music

Celebrating 50 Years of Country Music

This post is proudly sponsored by one of my all time favorite places to shop for my nest, Cost Plus World Market. All opinions stated in this post are my own. They have teamed up with "The CMA Awards" and are hosting a very awesome sweepstakes you can enter at the end of this post!

Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market

In honor of "The 50th Annual CMA Awards", James and I decided to share a fun way to celebrate the event with a pre-listening date night.  If your planning on watching Country Music’s Biggest Night™ this is a little something you can plan ahead of time to make it an extra special evening.  You may get together with the fam or friends for this too, but for us two homebodies, a date night on our porch is just perfect for us. 

Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market

I grew up in the Cowboy Capital of The World, Bandera, Texas.  Country music is something that is in your blood when you are raised in places like this.  For most of my youth I declared that I hated country music, but when I was 15 that all changed when I went to my first Willie Nelson concert.  I knew my mom and Nanna loved his music, but it wasn't until I stood there hearing the music in my whole body that I was forever changed. 

Fun little story... The night of the concert I was hanging out with my boyfriend at the time and his best friend.  We had met my family at the venue and I was trying to convince my mom to buy tickets for them as well.  As she was trying to explain to me that she could not afford to buy two more tickets, Willie's harmonica player was standing by listening.  He came over to us and invited us all to come in and enjoy the music.  It was like fate's hand had touched us... That night I fell in love with Willie Nelson, and I also fell in love with my boyfriend's best friend.  True story.  We ended up dancing for hours (first time I had ever really danced too), and the rest was history.  Even though that relationship only lasted about 8 months, I was starry eyed and head over heels in love, and Willie may have just been the reason!

Since then I have seen Willie in concert several more times, and have even received a kiss from him in one of his crowd lines after a show.  (I'm sure he kisses them all, but it felt pretty special to me... my Nanna told me to never wash my face after that, ha ha).  I was also invited one year to enjoy the concert he puts on annually at his ranch in Luck, Texas.  That is something I will never forget.  Willie Nelson is a generational legend in our family, and I am so happy to pass that love down to my little Ava Pearl. 

I will never forget the many times my mom told me why she loved Willie Nelson so much.  He united the cowboys and the hippies in one place through his music.  I would say that is a pretty awesome thing to be able to do.

Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market

James and I broke out some of my Willie vinyls (and a few other country favorites), popped open some of our favorite drinks (Bundaberg's ginger beer is the BEST), some yummy snacks, and enjoyed each others company. We will be planning on doing this again the night of "The 50th Annual CMA Awards". 50 years is a big milestone for the awards, so I'm sure they will be going in big time with the entertainment. They recently created a music video with 30 country artists singing a medley of Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton & John Denver in celebration. I've attached it below for you to see! I am personally in favor of the old country classics like Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash... but I sure don't mind watching Keith Urban any chance I get. ;) However, pretty much any country song that comes on the radio that was recorded pre 2000, I will know the words to. Growing up in a small country town like this, it just surrounds you and becomes part of you. I kind of love that.

Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market
Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market

Cost Plus World Market has been one of my favorite stores for as long as I can remember. I will go in there just for the eye candy sometimes. The textures, patterns, colors and styles of home decor they carry just speak to my soul. We recently bought this wood slice table for my porch makeover. It is a statement piece that will last a lifetime. I found some pretty rad entertaining essentials there that we used on this date. I love simple earthy vibes in my home. The mix of wood + metal elements are some of my favorites. And of course, I had to grab a cool hat, which has quickly become my favorite! I'm such a hat girl...

Celebrating The 50th Annual CMA Awards with a date night listening party sponsored by Cost Plus World Market

Spy something you love?

SHOP THIS POST

Watch the Forever Country video below. 

It's pretty magical to have so many talented artists in one legendary video...

Enter to win the CMA Awards Sweepstakes presented by Cost Plus World Market here.

You could win a Grand Prize Package including:

A trip for 2 to "The 50th Annual CMA Awards" this year in Nashville on November 2nd, 2016

$1,000 World Market Gift Card

Plus, Three First Prize Winners:

$500 World Market Gift Card

Sweepstakes ends 10/21/16

Watch as the Country Music industry honors its finest entertainers and celebrates 50 years of excellence.  Dozens of performances, one-of-a-kind collaborations, and countless special moments!

Watch “The 50th Annual CMA Awards” Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 8/7c on ABC

AGNES OBEL.

