by Charlie Hansen
This month I have a bunch of things to talk about, mostly good but maybe some not so good.
First of all we’ve made the trek to the sunny south once again and we’ve had great weather with warm temperatures and sunny skies. Just to make it feel a bit more like Christmas, which isn’t easy when it’s 32 degrees, we took a trip over to the Florida Botanical Gardens to see the Christmas, or, as they call them, Holiday lights. I really wasn’t prepared for what we saw. There are 750,000 lights in all shapes and sizes as well as scenes projected on the trees and entertainment at every turn. All this covers an area of about three acres and is breath taking to say the least.
OK, enough with the lights. I guess you all know by now how I feel about contemporary country music. On our trip south I was listening to a station that was featuring country music from the 1980s. Back in the ’80s I wasn’t particularly fond of what was on the radio but I find that either myself or the music has mellowed over the years. The artists were George Strait, Joe Dee Messina, Lorrie Morgan, The Kentucky Headhunters and other artists of the like and, believe it or not, I actually enjoyed it. I came to the conclusion that going back and revisiting the music that I had an aversion to in the past isn’t a bad thing and sometimes it actually becomes palatable. Perhaps it’s a case of absence makes the ears grow fonder.
I still don’t like contemporary country because I believe as the years go by the music drifts farther and farther from it’s roots. I guess it’s all a product of blurring the lines in the music industry. For fear of being committed I’d like to say that it’s a conspiracy by the country music industry but since it’s happening throughout the music industry I guess it’s just a product of the money machine feeding a younger demographic.
Just a few words about the upcoming Music PEI awards and a couple of predictions. Well, here they are: Meaghan Blanchard; well “She’s Gonna Fly.” If Meaghan doesn’t win in every category that she’s nominated in call the cops. As much as I’d like to see my old buddy Neil Matthews win in the Country category, I’m afraid he’s in tough.
I think the Close to the Ground Concert Series deserves some support for all the work put in to it by Eddy Quinn and the guys. It’s probably the most popular event on PEI in the summer. Gordie MacKeeman and His Rhythm Boys, being the Island’s most successful touring band, should come out on top in the roots traditional as well as the Spincount touring artist categories. The Trailside Café with its recent resurgence should take home venue of the year.
I’ve made the predictions— but what do I know?
Until next month don’t forget to support live country and bluegrass music and listen to Bluegrass Island on CFCY 95.1 in Charlottetown and on the web at cfcy.fm.