How The Psalms Made Folk Music

BS-MusicandArt

Traditional country and blues music is a far cry from most contemporary country and blues music. Some music purists (or snobs, if you will) find FM radio country and blues unlistenable replicas that bear more resemblance to the Eagles than to their early folk heroes. And to an extent, they are right. American folk music from the early twentieth century captured a powerful, bizarre, beautiful landscape on their newfangled recording devices. The question is: Can this really be replicated … [Read more...]

Carolina Chocolate Drops: A Reminder That Nothing Is Black and White

American Music has never, ever, ever had a racial monopoly. Even though in the last few decades the media has reinforced the idea that Rap is “Black music” and Country is “White music”. Not too many folks would come right out and say that (“What about Emeniem and Darius Rucker?!” They might say…), but it’s a signature American unspoken norm. However, nothing could be farther from the truth. “White” Rock & Roll would be nonexistent without the Blues and the amazing … [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 … [Read more...]

My 10 Favorite 2012 Cultural Artifacts Not From 2012

Dynamics Spiritual Life

Sometimes I feel kind of left out of all of those ‘best of the year lists’. Why? Thanks for asking. It’s because I am a total cultural laggard. I catch less than the average amount of new stuff coming out and that is usually because I am engrossed with old stuff. So I thought I'd share my list of the top things of 2012...that aren't really from 2012... I hope this list is liberating to those like me who spend their time channeling through the endless wealth of culture from before what … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Gentrification of Country Music?

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.  For a time, American folk music was for the poor by the poor, written to escape the hardships and express the pain of rural brokenness. From this pain came the blues in the black community and bluegrass in the white community. Both of these styles reached the deepest and darkest places of the American landscape and made country … [Read more...]


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