Agnes Obel has been a huge favorite of mine for a few years now. Her albums, Philharmonics and Aventine, are absolute dreamworlds. Her heavenly, soothing, elegant voice and the gorgeous melodies always bring such a beautiful, calming vibe to my day - I also listen to her a lot when I can't sleep. She should do an album of lullabies. :)

It's so hard to choose a favorite Agnes song - Dorian, Brother Sparrow, Over The Hill, they're all stunning - but I always go back to the tune that first introduced me to her - Riverside. Listen below. Isn't she the dreamiest?

Listen to Philharmonics: iTunes / Spotify / Rdio
Listen to Aventine: iTunes / Spotify / Rdio
Photo credit: Sofia Amalie Klougart

NATIVE. DREAMER. KIN.

The band Joseph has captured my heart recently, with their beautiful harmonies and strong vocals. I love powerful, womanly voices - they're so empowering. Joseph recently released their album Native Dreamer Kin and damn, it is good for the soul. Makes me want to go live in a cabin in the woods with a mountain man, and just write and drink coffee and explore. 

You can listen to (and purchase) the entire album below. It's a good one - enjoy. 

xox, 
Kelly Ann

PROMISE.

By Kelly Ann

Do you ever hear a song for the first time, and something about it, the melody or the lyrics or the way it makes you feel, instantly brings back a memory? You're transported to that moment you had pushed to the very depths of your mind. The sights, the smells, the sounds, the way your heart felt, the way someone looked at you, the words that spilled from your lips. You relive it. Every second of it. A lot of songs do that for me - Re: Stacks by Bon Iver, Almost Lover by A Fine Frenzy, and this song: Promise by the always inspiring Ben Howard.

It brings me back to my flower field on a cold, wet day. My wild red hair in my eyes, my brown boots muddy, tears falling - but you couldn't tell with the rain softly falling on my face. His favorite hat, cheeks red with frustration, eyes that emoted both sadness and hope. He was leaving soon, for a short time. But he wasn't going without some answers.

"Who are we? What are we? I want this. I want you. Can we try? Promise me, darlin'. I'll come back soon, just promise." he said.

"I don't know. I just don't know." I whispered.

We were two passionate people who drove each other crazy. I thought we would eventually burn out - two similarly stubborn people would end up despising each other, right? I didn't want to get to that point. He wanted to try anyway. There, in the middle of those tall, tall mustard flowers that tried to shelter us. There, in the cold wind that surrounded us and the drip drop drip drop of the rain. There, with the grey sky that felt so fitting in that moment, we said things we both had kept bottled up, and maybe some things we didn't mean. Fiery words and sharp tongues clashed. Guts spilling and hearts cracking and electricity between two very strong beings. He finally moved a piece of hair from my eyes and whispered, "Let's. Just. Try."

As I looked at his face, it was like a veil of infatuation lifted and it hit me. 

"I don't want to." The words spilled from my soul effortlessly. I made up my mind. And while a part of me was heartbroken, a part of me felt free. There was freedom in that sentence... I don't want to. I felt fiercely woman in that moment.

Four years later, that person has stayed with me. It didn't work out, but I learned a lot from him, and he learned a lot from me, and that's something. That rainy day in the field is bittersweet, both broken and whole, if that makes sense. Gentle, yet intense. Sadness and roaring freedom. Loss, but also a gain. There's something powerful in knowing what you want, or don't want, and honoring that. Knowing when to walk away (and knowing that we can walk away) and close that chapter. Knowing when to move on, when to shelter ourselves from what could be and go another way, when it's healthy for us to say goodbye. I'll never forget him, though, and I think of him fondly. His smile, the way he looked at people like they were the only ones in the room, that time he left a sticky note above my desk that said: You're you and that's the best thing. I will remember him always.

And deep in my heart... I will leave a mental sticky note next to that rainy-day memory that says: here, this is our song.

DAUGHTER.

There are those music artists that stop you in your tracks the first time you hear them sing. They grab you by the heart, crawl into your soul, and breathe life into your deepest feelings. They so beautifully, so honestly, put into words what you cannot. And a connection is made. It's a soulful experience. Spiritual. Emotional. 

daughterrecord.png

I had a friend who worked in the music industry, and a few years ago she sent me an email about an up-and-coming artist, simply saying, "This woman's music screams you. Your heart needs her music. Just listen." And I remember listening to Elena Tonra (aka Daughter) that day with tears in my eyes. I was hooked. And I've been her biggest fan ever since. (For the record, I still get tears in my eyes listening to her. So much heartsoaked goodness)

Listen to Tomorrow below, and check out the rest of her tunes here

xox. Kelly Ann

Daughter website / Original photo of Elena by Eliot Lee Hazel