Welcome to the Calgary Stampede, home to not only ten days of plaid, drinking and other western activities, but to everyone’s (least) favourite music style: country! (Did you also know the Stampede is one of Canada’s largest music festivals?)
If you own a wardrobe consisting of your favourite colour (black), would rather wear a rock t-shirt than anything else, have never turned on your local country music station, and have no idea who Jason Aldean is, then this guide is for you.
So how does one (like me) get through ten days of non-stop twang when their personal playlist is full of David Grohl, The Rolling Stones and Nine Inch Nails? By following these steps:
- Realize that you will probably never love it. But you can appreciate it. You probably don’t know anybody who can play a banjo as well as that guy in Toby Keith’s “Red Solo Cup” (see step #3).
- Listen to country that incorporates your own favourite genre. Remember when Nelly and Tim McGraw did a duet? We tried to forget it but it still lingers around. Country music has subcategories just like most other genres. Try listening to country rock or country pop beforehand to ease your way into the real deal.
- Laugh at the lyrics. “Well she ain’t into cars or pickup trucks/But if it runs like a Deere man her eyes light up” – no, this isn’t written about that dream girl on the Tinder account of the guy who just swiped “no”; its Kenny Chesney’s song “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy”. And it’s damn funny.
- Play Luke Bryan’s “Country Girl (Shake it for Me) on repeat. It’s catchy and you know it.
- Now that you’ve made it thus far, it is time for a break! I understand there can only be so many banjos you can take. But not to worry! Here is a list of non-country musicians playing in Calgary during Stampede:
Nazareth – July 5 at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino.
Scott Weiland – July 6 at Cowboys.
Tokyo Police Club – July 6 at the Coca-cola Stage.
Kongos – July 7 at Republik.
The Sheepdogs – July 9 at Cowboys.
Snoop Dogg – July 13 at Cowboys.
- If all else fails, drink! There is booze-a-flowin’. Get your drink on (responsibly) and forget about how each country artist sounds exactly like the other.*
*Disclaimer: booze is not recommended to forget about your other problems.