One of the things I’m thankful for this year is moving this summer to one of the best areas for live country music (south of Austin). It’s not why I moved, but it’s a nice perk. I have no close friends here, other than my brother, so the music gives me something to dig into. In the last week, I saw an act from Saskatchewan who grew up on a farm, selling urine from pregnant horses to a pharmaceutical company, and an Australian who grew up in a lobster fishing village. The week before, I saw a Texas fiddler who has a couple of Grammy awards. Each of these acts played for hours for just tips. I think most locals here take it all for granted, but I grew up in an area where such opportunities were far more scarce.
As a music fan, I’m also thankful for free streaming. I understand why many creators of music hate it, but as a consumer, more music is available for free now than ever before. As someone who graduated college a few years before ever getting on the internet, and with a telephone plugged into the wall, it’s magic to be able to walk around with a phone, listening to any music I want to hear for free. Every “advance” in technology brings new problems, too, but I go to a lot more concerts now than I did years before.