She Said's taste in county music leans towards the quaint. She's never been a fan of modern Nashville glitz, preferring instead the subversive '60s country from artists like Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash that her grandfather loved, and the cowboy ballads her great-grandfather and his farm hand used to sing on their cattle ranch in the panhandle town of Booker, Tex. Much of She Said's favorite country songs are colored by these facts: She grew up in Oklahoma, her father was a California hippie, and when She was five years old her best friend was a genuine, real-life, 70-year-old cowboy named Grover Cleveland Jones. Which leads to a bit of an eclectic mix. For example, "Friends in Low Places" is exactly the kind of Nashville over-production She Said can't stand, but it's also about gettin' drunk and tearin' shit up, that rebellious flavor that's so appealing. And? Garth Brooks is an Okie hero. So there ya go. "Friends in Low Places," Garth Brooks
Listening to this now, though, damn, Brooks' voice is twaaaaaangy. Kind of overkill twangy, in fact."Orange Blossom Special"
The bluegrass fiddler's Everest. She Said will always "WHOO HOO!" when she hears it played live.
When Grover Cleveland Jones was buried in theHeart Cemetery
in Booker, Tex., his friends and loved ones sang this song in memory of the ranch hand. The State Song of Kansas has numerous odd versions on YouTube, from the Japanese cowboys above tocrazy Tori Amos
."El Paso," Marty Robbins
You can trace this one back toShe Said's grandfather
."Okie from Muskogee," Merle Haggard
Sure it's overplayed, and conservative Oklahomans used tolove
this song, specifically the draft-card line, but Merle Haggard wrote it as a parody, which makes it even more awesome. C'mon. The guy's name is "Haggard." Do you really think he'd pass up a doob? Have you heardThe Melvins' version
(featuring Hank III on the album)? Maybe they'll play it when they come to Warehouse Live in June."My Wife Think's You're Dead," Junior Brown
Brown's baritone voice, steel-guitar chops and satirical lyrics make him one of She Said's favorite modern country musicians."Daddy Sang Bass," Johnny Cash and the Statler Brothers
Country meets gospel in the catchiest of all religious ditties. But really, the only reason this song is on the list is because She Said LOVED it when she was a kid, especially that wee tenor-singing Statler Brother on the end there."Cathy's Clown," The Everly Brothers
The Everlys were known for country-inspired '60s pop, and a vast majority of their songs are still standards. The harmonizing in "Cathy's Clown" is so swoon-worthy She Said can't even think of another name for it."Sleep Walk," Santo & Johnny
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
These guys mastered the lap-steel sound, which is still one of She Said's favorite components of country music."I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," Hank Williams
Hank can do no wrong in She Said's eyes. Really, you could substitute any of his songs here at it would still be tops, but She chooses this one for it's solemn melancholy. She Said doesn't know what a whippoorwill sounds like, but she imagines it sounds like Hank.