God and Country Music: What Makes a Record Great. ‘Rattlin’ Bones’ after Five Years

abs4kz

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.I listen to a lot of music, especially Americana music. And I am usually not too terribly particular when it comes to tossing something into the CD rotation in my truck. Most records come and go within a few weeks, but some stick around for weeks on end. I can’t always say what makes a record different for me. Sometimes it’s just outr … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: Ronnie Fauss and the Narrative Heart of No Depression

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.Great Americana music isn’t too difficult to find, at least if you are searching for it. Not because there is an abundance of it but because you can tell who gets Americana music (or No Depression) by looking at their influences and the bands they cover. And slowly, one great artist will lead you to another great artist and so on. If … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: Ivan & Alyosha

ivan_alyosha

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.Yesterday, Seattle folk-pop band Ivan & Alyosha released their debut album, All the Times We’ve Had. Now, I’ve got to confess, I am hooked on this band right now so everything I say is in the context of “gushing fan.” However, Ivan & Alyosha have something special to offer the American music scene. And with the rising populari … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Wise Blood of American Music

Wise-Blood

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 know the music of a society is to know that society. While much musical analysis is focused on the music itself, music tells a story much bigger than can be contained in the meter of a song. I once had a professor who said, “Music was the language of the soul.” Even the mass produced popular music of the FM stations is telling a st … [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: The Country Music Culture Wars

Country music, since its inception, has been a (if not the) voice of rural, white Americana. With a musical genealogy to be darn proud of, stretching back to Dock Boggs, the great coal mining banjo player, to the legendary Hank Williams, the king of country music, Country has not only been a voice for the working folks but also a voice against the encroaching modern, urban world. And with the mainstream American culture changing at what seems to be a terrifying, rapid pace, Country music is … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Avett Brothers' New Album is out Today!

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.Today is a very special day indeed, a day that only comes along once every three years or so. Today marks the release of a new album by the new kings of Americana music: The Avett Brothers. Much has been written about The Avett Brothers in this weekly column, because there is a lot to say about them. They are some of the best … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: The Ethical Dilemma of Nashville Ghost Writing

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.Today, and really for the last half century, much of popular music has not been written by the performers. And in all genres of popular music, and country in particular, ghostwriting has turned into a legitimate profession. Let’s look at it this way, just about every country song that you have heard on the radio in the last twenty ye … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: "Salvation Song”–The Heart and Wisdom of the Avett Brothers

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.Under the wide umbrella of country music that spans from (questionably) Taylor Swift to Roy Acuff there are few acts that transcend definition and stir their fans like the Avett Brothers. The Avett Brothers, a North Carolina outfit headed by two very talented siblings, have been hard to classify but easy to love. They posses virtuosic … [Read more...]

God and Country Music: Tradition, Innovation, and Old Crow Medicine Show

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.I am an unashamed nostalgia-junkie: everything from the music I listen to and the books I read, to the circa 1955 portable record player that serves as the centerpiece of my living room. So naturally, the bands that I love are deeply connected to the past, especially the new bands. The bluegrass / Americana / whatever band, Old Crow … [Read more...]


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