Sunday, November 01, 2009

Don't Say the "C" Word

I've been downloading a podcast called "Miller's Tales" - this is a posh-sounding woman, based in Scotland I think, who puts together a roundup of what she calls "Americana" or even folk music. But what she won't call it is "country", even though on the podcasts i lisened to the music is 90/95% country. Country gets a bad rap in Britain. say you like country and people seem to imagine hoe-downs, buying gingham for emmylou, loose fitting dungarees, redneck Texans or KKK conventions. There is not a period in history where country was remotely associated with right wing bigotry or any of the other cliches about the southern states of the USA.

In reality - throughout the history of country there have been great rebels breaking rules, pushing the music forward. Hank Williams was greatly influenced by black blues players, Woody Guthrie was a communist, Johnny Cash protested against the Vietnam War, Charlie rich was black, KD Lang is a lesbian, Steve Earle is a one man revolution and has been strongly against the Bush regime, Dixie Chix got banned for speaking out aginst the war in Iraq, Emmylou Harris is very much the liberal, etc.... you'd be ahrd pushed to find the stereotypical southern bigot anywhere in modern country, and even in the past - they were far from the whole story. I think what fools people is that the country establishment has always been very conservative - Hank Williams was persona non grata in Nashville for years - but then the rock establishment is still incredibly conservative, usually Republican supporting, obviously racist right into the 1980s, still very sexist, and extremely limited in it's outlook, preferring the rebellious acts of an inept 14 year old boy to genuine acts of subversion against an illegal and reactionary government - this is why raawwwk is the music of america's establishment, and country is the music of the people.

Here's today's weather brought to you by my new phone:

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