Pop Comes to Bristol

Mention the Bristol Sessions, and anyone who’s visited the Country Music Hall of Fame (or, better yet, the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol) will know what you’re talking about.  After all, the sessions brought together three iconic members of the Hall of Fame at the beginning of their country careers: producer Ralph Peer, … Continue reading Pop Comes to Bristol

Why Bristol?

Today “the Bristol Sessions” is a portmanteau phrase in its own right, so much a given to country-music aficionados that it hardly seems necessary to ask questions such as “why were there sessions in Bristol?” or, more relevant to this discussion, “Why were the sessions in Bristol?” They didn’t have to be.  In the 1910s … Continue reading Why Bristol?

2 States, 12 Days and 90 Years: It’s Time for a Party

I spent a chunk of last summer toying with the idea of staging a country-music festival this summer to mark the 90th anniversary of the Bristol Sessions, aka the Big Bang of Country Music.  Sadly, Country 90 NYC (as it was provisionally called) didn’t come together; we’ll just have to wait for 2027 and Country … Continue reading 2 States, 12 Days and 90 Years: It’s Time for a Party

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

Getting On Up, Walking the Line and Seeing the Light: The World of Musical Biopics

Tom Hiddleston will be up early on January 17, 2017. So will Ethan Hawke. Don Cheadle too. That’s the day the next Oscar nominations will be announced, and Hiddleston, Hawke and Cheadle will be getting up before dawn to see whether they’ve been nominated as Best Actor for their performances as, respectively, country icon Hank … Continue reading Getting On Up, Walking the Line and Seeing the Light: The World of Musical Biopics