I'm a country music fan. I grew up in one of the most urban cities in America and I love songs about men who drive trucks and spit tobacco. Living in New York City and being a country music fan is tough though. Why? Because I have to take a miniature road trip with myself just to go to a Brett Eldredge concert. When I was in high school I read an article online that offered a suggestion as to why is it New York City country fan have to go all the way to New Jersey or Pennsylvania just see their favorite artists perform live. The reason? Although New York City is one of the most diverse places in America when it comes to see music and everything else, there is no radio station in New York City that plays only country music. While Z100 and 106.7 do play the occasional country-pop song from a crossover artist, it is not enough to generate a real fan base for country music. At least not a fan base that is strong enough to bring a rising country star to Madison Square Garden. The country music most New Yorkers know is Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, and Taylor Swift. Much to the surprised of many New Yorkers, there used to be a country radio station here, but it has been gone for nearly 17 years. You have to drive upstate to hear your favorite country tunes that are slightly less mainstream, and most of those stations get fuzzy fairly quickly. Until now. That's right -- country radio is back in New York City!
The station is called Nash FM 94.7 and it opened its waves on Monday, January 21. I'm very excited about this, even though I don't even have a radio. As someone who spent 50 percent of their high school years trying to convince people that country music matters, it's nice to finally have some validation in my own state. I know I'm mixing mediums, but I imagine the excitement I feel about country radio in New York City is how baby boomers felt when they first watched American Bandstand.
Dick Clark might be turning over in his grave because of that last sentence, but it is the truth. The decision to bring back country radio to the Big Apple was probably related to the national buzz about country music, thanks to shows like Nashville and even The Voice, which features a leading man of country music and total badass, Blake Shelton, as one of its judges. In other words, country music is relevant again. Country music has always had reputation of having vapid lyrics and being only for people who live the simple life. There might be some truth to that, but it is not the whole truth. Sure, there are some empty songs, but you will find that in any genre. At the end of the day, country music is real music that can be relatable for all types of people. It is about raw emotion, and those times when you just need a beer and good woman to help you get through the night.
It is about being yourself and having no shame about it. There is nothing more honest than that. Long. Live. Country. Music. The station itself features all the names from all types of country: outlaw, mainstream, you name it. It will definitely help promote potential concerts for artists like Little Big Town, Billy Currington, and Chase Rice. My personal hope is that this new station will generate enough buzz that Manhattan can host its own country music festival one day so I do not have to go all the way down south for one. No offense. Hey, a girl can dream, right? Until then, I'll be happy knowing that my fellow New Yorkers can listen to the artist whose song inspired the title of this post, Brantley Gilbert. Google him. Not to mention, the fact that New York City finally has a country station again is another just little reminder that I live in the best city on Earth. So there is also that.
You can find Nash FM 94.7 on Facebook, follow them on Twitter @NashFM947NY, or on Instagram @NashFM947!