Mark and I are watching tv when this CMA awards commercial comes on (go ahead and watch it)…
Me: I’m not sure that’s a smart move on the CMA’s part.
Me: Reminding us how good country music used to be…
I’m the last thing from a country music aficionado. I was not raised on Willie Nelson or Johnny and June
you mean Joaquin and Reese?. But as someone who has lived in Nashville her entire life AND has the deepest respect for a well told story, I have always held a special place in my heart for country music that could make you feel a decades worth of feeling in 3 minutes. It’s an underappreciated art, y’all.
And, like lots of people, I’ve grown bored with most popular country music in a lot of ways because they quit telling those beautiful stories and started just describing things around them that sounded ‘country’ (“her cut off jeans” “climbed into his pickup truck” “drive down dirt roads” “please use this pitchfork to stab me in the eyeballs”).
Then last week I get an email from Morgan of Hadley Park. You’ve never heard of them? Of course you haven’t because it’s my job to introduce you.
I get a decent amount of email asking me to review things or share things with my readers (hi, Mom!), and that’s what Morgan was emailing me about. She wanted to know if I would tell you about their debut EP “Retrospect” (it will be released on Friday, November 11th, but you can pre-order it on iTunes here).
She sent me a link to the album so I could hear what they were doing. I’m a curious chick so I thought, “Sure, why not?”
I actually liked it. I forwarded a song to Mark. “Am I crazy or is this actually really good?”
“Yeah,” he messaged back. “They are really good. Why are they emailing you?”
I fell in love, y’all. Country music that sounds like, well, country! They are it! And they were telling stories and making me feel feelings and I was seriously just swooning 1.5 minutes into listening to their album.
Then I went back and finished reading their email. And my girl crush? It grew three times.
Hadley Park is made up of Morgan and Courtney. Morgan and Courtney met on a songwriting blind date (you meet up with a stranger to sit down and write a song), and they hit it off so they kept writing together. Then they got pregnant (different dads… they write country songs, they don’t live them). They had their little girls within four days of each other and like every new modern mom they looked in the mirror and asked, “How do I meld the old me with this new mom version?”
Their answer? Let’s keep writing together! And every week after the babies were born they made time for their passion for music and storytelling. And the seeds from their songwriting kept growing until they created their newest baby: country music duo, Hadley Park (fun fact: Hadley and Parker are their daughters’ names!).
I genuinely love their album. I’m going to buy the hard copy because I drive a 2002 Honda Accord and have no clue how to listen to music with bluetooth or off of an iPod or however people born after 1998 consume music. “I need a cd to put in the cd player,” said the old person. But I digress.
I love their music, and have listened to “My Love, My Friend”
not enough times one too many times. “Things I’ve Learned” gets. me. in. the. gut. “More That That” makes my marriage coach heart soar. My only complaint? There aren’t more songs to fall in love with.
I also love that they’re catching fireflies and I cannot help but cheer on a couple of firefly catchers, especially two storytellers who chose to be inspired by their roles as mothers to chase down their dreams instead of packing them up and putting them away. I hope that they inspire more of us moms to do something similar and run towards those dreams, big and small, knowing that sometimes living out our callings is exactly what our kids need to see their mama bears do.