God and Country Music: Traditionalism as a Shadow of Reconciliation

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Music journalist Greil Marcus believes that you can understand a culture if you understand its music. And while statistics are about as reliable as Firestone Tires on Ford Explorers, research has shown that 42 percent of the American population listens to country music. This means that out of every ten blokes you’ll meet, at least four of them probably love that high and lonesome sound. So according to Greil Marcus’ school of thought (and mine, and you know, a lot of people), what is being said i … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Really Attractive False Heaven of Small Town Living

Nick Rynerson

I have written more than one God and Country Music column on the relationship between Nashville and Christianity. And really, you wouldn’t have present-day Nashville without American Christianity. From George Hay's “strictly clean and decent” policy at the Grand Ole Opry to the chorus of Eric Church’s hit ”Like Jesus Does,” religious life has been an important aspect of country music. From an anthropological position, it’s fascinating how this type of popular culture has been a safe haven for rel … [Read more...]


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