That the Darius Rucker version of “Wagon Wheel” reached Number One on country radio this month is something that should not go unexplored on the roots watch. How the song came to be there can tell us as much, and maybe more, about the practical interaction of roots music and pop, of blues and country, [...]
A look at some new books, albums and a broadcast that look at where we’ve been to show us where we are: Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches and Encounters, edited by Jeff Burger. Those of us who interview and profile performers for articles concerning what they do sometimes get, and occasionally deserve, credit for pulling [...]
The impossible to miss excitement this spring, within country music and in the wider pop music world, too, around the strong, risk-taking, breath-of-fresh-air releases from Kacey Musgraves and Ashley Monroe raises anew some longstanding questions about the relative effects on music makers of being relatively unnoticed. Okay; neither of them were in fact music business [...]
I’ve been traveling through the intersection of Roots and Pop for, well, a long time now, but the artists who speed right through the yellow and red lights have never stopped grabbing my attention. Are they doing that on purpose? By accident? Unaware there’s an intersection–even if it’s a backed-up, jammed up intersection? Or maybe [...]
Engine 145.com is an American roots music blog, and for all of our regular emphasis on country, Americana, bluegrass and occasional roots rock, it’s impossible to cover this arena without bringing up the blues. Without blues, all of those genres would have developed along a whole lot more one-note and delicate lines, if they’d been [...]
Back a lifetime or two ago when I was an undergraduate at George Washington University in DC, I was a regular deejay on the campus radio station, with a show called “Heartbreak Hotel” that featured roots rock, country music and what would have been called “Americana” if there’d been a term for it; this was [...]
Year’s end is all at once “make a list” time, “last chance to bring it up” time and “turn the page” time, so I thought I’d keep all of that in mind this column and point you towards some recent roots and country releases, reissues and re-visits in particular, that strike me as worthy of [...]
The power of music (and the secondary power of repeatedly talking and teaching a particular narrative about it), are such that for many, the Dust Bowl, some eighty years later, survives in memory mainly or solely as “the horrible experience Woody Guthrie sang about.” (For others, it’s what they saw or read in The Grapes [...]
I’m sometimes asked —sympathetically or suspiciously—why I don’t write more negative reviews than I do. It’s not some physical disability that prevents me from turning my thumb down; there are simply so many projects (all media included) being released now, more than I could ever discuss, and life’s too short to spend much time or [...]
September’s the month country and its cousins honor music and music makers that the Media Barons-That-Be don’t consider ripe for prime time—anything more than five minutes old, anything with specialized appeal, artists who don’t universally look like aspiring starlets or teen idols (sorry, Junior Sisk, Richard Thompson, and Billy Sherrill) and anybody at all besides [...]
- Luckyoldsun: "My parents’ record collection consisted of Ed Ames, Perry Como..." Ed Ames made records? I did not know that. I thought ...
- Leeann Ward: Old Town, where Griffin is from, is just a few minutes away from me.
- Leeann Ward: Being a Mainer, I wish I had some of what they were drinkin'.
- Arlene: In the interest of completeness, "Rust Belt Fields" is a co-write with his childhood friend, Rod Picott. Slaid Cleaves's "Still ...
- Jack Williams: Good point, Barry. Also, I think he saw his fair share of Gene Autry and Roy Rogers movies as ...
- Leeann Ward: Ugh...Looking back at my comment, I must change my shameful "might not of" to "might not have."
- Leeann Ward: Rick, I'm kinda surprised you'd attend anything with the word "charity" attached to it.
- Rick: On Saturday I attended the charity fundraiser Oakheart Festival in Thousand Oaks, CA to watch performances by Steel Magnolia, Jason ...
- Barry Mazor: There's a different generation of Bronx you're talking about there, Jack. Johnny Cash was just being born in the 1930s!
- Henry: My parents' record collection consisted of Ed Ames, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Herb Alpert, Mitch Miller, Burl Ives, and some ...