Travis Black - June 2020


JUNE 2020

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When I was freshly out of college, I found out that ZZ Top was playing in Sacramento. A few of my girlfriends and I were talking about the concert, and I couldn’t help but think about how much my dad would love to go if he had the chance. With the concert taking place on Father’s Day, I realized I couldn’t let the opportunity pass. I called Dad up and asked him if he wanted to come down to spend the weekend with me, keeping the concert a surprise. At the time, he was on crutches, but he drove the seven hours down here. He only found out about the concert after he opened his Father’s Day card with the tickets inside. My dad, my roommates, and I headed down to the concert, and because he was on crutches, we got to move to the front row. So Dad sat in the front of a ZZ Top concert on Father’s Day and rocked out the whole time. That Christmas, Dad got us ZZ Top CDs and other ZZ Top merch because he says it’s one of his favorite memories of hanging out with us girls. When it comes to music, I have a lot of great memories with my dad. I remember he would drive around in his truck, blasting his favorite tunes. While I was growing up, both he and my mom would play all kinds of music throughout the day. While my dad preferred rock and country, my mom preferred softer genres, like Whitney Houston’s music. She would turn on her music whenever she got up in the morning and have her own little dance parties throughout the house.

Despite listening to an assortment of music, I always gravitate toward country music, a preference I’m sure was egged on by listening to it every night as I went to sleep. As a kid, I was really into animals, and one year, my parents got me a pot-bellied pig. The pig slept in a box in my room and, in my mind, it could not fall asleep without listening to country music. So every night, we’d fall asleep listening to it. I’m not actually sure if that was true or not, but young me was absolutely convinced. In the sixth grade, I fully realized how much I loved country music. I went with around 10 of my sixth grade friends to see a Trisha Yearwood concert. Hearing her perform live was a great experience, and she inspired in me a love for the genre that I still have today. Over the years, I have integrated other music into my life, but country is always my go-to.

up in Arcata in Humboldt County, which embodied a lot of that country ranch life. Hearing country music always feels like home to me, but it wasn’t the only genre my home town rubbed off on me. Arcata also had a very laid-back and relaxed vibe, and in high school, I got really into reggae music. I went to a ton of reggae concerts, but I never fully embraced the lifestyle that many people might associate with the reggae culture. I just loved the vibe, and the concerts were always so laid-back and cheerful. Music pulls people together and puts you in a great mood. Turn on a song, and pretty soon, you’ll have at least one person singing or dancing along. No matter if you listen to rock, country, or reggae, you can share those moments with the people around you.

–Kelsey DePaoli

Country music has always made my heart beat because I’m from a small town. I grew

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