Many Texans like to say negative things about California(ns). Yes – Los Angeles and San Francisco are so wildly different than here that we have a hard time understanding why anyone would want to live there.

But, beyond those mega-city lights lives the vast majority of California — and it’s as country as it gets.

Did you know that California is also the #1 agriculture production state in the union? North of Los Angeles and east of San Francisco is the fertile San Joaquin Valley. It’s in this 450-mile long valley where John Steinbeck set the story in The Grapes of Wrath, where you’ll find the biggest agriculture expo in the world once a year in Tulare, and where Buck Owens crafted The Bakersfield Sound.

Rodeo is still the keystone annual event in communities like Clovis (where I graduated high school), Marysville and Oakdale. You’ll find corals filled with cattle along the horseback riding trails in the remote Sierra Nevada mountains. You’ll drive dirt roads between endless fields of peaches outside of Merced.

Country singer Jon Pardi hails from this part of the world – Dixon, California. A rural community along Interstate 80 about an hour from Sacramento. Among the town’s biggest employers are a Campbell’s Soup processing plant and a Superior Farms processing plant.

Make no mistake – there are legit country folk in California. John Pardi is one of them. I hope you dig his west coast-flavored country as much as I do!

And, please don’t be so hateful towards ALL Californians – the country folk from Central California and NorCal are some of the most loyal, hard-working, incredible people you’ll ever met.

They just talk a little funny.

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