The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Country Music Apologist DeJamz


I used to be like you. I used to turn my nose up at things because it was easier to hate them than admit they were good: pumpkin spice lattes, Taylor Swift and country music. I’ve turned my back on that lifestyle though and embraced my true form as an unapologetic country music lover. The truth is, no matter how much you try to deny it, country music is good. Nay, country music is great. Instead of waking up and choosing to be a basic hater just for the cultural anonymity it brings you, come to the dark side and enjoy a little bit of Southern hospitality and country charm.

“Big Brown Eyes” by Old 97s

Old 97s is a country rock band from my hometown Dallas, Texas and as such, I grew up going to their concerts at local venues and festivals. One of my earliest memories is being at an outdoor festival at 6 years old, dancing in the rain with my younger brother while listening to this song live. We were dancing like idiots to the point that we kept slipping in the rain puddles and dropping the candy our parents had just bought us to keep us entertained. To me, “Big Brown Eyes” sounds like home. Old 97s was my introduction to the country genre, I hope it can be yours as well. 

“Heartbreak Express” by Dolly Parton

When people say that God is a woman, I imagine Dolly Parton. Besides being a country music star and national treasure, she’s an entrepreneur, movie star and film producer. I don’t think I’m making it to heaven but if I do, I know Dolly Parton will be greeting me at those pearly white gates. There’s the common misconception that country music is just a bunch of songs about men objectifying women and loving their guns and trucks. The important thing to remember though is in the midst of all those questionable songs, Dolly Parton reigns supreme as the queen of country. 

“Hurt” by Johnny Cash

Oh, you think country music has no relevance to you? Do you think you’re safe with your dad rock, your industrial rock, or whatever other subgenre of rock you listen to? Ha, it must suck to be wrong. The man, the myth, the legend Johnny Cash released a cover of the Nine Inch Nails’ song “Hurt” in 2002 and my dad has kept it in his playlist ever since. Every once in a while when we’re in the car together, this song will play and he’ll remind me in proper dad-fashion that it’s a cover. It somehow sounds better every time I listen to it.

“Wondering Why” by The Red Clay Strays

To mix in some more modern country music than the throwbacks I’ve included thus far, The Red Clay Strays is a perfect mix of classic country with rock ‘n’ roll. I just recently discovered them through my Instagram algorithm and became hooked on their 2022 album “Moment of Truth.” If you’re willing to try some country music with a bit more twang to it, this one’s for you. If you’re not, suck it up. You’ve read this far into the DeJamz, don’t be a coward.  

“Southern Nights” by Glen Campbell

We’re starting the DeJamz the same way I ended it: acting like an idiot with my brother. Now that we’re both older, going home to Texas means finding one night with him between our busy work, school and social schedules to catch up. Oftentimes, we’ll spend a few hours getting ice cream then driving down rural roads near our house, blasting music and talking. The past couple of drives, this song will pop up on my brother’s playlist and I just watch him sing along and drum on the steering wheel to the beat. To me, “Southern Nights” sounds like summer break and long drives with a loved one.

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