God and Country Music: “Sin City,” 40 Years after Gram Parsons

Gram Parsons

In God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.The world of Alternative Country has certain sacred anchors. These “anchors” are songs, people, and places that act as staples of identity for the fluid genre. Places like Bristol (the site of the famous 1927 Bristol Sessions) and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. People like Gram Parsons. And songs like "Sin City."Gram Parsons is particularly important to Alternative Country music. … [Read more...]

God & Country Music: The New Jason Isbell

isbell

I was fourteen when I first heard Jason Isbell. When he was still with the Drive-By Truckers in 2004, “Goddamn Lonely Love” was on one of those CDs that used to come good music magazines. I knew I had found something special. For a teenager looking for a world to relate to, Jason Isbell’s songs were just what I didn’t know I was looking for.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4LDjo8ltl4Isbell is an unusual kind of songwriter. Starting out with the Drive-By Truckers a little over a decade ago, … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: What It Sounds Like and the Weird Categories of Americana/Folk Grammys

grammys2013

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.Americana/Folk has always been a fluid, hard-to-define genre. It's almost best defined as the-genre-for-music-with-guitars-that-can’t-fit-nicely-into-any-other-genre. And maybe that’s the way it should be for a genre significantly less touched by commercialism than other headline-Grammy-nomination-genres.Recent redefinitions of Gr … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: An Introduction to Country Music & Five-Dollar Albums

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music.To an “outsider,” country Music looks a bit like what the Church does to a non-Christian: weird, patriotic, and artistically stale. And to be fair, most of the time it is the worst and the craziest that catches the eye of the masses (here’s looking at you Toby Keith and Ed Young). But there is a wealth of great country music just beggi … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: 'No Depression' in Heaven

Each week in God and Country Music, Nick Rynerson gives country music a chance and examines the world of Americana, folk, alt-country, and popular country music. Alternative Country music has had a difficult time defining itself over the last few decades. Like most genres it is made up of sub-genres and everybody has their own sound and each band has different influences and vision. Because of this, fans and bands answer cow-punk to Americana to rockabilly to alt-country to ‘sort of blu … [Read more...]


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