Sunday, March 06, 2011

Lazy Sunday # 161: March Break

beach cowgirl

We didn't have Spring Break, or March Break as it's known in Canada, when I was in school. I think it might've had something to do with dinosaur mating season, though I don't really remember. But I gotta say it's one of the best inventions ever invented so kudos to whoever came up with it.

The British claim that April is the cruelest month, and maybe since that's when your taxes are due, there's some truth to that. But I have the hardest time getting through March.

By this point in the year I have had my fill of grey skies, cold and whatever form of precipitation is falling from them. Even when I've manage to escape somewhere warm or warmer earlier in the winter it makes no difference. For whatever reason I was born in Canada, I was clearly designed and built for sunnier climes.

Depending on where you live in this country, this week or next or the one after will be the one where kids get off school, university students get a "reading week" and a lot of people with regular jobs and no vacation time just book off with the flu.

Many will fly South for some sun and sand and all-inclusive rum punch. Others will order up a dog and a beer and park their butts to watch Spring training baseball. A few will just burrow under the duvet to await the morning that the sun gets up before the alarm goes off.

Which brings me to Country and Western music.

Despite what you might expect, there's a long tradition of beach related Country music. Even though it doesn't snow much in most of the places where it gets written or composed, those folks still enjoy getting a sunburn on their already red necks.

Part of that's related to the whole "Carolina Shag" school of beach party music that evolved along the Carolina beaches in the 1940's. It spread across the South in the 1950's and 60's as local radio stations began broadcasting R&B and Rock 'n Roll into traditional Country markets where Jim Crow laws prevented most local teens from hearing "race music".

One of the first times I visited a Caribbean island I discovered a state of the art recording studio that might've recorded some Calypso or Reggae on a slow day, but was mostly booked by Nashville stars either on a working vacation or doing a little offshore banking disguised as a business trip.

Every major Country artist from Garth Brooks ("Tropical Depression") to Alabama ("Shagging on the Boulevard") to Kenny Chesney (pick any album) has a beach music connection. So here's a triple shot from new wave Country to the traditional to warm you up and get you ready for either escaping to the Sun or hanging on until it arrives.

Here come the gentle breezes. Enjoy your Sunday.



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