Friday, March 09, 2007

County Music is the White Man's Soul

Lambchop, the Nashville-based group once called the "most f--cked up band in country music" has now been cranking out music for 20 years. Not many acts can claim that longevity, especially in the Music Row meatgrinder. Led by frontman Kurt Wagner, these guys are famously cranky and confrontational.

For example, how can you not love a band that recorded an album called "Pet Sounds Sucks"? (FTR, that's for the record for the internet shorthand impaired, I worship at the shrine of Brian Wilson.)

Wagner and crew define easy characterization, and that's a good thing. Here's a review I came across: "Whatever the style, the characteristic mood of Lambchop's music is evoked by Wagner's distinctive songwriting - lyrically subtle and ambiguous, the vocals melodic but understated. Setting this apart from other minimalist songwriters is the large group of backing musicians, with the range of instruments and styles that it brings. Wagner's songwriting bears similarities with soul musicians such as Barry White, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye as much as with country and folk music, and can be seen to embody Kris Kristofferson’s dictum that “country music is the white man’s soul”.

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