The sincere love of authentic country music is something that a genuine country artist cannot be swayed from. It’s a bond, almost like an oath or affirmation, that becomes affixed to the soul, and grounded so deeply with penetrating roots, it is impossible to snap or even strain them, regardless of the allure.
Teea Goans had all the attributes to become a big pop country star if she chose to, at least during a time when the mainstream was still bestowing such opportunities to women. But what she also had was a strong background in traditional country music spanning from her earliest memories to her present-day approach, which never allowed the thought of straying from her authentic voice to enter her mind.
Goans grew up in a little yellow singlewide trailer on her great grandmother’s land in Missouri, playing the local Truman Lake Opry on a regular basis, even becoming a member at the ripe age of 8. With her grandmother Della Lee Faulkner, Goans learned how to perform and sing from a formidable age, and the influences sunk into her like fangs when national acts like Bill Anderson, “Little” Jimmy Dickens, and Jerry Reed would tour through and play the local Opry stage.
For a decade, that stage became a proving ground for Teea, and when she moved to the big music town of Nashville after high school, despite the interest and temptation of big business people telling her how to cut corners to superstardom, she stuck to her guns, and has since become a well-respected and trusted country music traditionalist.
Teea Goans is primarily a singer, with the incredible skill of being able to squeeze out the emotion of a song, whether it’s a well-recognized composition from country music’s storied past, or a new or overlooked song that she makes her own by turning in the definitive version. She knows not just the right notes to hit and when, or even the right inflections and nuances of how to deliver a good country tune. Teea Goans understands where the stories are derived from, the emotion from which they’re wrought, the reasons they’re written, and why they mean so much to the people who listen. And with an undying passion, she delivers them to the audience with a caring and respect unparalleled by the hired guns who make up most of country music’s entertainers.
Her latest record Swing, Shuffle, and Sway is a staunch traditional country treatise from stem to stern, unwavering in its effort to convey the virtues of the traditional country sound, and without being hokey or pretentious about it. It’s simply great songs delivered with a great voice, whether it’s familiar classics like the Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold tune “You Don’t Know Me,” or the lyrical version of “Steel Guitar Rag,” or songs that have never been heard before, like “Just Because She Always Has” composed by Jimmy Melton and Amber Dotson.
The lyrics from first song on the album “Go Down Swingin'” help tell the story of Teea Goans.
There’s nothing better than a drummer knockin’ out 8 beats to the bar
A piano man that knows how to boogie and a slidin’ steel guitar
Though the song is supposed to be a dance floor ditty, it has a double meaning for Goans. Regardless of the trends that may come and go in popular country, she’ll be doing things the way her grandmother did on that local Opry stage, and the way she’s always done them herself, regardless of the outcome, adverse or otherwise. Because it’s better to go down doing what you love to do—even if others think you’re the fool—than to fool yourself into doing something you know you don’t love.
1 1/2 Guns Up (7.5/10)
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