric forward versus melody forward, and sometimes a key lyric or phrase just cements something going on in your own life or memories to what the artist is singing. It’s also generally down to earth and at times, melancholy, so a deeply affecting set of lyrics and melody can really cement itself to your memory.
My father’s absolute favorite was George Strait. I personally own multiple George Strait CD’s and media simply due to the fact it feels to me like holding on to the memories of my departed father. Amarillo By Morning was, at the time, considered PEAK George Strait, and yet the guy just kept on rolling and making hits, even today. An amazing artist and one that, to me, took classic country and stepped it up just enough to make it foot tapping mainstream.
My GF and I occasionally have a throwback night listening to music and quite a few of those nights have been classic country where we both end up singing along to just about anything from the past. I’d be hard pressed to pick favorites. Just about anything from really old country up until about the last 10-15 years, though occasionally one or two of those works its way into our listening rotation.