(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
One of the first things Martina McBride and I chatted about on the train Wednesday (Oct. 12) was how much we love our teenage daughters. And how much we love country music. And, as you can imagine, the different kind of love our daughters have for country music. (And this was all before McBride’s Eleven Across America train even left Chicago.) For us, as moms, we agreed that a good country song should be one you can relate to. “I think we get too hung up on wanting songs that take us away from reality. What this genre does better than any other genre is talk about real life,” she told me. “People want to feel something.” As for the girls, though, she said her oldest daughter Delaney loves country music, but “the hickier, the better.” I think I know exactly what she means. While grownups tend to look for songs that make them go, “That is so me,” teenagers tend to want ones that make them think, “That is so not me, but I wish it was me riding around in a pickup truck and fishing all day and then hitting the honky-tonks down on that dirt road.” Lucky for all of us, country has all that. And every kind of song in between. The only problem with that wide range of music is who gets to listen to what and when. So I asked McBride what happens when she gets in the car with her teenage daughters. News radio? Country radio? A new or old CD? “Yes to all of the above,” she told me. “But I’m OK with driving in quiet, too. We occasionally listen to the radio, but most of the time we just talk.” Talking trumps music any day. Even good country music.