Dr. Michelle Weedman, an adjunct professor of New Testament at Maryville College, is an accomplished faculty member at the college and teaches courses aimed at expanding human understanding. Weedman shared her musical preferences and the experiences she has had with music throughout her life.
She started by revealing the band she most closely followed when she was younger.
“I was kind of into the Cure,” said Weedman. “A lot. A lot of that kind of emo music was appealing to me.” Weedman explained how the musical influences of her upbringing led her to her own music tastes.
“It was a natural progression,” said Weedman. “It’s not going to sound like it is but it was a natural progression. On the farm it was the Grand Ole Opry, so it was all those 70’s and 80’s musicians, bluegrass and Ricky Skaggs that kind of stuff, and then my mother, who was a collector of albums, everything from like Elvis Presley and Tom Jones and that sort of stuff to ABBA and all that kind of crazy 70’s rock. She played those albums all the time, so I think between those two genres my progression to emo was a pretty clear and natural one.”
Weedman reconciles her love for bands, like the Cure, to a love of narrative and poetry.
“I loved storytelling and poetry, so I think that’s why I was drawn to like the Cure and the Smiths,” said Weedman. “That’s where I lived for a good part of my young life.”
Weedman has carried her experiences with live music into adulthood.
“My first concert actually was the Oak Ridge Boys,” said Weedman. “[My mom] was an avid concert goer. In North Carolina, where I grew up, outdoor concerts were a really big thing, so I saw the Oak Ridge Boys perform in an outdoor concert in Raleigh, North Carolina. I think I was like five.”
“There’s another kind of concert, and I wouldn’t have thought about it like this, but all my parents family were very devout Christians and music was a huge piece in all of those different communities,” began Weedman, “And so I grew up listening to live musicians do you know Gospel music, Bluegrass, right in these spaces, and like I just thought that was normal until I moved away… They are part of that childhood soundtrack.”
Weedman gave her rainy day music favorites.
“Nick Drake is usually there,” said Weedman. “Sometimes Elton John. Yellowbrick Road, that whole album on nonstop play. Or I will listen to just a variety of bluegrass.” Weedman’s sunny day music is provided by her children.
“It’s kind of energy and it makes me feel young and I am usually doing something with them on those days,” said Weedman. “It’s a lot of like Beyonce and now Cardi B, and also I got one kid that’s somewhat emo so a lot of like Foo Fighters and that kind of stuff.”
As far as modern music goes, outside of what her children listen to, Weedman had her own pick.
“This is going to make me one of those weird moms,” started Weedman. “I like anything that’s really Maroon 5 right now… when it comes on I can listen to it and I can listen to it over and over again even though it’s the same song that they’ve been doing for ten years… it’s a pace my old heart can take I guess.”
When asked if there were any artists she would recommend, Weedman touched on a nostalgia for narrative albums.
“I would recommend whatever your genre of music, there was a period of time I think in American music that people put those kinds of albums together that told a story,” said Weedman.
“You hear it whether they are talking about the Beatles or the Who they talk about those things pretty openly how they work those things out, or there are some amazing bluegrass albums that they do a very similar thing. I would ask people to kind of revisit that.”