Thursday, February 08, 2007

This is My Country

It's become a fad of late to bemoan the selling out of country music's rich legacy to pre-packaged posers like Kenny Chesney and Tug McGraw's son. But the fact remains that country music is the home of some of the most vibrant and talented artists working in America today.

Like many pseudo-sophisticates in the late 1970s, I pretended to hate country music with a passion typically reserved for disco. But even then I secretly loved listening to my dad's favorite AM station, which played a steady lineup of Hank Jr. and Marty Robbins to Cole Waggoner and Dolly Parton. It was tuneful, lyrical music telling timeless stories. The one country star of the era who was safe to acknowledge admiration toward was the tragic Gram Parsons, who did such great crossover work with the Rolling Stones and other rock acts.

Then along came Willie and Waylon, Dwight Yoakam, Lyle Lovett, even Nashville giants like Randy Travis, Garth Brooks, et al. And I no longer had to pretend not to like country music, even without that interesting "alt-country" tag that defined acts like Uncle Tupelo, or "roots" like Emmylou Harris or Gillian Welch. Good music will never be restricted by genre, not unless we let it.

Here's a few countrified acts that deserve a wider audience and defy pigeonholing: Ryan Adams, Will Oldham (Bonnie Prince Billy), Rhett Miller, Sam Beam, Iris Dement, Sexsmith & Kerr, and plenty of others.

Here's Iris Dement, the voice of the Great Plains, with Emmylou, the Red Dirt Girl herself, on "Our Town":

4 Comments:

Blogger Cam said...

Sorry, While I do love music (including country), my comment isn't about that at all. My name is Cameron, and I enjoy reading this blog regularly, and as a way of making it easier I created a "dashboard widget", now I don;t know if you have any idea what I' talking about, and if I explained I don't know if it would help, but this widget is compatable with most new mac computers, and basically brings the feed posts to the users desktop; if you would like to know more my e-mail is camamcc@mac.com

2/09/2007 1:25 AM  
Blogger Lisa Snider said...

I was reminded recently about country music's rise in the early 90's. Who can forget Billy Ray Cyrus and his Achey Breakey Heart? Garth Brooks, Clint Black, Trisha Yearwood, etc., all looking to "mainstream" country.

Cameron, "I have a friend" who uses a PC - can she create this widget you speak of?

2/10/2007 1:56 PM  
Blogger Cam said...

RE: Lisa- "Cameron, "I have a friend" who uses a PC - can she create this widget you speak of?"

Maybe, but I doubt it, and if "your friend" did, they couldn't run it on a pc-unfortunately Dashboard widgets are mac only, as dashboard is part of the macs operating system. There are other types of widgets-such as microsoft's cheap knock off, that's coming with their next operating system "Vista"-but they aren't compatable, at least not yet. I have created this widget, and it fully functional.

2/13/2007 6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

k.d. lang anyone?

2/15/2007 4:53 PM  

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