Your Take: Recommend An Artist
In Wednesday’s news, Brody covered hip-hop music critic Nathan Rabin’s latest installment of his weekly(ish) column Nashville or Bust. Before each of his weekly essays, a boilerplate-type paragraph explains this unlikely country music candidate’s mission. Starting back on March 3, Rabin decided to “spend a year immersing himself in the canon of country music, a genre he knew little about but was keen to explore.”
In his first log, Rabin wrote:
I am going into this project full of idealism and hope. I’ve devoted much of my life and career to writing about subjects dismissed, demonized, and/or reviled by big segments of the population: cinematic flops, direct-to-DVD movies, silly little show-biz books, gangsta rap, pop-rap, and now country music. I am fueled by curiosity and an utterly uncharacteristic sense of optimism. It remains to be seen how long that optimism will last.
It has long been my contention that hip-hop and country have more in common than partisans on either side like to admit. There’s a reason folks say they like every kind of music except for country and rap. They’re both genres with a deep reverence for mama and Jesus that inspire strong reactions from fans and detractors. Though there are plenty of wealthy hip-hop and country fans, those genres have historically been the voice of the black and white underclass, respectively. They’re also synonymous with lifestyles as much as music. Saying you’re country or hip-hop says a whole lot more about you than what’s in your iPod shuffle.
So far, Rabin has covered Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Gram Parsons, Merle Haggard, Bob Wills, Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Sr., highlighting biographical information and important songs. What country artist, young or old, would you recommend to Rabin as a must-listen artist on his journey through country music, and what would your essential song picks be?
- bob: Thanks Barry. Just reserved the Adam Gussow book. Sounds interesting.
- Barry Mazor: It may be over-stated, in arriving at practically a single explanation of everything, but Adam Gussow's book on lynching and …
- Leeann: Wow! Heavy topic and horrifying indeed! "Beer for My Horses" was all fun and games until that reference, I'll have …
- Barry Mazor: Everything else aside, the way that reporter fills us in, with must-have, pointless generational snark included, about who this "Little …
- luckyoldsun: "The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia" seems to be about a lynching--even if there's something about a judge …
- Arlene: Sorry. I meant to give the link for "Supper Time." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ58Kfe41kI
- Arlene: Another song sung by Ethel Waters: Irving Berlin's "Supper Time"
- bob: Powerful songs. I read the book "A Lynching in the Heartland" by James H. Madison about a dozen years ago. …
- Ron: Sky Above, Mud Below by Tom Russell is another.
- Jack Williams: Another Othis Taylor song from White African is "My Soul's in Louisiana."