Kurt Bardella, the creator and publisher of the country music email newsletter “Morning Hangover,” penned an editorial for CNN Monday in the wake of Sunday night’s mass shooting during Jason Aldean’s set at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
“This heinous act of violence really hits close to home,” Bardella wrote. “I have friends who were there who could have been killed or injured. Thankfully, they are all accounted for. Heck, this festival has been on my calendar all year, and until last week, was something I was planning to attend.”
At least 58 people are dead and more than 500 are injured after Nevada resident Stephen Paddock opened fire at the festival. President Donald Trump, speaking Monday, called the shooting an “act of pure evil.”
Bardella, who started “Morning Hangover” in 2015 as a way to share his newfound love of country music (he wrote that he wasn’t a fan until a friend took him to a Jason Aldean/Eric Church show in 2011), penned an editorial on CNN’s wesbsite Monday about country music’s power to heal.
I know for a lot of people who don't follow country music, it's easy to stereotype the genre as music for Southern rednecks telling stories about tractors, trucks and "Small Town USA."
On the contrary. I've come to think of country music as a stenography of our ongoing American story, told in a beautiful, compelling and creative way. These songs can capture a moment in time and bridge the emotion with the experience in way that is timeless.
When our nation confronted the aftermath of September 11, 2001, Alan Jackson graced us with "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning).”
When the political discourse in our country reached the peak of divisiveness last year, Tim McGraw released "Humble and Kind."
When our nation falls short of the promises it has made to our veterans, try listening to Brad Paisley and John Fogerty's "Love and War."
When death unexpectedly takes a loved one away, you can seek comfort in Cole Swindell's "You Should Be Here."
When a life-changing love comes into our life, Thomas Rhett's "Die A Happy Man" is there to help you find the right words to say to that special someone.
There's a lot about this attack in Las Vegas and the damage it caused that we don't know about yet. But what I do know is that the country music community will face it with strength and resilience.
Read Bardella’s full editorial here.