Talking Points

So you think you know country music?

Following the record-breaking concert series of a certain famous country musician in September 2022, the final year CIViC students were inspired to host a pub quiz called So you think you know country music? The aim of the quiz was to educate the attendees on different facets of country western music in an engaging, fun and interactive way. Participants were encouraged to dress up and prizes were awarded to the highest scoring and best dressed groups. The research presented caused attendees to assess their own perceptions and ideas of country western music and consider the future of the genre.

The ideas discussed were wide-ranging, from the history of country western music to the representation of marginalised groups within the industry (including women, black artists and gay and queer artists). Knowledge on prevalent stereotypes and influential musicians such as Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks and Shania Twain were also explored. Our research concluded that the country western music is modernising and changing to remain relevant with younger, more progressive fans, while retaining the distinctive sound and lyrical depth that has resulted in the longevity of the genre thus far.

The influence of country music on the Irish music scene was also investigated. The emergence of 'country-ish' music was discussed as well as the influence and popularity of showbands in Ireland in the 1960’s. The quiz challenged participants on their knowledge of famous Irish country western stars, including Philomena Begley, Daniel O’Donnell and Nathan Carter.

The quiz was attended by young adults aged from nineteen to twenty-five. The results offered a fascinating insight into the changeable nature of music trends, as attendees had considerably less knowledge on the genre than expected. Feedback from participants confirmed that they had learned a lot and had a renewed interest and sense of respect for the country music genre. The evening was a huge success and the final year CIViC students gained invaluable experience in the organisation and management of a public event.