Is It Country? Is It Rock? 20 Ways to Tell

Watch the Grammy awards—it doesn’t matter what year—and you’re watching an exercise in nomenclature.  Americans love music, but they also love finding new words to categorize it.  Is this song country, folk or Southern rock? Folk-rock, alt country or Americana? Is it neo-folk, country-punk or folkabilly? Why does anybody care?  Well, it’s about money, of … Continue reading Is It Country? Is It Rock? 20 Ways to Tell

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Jeeves and the Yankee Yodeler

Author’s Note:  Today, October 30, marks the 108th birthday of the great Patsy Montana (she died in 1996).  The best way to mark the occasion is, of course, to listen to her music—particularly her immortal signature tune, “I Want to Be a Cowboy’s Sweetheart” (1935).  Go ahead and do so; I’ll wait here until you … Continue reading Jeeves and the Yankee Yodeler

Is It Country? Is It Hip Hop? 20 Ways to Tell

As any year’s Grammy awards can demonstrate, Americans love to slice and dice their music. Is a given song country, folk or Americana? Is it folk-rock, alt country or roots music? Is it neo-folk, country-punk or folkabilly? This might not seem important, but it matters in the business end of “show business.” How music is … Continue reading Is It Country? Is It Hip Hop? 20 Ways to Tell