Many years ago, I tried my hand at crafting country music with friends in an esteemed trio called Paradise. I was neither knowledgeable about nor excited to play country western music. However, with a basic understanding of the mechanics of playing electric bass guitar, I was well suited and recruited.

Paradise “toured” all the big events — the Morrowville Barbecue, the FFA Banquet, you name it. We ambled along in the way only a group of guys from a small town and even smaller school could. Applause is quite the narcotic for an angst-ridden teen. We were the only act in town so far as I can remember, with no competition. When you reminisce on late-1990s teen music, you might think of ska or post-grunge, but we knew in rural Kansas it was George Strait and Garth Brooks representing the agricultural zeitgeist.