Step Outside Your Musical Box: Country Music

Ah, country music! I’ll put it this way—when I mention this genre I get the same response that I’d get if I’d mentioned Brussels sprouts or kale. Some people think it’s OK, some love it, but a lot of people turn up their noses! Well, if you don’t think you like country music you may want to reconsider your viewpoint. I have a hunch that some music you think is really fantastic is just country music in disguise!

Here’s a recent discussion I had with a rider after class. (I’ve had similar discussions too many times to mention even though I just did. Ha!):

Me: “What kinds of music would you like to ride to in class?”

Rider: “I like everything except country. I HATE country music!”

Me: “Oh really? Well, how about Whitney Houston? We could always do a cool-down to “I Will Always Love You.”

Rider: “Yeah! I love that song!”

Me: “Do you know that it was originally a country song way back in the early ’70s? It was written and sung by Dolly Parton.”

Rider: “Really?”

Me: “Yeah! And you know that Britney Spears song “Hold It Against Me”?

Rider: “That’s a great song!”

Me: Well, I’m pretty sure she ripped off this group called The Bellamy Brothers. In ’79 they had a hit on the country charts. The name of the song was “If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body Would You Hold It Against Me.” It’s pretty much the same premise!”

Rider: “Wow…really?” <laughs>

Me: “And every time I play Linda Ronstadt, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Eagles, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles, Jamie Foxx, Kid Rock, Nelly, and Justin Timberlake you’re listening to artists who were heavily influenced by country music. In fact, some of them even had crossover hits on country radio!”

Rider: <mouth agape> “I had no idea! Maybe I do like SOME country music after all.”

In the nigh on 22 years that I’ve been instructing indoor cycling I’ve sprinkled country music throughout my playlists because I happen to love the genre and its many offshoots. And guess what? I never have had anyone roll their eyes during class, or grunt in disgust, or jump off their bike and run out the door when a country song is playing. So if you haven’t given country music a fair shake, I’ll share my enthusiasm for everything from “yee-haw twang” (traditional country and western) all the way through to “Americana.” I’ll be using my own labels for each sub-genre because it’s more fun that way. Almost all of these songs are available on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and SoundCloud. So hold onto your hats, put them boots on, and let’s ride!


Did we miss a favorite? Let us know in the comments below!

14 Responses to “Step Outside Your Musical Box: Country Music”

  1. LauraValentine says:

    Personally, I love country music. Some of my students also love it, some not so much. This was a GREAT article with lots of information and suggestions. I really enjoyed reading this, thanks!

  2. JohnAndrews says:

    Here are a couple of my favorite country songs I use for climbs, pre-class, warm ups, and cool downs.
    Boys Round Here- Blake Shelton, Play it Again- Luke Bryan, She’s Country – Jason Aldean, Fake ID(feat. Gretchen Wilson) from the 2010 Foot Loose movie. Enjoy.

    • JohnAndrews says:

      One additional Country Girl ( Shake it for Me ) Luke Bryan

    • Carole Harrell says:

      All of these are smokin’ hot. I only saw Blake Shelton in concert once, but it’s one of the best concerts I’ve attended. When he sang Boys Round Here all of us sang along. It’s fun to share those experiences with riders, too! Thanks for the additions!

  3. Michael Reilly says:

    T-R-O-U-B-L-E Travis Tritt….88rpm at 3 min. Drive hard with this one!

  4. Bill Roach says:

    Wow. What an education in country music. Fantastic.

  5. JanetMcCormack says:

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I like to change up the music and people really seem to like the lightness of country music. Sing along with John Denver as a cooldown(Country Roads)and anything with Dwight (Act Naturally) are big hits 🙂

  6. JeanBu says:

    Haha – I sprinkle a little country in every now and then also! Never had any complaints.

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