Last night, I listened to the Americana Music Association’s eighth annual awards ceremony, live from Ryman Auditorium in
What is Americana Music? I’m not sure.
Right now, it’s a $force$ in the music business. Perhaps the term brandwagon (brand not band) fits this genre which is now an established music type with it’s own Barnes & Noble section. Let the musicologists chime in below. But musicology aside, this is clever branding and smart revisionist musical history that helps us organize our downloadable music databases. Go back a few years to the Coen Brothers film, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”…that soundtrack, a pretty big seller, started the branding machine. Alison who?
Listen to the digital branding iron hissing all over your music collection.
Thought that was folk? Hiss. Watch out Bobby. Hiss. What about all that British stuff like Fairport Convention? No problem…hiss. I wonder if Ry Cooder has allowed them to categorize his stuff? Hiss…Is he an AMA member? I hope so. It’s so lonely out there.
Let’s hear it for outsiders, though…that’s pretty American, right?
The AMA has managed to create a vibrant musical orphanage for all those outsider, semi-retired, lost but found again artists living and deceased. Outsiders like Robert Plant, of Led Zeppelin, Townes Van Zandt. Even country music legends like Johnny Cash reside in their musical Westminster Abbey, canonized. Tonight his daughter, Rosanne, sang “Ode to Billie Joe”, now I suppose branded with the
I like a great deal of this music, old and new. The
It’s weird. Weird because much of this music owes its roots to African-American musicians like Mississippi John Hurt and Ray Charles. But tonight, this audience was not a diverse one. But that’s
But local musicians should take note. There are many in town playing this great music, writing wonderful songs. The next time Jim Lauderdale comes to town, you should all carry him on your shoulders, up the hill from the river bottom, down
But the AMA should take note of an authentic version of
AMA, I offer you The Roots; that un-definable, un-categorical group of musical geniuses from