Celebrating One Year of Hillbilly Highways

It is hard to believe that it has been (now over) one year since I launched Hillbilly Highways.  It has been a richly rewarding year.

I am quite happy with the balance I have struck.  My rough rule of thumb is to strive toward two parts country noir, one part nonfiction, one part TV/film, and one part “oddments,” balanced against a Music Monday post each week.

A number of the posts are deeply personal.  They take a lot out of me.  The nonfiction posts are a great time suck.  But they are both immensely rewarding.  I am gratified to see that none of the interests I have chosen have entirely escaped your interest.

Read on past the jump to learn the most popular posts here at Hillbilly Highways over the past year.

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Love Means Always Having To Say You’re Sorry

Now that I’ve been married for five full years I am qualified to lecture everyone else on the topic.  Let me start with a quote that really sums up what it’s all about.

No, let me start with a story about the quote.  It is a quote from a movie that I have never seen.  What I have seen is the episode of VH1’s I Love the 70’s devoted to 1970.  What is it that makes us enjoy looking back nostalgically, even to things we don’t personally remember?  (Related: every time I walk into a college bar they seem to be playing music from when I was in high school or college.)

The one thing that stuck out to me from original episode way back in 2003 was this quote from the movie Love Story:

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.”

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May 2019 Month-in-Review

Check out the top posts across both blogs and see what I have been reading. May’s Month-in-Review:

Every Day Should Be Tuesday

The end of May marked the four year blogiversary of Every Day Should Be Tuesday, and Thursday marks the one year blogiversary of Hillbilly Highways, both of which deserve posts of their own.  May was my second-best month ever at Every Day Should Be Tuesday for views, buoyed by Game of Thrones recaps.  It was a slow month at Hillbilly Highways (unsurprising since I missed a couple Music Monday posts), but Hillbilly Highways is still running 25% ahead of where Every Day Should Be Tuesday was at this point.

I paced myself in May, only publishing seventeen posts.  I am proud of myself, though, for publishing seven reviews (admittedly, three were old reviews dusted off and polished up).  My Game of Thrones recaps were so successful I had to split them out from the rest of my posts for my “top 5”.  Views grew over the course of the season…

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April 2019 Month-in-Review

Check out the most popular posts at Hillbilly Highways in April and see what I’ve been reading.

Every Day Should Be Tuesday

April was another whirlwind of a month.  I finished my watch of all 67 then-existing Game of Thrones episodes in the 67 days before season 8 premiered.  I have been recapping each episode the night it airs and those posts dominated my stats this month.

I am back home in the mountains now after completing another grueling year in the academic salt mines.  In addition to finishing my grading, I am celebrating accepting an offer to publish my latest academic work.

Read on for more on my April stats and my plans for May!

When the Night King is coming so you put on your red pants.

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Oddments: We’re Still Here

I am still slowly working my way through the essays in Appalachian Reckoning.  A helluva lot of people struggling and striving and suffering who are too inconvenient to admit exist when you have a narrative of your own to peddle.  Nevertheless we persist in existing, an inconvenient truth.  A throwaway line in an essay full of them reminded me, in that bewildering, wonderful way the human brain connects random bits, of a line from a buddy of mine from middle school.  Riffing on Robin Leach and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous (then still on the air), he would, repeatedly, refer to the “lifestyles of the poor and dainty.”  It was a funny line, but not one that had any real reason to be memorable.  Again, the human brain is funny like that.  I wondered what my old friend was up to these days.  So I did what we do these days.

I looked him up on Facebook.  I spent a few minutes browsing a very normal small town Facebook page before noticing that it was a memorialized account.

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Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Like Lions by Brian Panowich

Like Lions is the sequel to Panowich’s excellent country noir Bull Mountain.  I have a review copy and, let me tell you, Like Lions is even better.  You can find my review of Bull Mountain here.  Keep an eye out for my review of Like Lions on May 1.  Check out the blurb for the multi-generational hillbilly crime drama after the jump.

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings.

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March 2019 Month-in-Review

Check out the most popular posts at Hillbilly Highways in March, learn what I’ve been reading, and see why I think I may have a steel guitar player on my hands…

Every Day Should Be Tuesday

I only thought real life would slow down for me in March.  But where one aspect slowed down, I was playing catch up everywhere else.  I did manage 18 posts, right in between the 21 in January and 15 in February.  I really would have preferred to get a couple more out.  I still have a backlog of EDSBT posts, especially my Game of Thrones season-by-season reviews.

My great Game of Thrones rewatch continues.  A big break at the beginning of the month and another big break at the end of the month put me behind, but I still have high hopes of finishing before the final season premieres on April 14.  If an HBO subscription on Hulu Live works out,[1] I plan on bringing back my weekly recap posts.

The really big news, though, is that I started a new Facebook group as an adjunct to Hillbilly Highways…

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