It's amazing how country music connects with listeners. What is even more amazing is how some artists can put their hand out, shake yours and make you feel like you have known them forever.

I had an experience at this years South Dakota State Fair that I won't soon forget.  A Kickin' Country listener, Janel Oltmanns, had called the station during a contest and won tickets and backstage passes to meet Lee Brice.

Now, that's normally a pretty big deal.  A chance for a fan to meet one of the stars is a big thing!  Heck, it's a big thing for me, who plays their music everyday for people to get to meet them.  But out of this quick little meet and greet comes a pretty neat story.  I'll let Janel tell it:

I walked up to him and he asked me if we had met before. I told him we had met at the ACM's three years ago (before he was anybody) and how I told him I looked forward to him winning and being up there some day... I then told him how cool it was to see him win Song of the Year for "Crazy Girl", a song he wrote for The Eli Young Band.  This year and he told me how he remembered that and that he appreciated my support.

I then told him how I loved his new CD and that the song "I Drive Your Truck" was my current favorite. Then, I told him that my brother just passed away three weeks ago very, very unexpectedly. He then said "come here and gave me a huge hug." I asked him if it was on the set list tonight and he said "We can absolutely do that for you" and gave me another hug and I thanked him.

Then you saw what transpired during the show and I took video of it. I don't think the 'reality' of him actually changing the set list for me hit me until I got the set list after the show and saw where he crossed out the song he was supposed to do and wrote "I Drive Your Truck" instead. It was really nice of him to take the time to do that for me as many artists wouldn't take the time to make changes to a set that they had prepared for and practiced one way to change it just minutes before they went on stage.

As for my brother his name is Joel. He grew up here and met his wife Heather up here but they have lived in Nebraska since they got married. Three kids... Chase (9), Maddie (8), and Noah (20months)...

PS... you got that song loaded for the Cafe today?

Below is the actual video that Janel recorded that day.  Obviously she was pretty close to the stage and it catches a lot of different emotions. The party atmosphere that was the South Dakota State Fair this summer and a song that hits home, with many people.

The video is a little shaky and understandably so.

Listen for the song I Drive Your Truck on Kickin' Country. We'll be riding along every time it plays.

Here it is if you want to listen now: