The River's Badge

Friday, May 13, 2011

Shania

I've learned over the years to trust my instincts.

Sure, back in the nineties, everyone was decrying Shania Twain as the downfall of country music. I don't know; I liked her songs.

Shania didn't steer country music down a wayward path. That feat had been accomplished years before, by the likes of Barbara Mandrell and Reba McEntire. In fact, I think Shania actually brought country back.

She certainly didn't deserve the disdain of music critics, any more than Dwight Yoakam did (not that Dwight was actually the recipient of any disdain; I'm just citing him as a comparison).

The reason that Shania is on my mind is that I'm currently reading her autobiography, and let me say, it is fascinating! What a crummy life she had, growing up. You think you had it bad? Read her story.

The first song I heard from Shania was this one. She got a lot of flak from the critics about "sexing up" her videos, but when you watch this, where exactly does the flaunting come in? The video is, in reality, humorous. And if this isn't country, at least my idea of country, what exactly is?




I was going to include a bunch of commentary here, but I think I'd rather just post Shania's videos.









There is no official video of this song that features both Shania and Bryan White, but that's the way I first heard the song, and that's the way I remember it, so here is a fan-created video, with Shania and Bryan:



Again, no official video, but I like this:



Sorry for the ad preceding this video, but it's the only one available:



Okay, if you love Robert Palmer's "Addicted To Love" video, you gotta love this homage:







I admire Shania's artistry, and I don't really care what the critics say (or said, back then). I'm thinking they're eating their words right about now, as they contend with the glut of today's faux country acts.

I had the chance to see Shania in concert once, but I didn't go, and I've been kicking myself for that decision ever since.

I will say that I'm happy today to know that my instincts were correct. This is one class act, and if you have any doubts, buy her book.

Man! I feel like this post is over!

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