I find myself looking towards Texas with hope and appreciation for all of the talented young women who choose the country music path. In today's mainstream country landscape, we have such pathetic and lack luster showings in the female camp. What infuriates me is the fact that there are so many women worth talking about - most that people don't know about. When I heard Why Do I Cry last fall by Jackie Darlene, I had to go check out her music. Her performance of this song hints at her vocal capabilities and addictive country 'twang. Her latest song and the story behind it, is something incredible.
It's pretty amazing when you can say that your grandpa is a writer of some iconic country hits. I'm talking songs that country legends have recorded, people. Jackie's grandfather is Whitey Shafer who has co-written songs such as All My Ex's Live in Texas, Does Fort worth Ever Cross Your Mind, and the song of this piece, I Never Go Around Mirrors. While I did not know who Shafer was before I researched this song, I certainly know these songs. Songs that legends such as George Strait took to impressive heights. Often times we fail to realize the important people behind the scenes in the music industry. When I was little, I naively thought people wrote all their own music. Some find success in both writing and performing and others make more of an impact transcribing emotion into lyrical perfection. Shafer undoubtedly met his success by being a writer and thankfully we get to hear this wonderful collaboration between Jackie and him.
I Never Go Around Mirrors is brought to life between Grandfather and Granddaughter taking turns swapping lyrics. Their voices contrast each other perfectly and blend seasoned veteran guiding the way and rising talent adding a youthful flair. Much like Willie Nelson, Shafer sounds strong in this recording and it's incredible to see this song shared in the family. You're talking a nearly 60 year age difference between Jackie and her grandfather, but not once will you question it. This song feels scarily natural between them.
So to everyone that continues to preach about no women talent in country music, I ask you to do some research. Jackie finds her self among many other talent females in Texas; all working tirelessly to keep country alive. No lack of mainstream radio play is going to hold back an artist of this caliber for long. After all, it runs in the family.
See both Jackie and Whitey sing I Never Go Around Mirrors solo below!
Just a Massachusetts guy supporting Texas and other independent country/Americana artists.
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