I kept it in the closet for years, just doing it when I thought nobody was listening, tapping my feet when I should have been working, finding it on the Internet, sneaking into shops to buy it when I thought I could get away unseen.
But now there's no longer anything shameful left in the world I can stand up, be proud, and admit it.
I am a fan of country and western music. Possibly the least cool thing a UK resident can be.
There. I've said it. No going back now. Welcome to a life of being different.
That I should be into one of the most unreconstructed and illiberal forms of North American popular music might come as a complete mystery to readers of blogs like this one. In my defence I should say that I have extremely wide musical tastes spanning five decades and multiple genres and nationalities on both digital and analogue media. Yet for all that there's something about a slide guitar that sets my feet tapping and I'm well away. It shouldn't be so much of a surprise though, it's an art form known for its powerful female performers and once you've stripped away the redneck trash, the dead dawgs and broken pickuptrucks its lyrics are not afraid of dealing head on with almost anything. Almost anything I should say. OK, yet to hear a serious transgender themed country and western record. (I am not considering Weird Al Yankovic's offering as eligible, it's a novelty record.)
So, to the search engine! Blimey, some results! Something tells me I won't be seeing any of them playing the Calgary Stampede any time soon though. Buck Shot & Bebe Gunn, an FtM trans male and genetic female duo are described in Wikipedia as "the Sonny and Cher of Americana country music". Poor sods, what did they do to deserve that? Or how about Dallas/Marie, "a D.I.Y. country-punk folk singer". Whatever that is. Heavy metal infects country with its confusing array of a million subgenres.
Cutting edge alternative country might be a little inaccessible if you're not a hardcore fan (though if you're curious, I'm listening to Corb Lund as I write this, to name but one current favourite artist) so I'll leave you with something much older from Nashville's campest era that might be this blog's theme song were it to have one. Tell me this doesn't reach you in some way!