Saturday, July 28, 2018

Genre Hell: Americana

Here is a definition of the music style known as Americana pulled from a Wikipedia article:

Americana, as defined by the Americana Music Association (AMA), is "contemporary music that incorporates elements of various mostly acoustic American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, gospel and bluegrass resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band."

Well, okay, I guess... but it is all so wishy-washy. I mean who exactly is defining what constitutes "pure forms" of any of these "root" genres? The truth is there has been so much cross-pollination since, well, forever, that it would be nigh impossible to actually say where Americana starts or stops. It turns out it's a little like obscenity; you know it when you hear it.

Of course, that also means what we hear will help each individual define it in their own way. For example, a person who knows country well will be able to catch variations and differences that will elude someone for whom any twang at all equals country. The result is there will be an almost endless array of perspectives possible from which an individual draws their idea of what Americana music is. So what follows here is not an attempt to say what Americana as a genre is, but what I think of when I define it for myself and my ears.

It is some of the best stuff out there so let's delve.

Webb Wilder:

The Last of the Full Grown Men has been an electrifying recording artist since 1986's It Came From Nashville was released. From day one Webb covered a lot of ground. To wit:









I could go on forever... so I will stop.... for now.

Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings:







The Bottle Rockets
:

The best bar band since the Beatles left the Reeperbahn.









The Beat Farmers:





The Skeletons:







The Morells:







Bill Lloyd:







Various stuff:











That will keep you off the streets for awhile.




Genre Hell: Americana

Here is a definition of the music style known as Americana pulled from a Wikipedia article: Americana, as defined by the Americana Music ...