In 2007, a little over five years ago, I discovered Country Universe. At that point in my relationship with mainstream country music, I had been a diehard fan for over ten years, but was realizing that I was starting to feel less content with Top 40 country radio.
In my effort to expand beyond the radio, but still stay connected to country music, I eagerly discovered the world of music blogs. As it happened, the very first country music blog that captured my attention beyond a cursory look was Country Universe. At the time, Kevin was the sole writer and he had been running the blog for three years prior to my discovery of it.
As I remember it, the first article that I happened upon was Kevin’s A Conversation with Pam Tillis. I was inordinately impressed by their easy exchange and Kevin’s obvious respect for and knowledge of his interviewee. As the title suggests, however, it was much more than just an interview, but rather, a warm, in-depth conversation.
To make a sort of long story short, my respect for Kevin’s blog only increased as I combed through the Country Universe archives while also keeping up with the updated content. As I followed along, what struck me the most was that while it was clear that Kevin had no interest in sensationalizing, he felt a responsibility to sometimes tackle difficult and even controversial topics regarding the landscape of country music.
One such article, Say What? — John Rich, specifically caught my attention, as it discussed a weighty topic with a perspective that was not especially popular among the predominantly conservative country music fans at the time. For me, it was intriguing and refreshing to read such an intelligent, unexpected perspective.
So, imagine my fright and delight when Kevin invited me to join him here in early 2008. My first big article was the very first installment of the Favorite Songs by Favorite Artists feature that kicked off with my favorite artist, Vince Gill. The article of mine that I think of with the most fondness, however, is my interview with Joey+Rory, which was only thanks to their warmth and openness.
Since my time with Country Universe, we’ve had some writers come and go, but I am very proud of the writers that we have now. The absolute best part of being a part of Country Universe is that I am a fan. I am fortunate to genuinely enjoy the writing of Kevin, Dan, Tara, Ben, Jonathan and Sam. Even more importantly, I am a fan of their voices, both as writers and behind the scenes of Country Universe. What’s more, even if my name wasn’t on the list of writers, I would be a devoted reader of the site.
And, finally, it cannot be stressed enough that the richest part of Country Universe as a whole is the thoughtful and passionate comments of you, our readers. Without all of you, this experience would surely be much less fun and engaging. So, thank you for being a part of
it all. Long live Country Universe.
Country Universe Turns Eight:
- An Introduction, by Kevin John Coyne
- Leeann’s Favorites, by Leeann Ward
- Dan’s Perspective, by Dan Milliken
- Tara’s Take, by Tara Seetharam
- Ben’s Best, by Ben Foster
- Jonathan’s View, by Jonathan Keefe