A few weeks back, a relative of mine wrote to me: “I'm so excited about your new career as a country-western singer.” I wrote back to clarify that I’m a country singer now, not a country-western singer. Earlier this week, when I again found myself explaining this distinction, this time to an old friend, I … Continue reading Go South, Young Man
My first blog post, back in February, was titled “What Is Country Music?” That question—or, rather, its kissing cousin, “What is it that you like so much about country music?”—is in my mind again today. It’s been there since July 10, actually, when I had a brief conversation with a young friend, herself a brilliant … Continue reading Music for Grownups
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
Let’s begin by acknowledging that it’s a profoundly unnecessary question. A good song is a good song, whether you call it country, barbershop or Gregorian chant, and it won’t get any better—or any worse—by any other name. If you like a song, it doesn’t matter what genre it is. Nonetheless, there’s few things Americans like … Continue reading What Is Country Music?