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Author Topic: Country Music  (Read 5233 times)
tuffythepug
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« Reply #40 on: July 16, 2007, 06:20:08 AM »

Alison Krauss and Union Station (AKUS). All of the members are excellent in their own right.

I discovered Alison Krauss and Union Station this year (March 2007) because I wanted to investigate Bluegrass/American Roots music. I purchased the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" trilogy (highly recommended). On the 3rd volume was Alison Krauss singing "Catfish John" with Jerry Douglas on dobro along with the dirt band. That song was great which led me to:

1. Purchase all of the AKUS recordings (group and individual) along with the CMT and Live DVDs.
2. Purchase the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack along with "Down From the Mountain" performance (CD and DVD).
3. Purchase the Cox Family CDs who Alison sings along with and produces.
4. Attend an AKUS concert a couple of weeks ago. Excellent.  They don't need staging/pyrotechnics etc. to make up for musical deficiencies/shallowness.

AKUS blows away any "country" act I've ever heard (and most other acts as well). I've never been much of a "country" fan - I liked a few songs here and there. I've never owned any CDs of female singers except for one Fleetwood Mac CD. AKUS changed all that.

I also like Michael Martin Murphey (especially Cowboy Songs and after). My family saw him in concert this year. My teenage daughters who are into "todays music" were very impressed. They even want to hear his songs (same for AKUS).



Allison is great.  I've seen her a couple of times in the last year;  most recently in Sacramento.   She possesses one of the purest female voices I've heard in a long time.  She could not be any more down to earth in her little talks between songs.  She is the farthest thing from a Diva.   Her whole band is extremely talented and their shows are very entertaining.
I think her music falls between bluegrass and pop;   maybe "popgrass"
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saintandsinnerguy
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« Reply #41 on: July 19, 2007, 01:29:26 AM »

I like country music and bluegrass.  My country taste is varied....I like The Dixie Chicks to Allison Krause to Patsy Cline.  I like George Jones to George Straight to Blackhawk etc.  I don't like some of the newer artists who try to go too programed.  But in general, country, folk, bluegrass is my style I drift toward most.  I also like blues, alternative, 80's rock, 70's rock, classical and jazz.  You name it.  But, I cut my teeth on John Denver and the like, so my heart goes out to country style.
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« Reply #42 on: July 19, 2007, 04:09:41 PM »

For new (relatively) Country that sounds like old Country, check out The Two Dollar Pistols, particularly the duets album with  Tift Merrit. Also seek out Lori Mckenna's work.
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saintandsinnerguy
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« Reply #43 on: July 19, 2007, 07:27:43 PM »

One of my favorite places to go on the net is Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour.  They have a whole archive of shows to watch online and they are tremendous with the talent they bring in.  You can find it at http://www.woodsongs.com/showlist.asp
enjoy....I love it!
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« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2007, 08:44:44 PM »

I am really turned off by what passes for country music these days. It seems like Country is blending into rock and bluegrass is blending into country.  For example, the Dixie Chicks were originally a 4 piece bluegrass band going back to the early ninetees.  I think real country died in the 1980's when Barbara Mandrell had her variety show and Crystal Gayle was popular.  Somebody here mentioned that the lyrics dont hold up in most country songs.  I completely agree!  Does anybody even listen to the lyrics anymore?? Most of the lyrics I hear are so bad.  IMHO, pure counrty is hearing the Carters play "Wildwood Flower."
or hearing Loretta Lynn sing "Coalminers daughter." I think I am one of probably 40-50 people under the age of 40 that likes that stuff. 
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Tycho
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« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2007, 10:12:18 PM »

Quote
Does anybody even listen to the lyrics anymore?? Most of the lyrics I hear are so bad.  IMHO, pure counrty is hearing the Carters play "Wildwood Flower."

Well yes... except that I'm not sure "Wildwood Flower," as sung by the Carter family, is a good example to cite of meaningful lyrics as opposed to commercial country dreck.

"Wildwood Flower" is an old song that predated the Carter Family's version.  Like any set of lyrics that get passed along orally, the "broken telephone" principle applies: people hear things mistakenly and pass on the mistake.  (My favourite example of this is one of the old folk-blues singers who used to refer to Vestapol tuning as "vestibule" tuning.)

In the case of "Wildwood Flower", the Carter version has several lines that make absolutely no sense at all, especially when compared with other versions that folklorists have collected.  The first verse is the best example of this.  Here's the way the Carter Family sing it:

I will twine with my mingled and waving black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And the myrtle so bright with its emerald dew
The pale and the leader and eyes look like blue


What on earth does that first line mean?  How can your hair be "mingled"?  And how do you "twine" with it, especially when you're also twining with the roses and lilies?  Has anyone ever seen "emerald dew"? 

And what on earth does that last line mean?  The pale?  The leader?  And how can your eyes "look like" blue?  Either they're blue or they aren't.


By contrast, here's another version I once learned:

I will twine and will mingle my raven black hair
With the roses so red and the lilies so fair
And the myrtle so bright with an emerald hue
The pale emanita and islip so blue


This version makes much more sense.  Now we know exactly what's happening in the first verse: the singer is putting flowers into her hair -- roses, lilies, myrtles, emanitas and islips.  And that seems natural in a song in which the singer likens herself to a "wildwood flower."  (The only problem is that there's actually no such flower as the "emanita" or the "islip", but hey, it sounds good.)

Obviously I don't mean this as a knock on the Carter family.  They were brilliant, and if they hadn't recorded "Wildwood Flower", none of us would be playing it today.  My point is just that at a certain level, they didn't really know what they were singing when they sang it.  It was just an old song that sounded good, and they sang it the way they had learned it.

Here's a link to a Wikipedia page that discusses the lyrics a bit more, and has other variants:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wildwood_Flower



 







 
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« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2007, 10:27:15 PM »

Here's a posting I found about this on a board discussing "mondegreens" (i.e. mis-heard lyrics):

amanita is not only the name of a mushroom, it is also the name of a flower--and, yes, the woman is talking of twining flowers in her hair, throughout the song:

The flower that, along with the islip so blue, is being twined with the singer's "mingles of raven black hair," may have originally been "arrownetta," and that name may well have been a colloquialized version of "aronatus,"  just as folks nowadays often say "gladiola/gladiolas" instead of "gladiolus/gladioli."  (I know folks who call that long green vegetable "asparagrass," too.)  It also appears in some versions as amaranthus, emanita, amanita, and emelita.  Other versions have it as "...the pale oleander and islip... ."  The point is that the song was about putting flowers in her hair--even if the flower names were not the official ones in botany textbooks, and somehow the line got mondegreened into "the pale and the leader and eyes look so blue."
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« Reply #47 on: August 05, 2007, 01:53:56 PM »

Check out some of these Nashville songwriters, most of them are really great guitar pickers. All have My Space pages.
Chuck Cannon
Brett Jones
Chris Wallin
Pam Rose (plays 2 Larrivees)
Bobby Pinson
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« Reply #48 on: August 08, 2007, 03:36:18 AM »

Wow , I guess Wildwood flower is taking a beating here. I think you guys know what I meant.  Country is not the same anymore. SHould
we be calling it "new" country?
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #49 on: August 08, 2007, 03:38:11 PM »

Wow , I guess Wildwood flower is taking a beating here. I think you guys know what I meant.  Country is not the same anymore. SHould
we be calling it "new" country?

I call it 'country pop'; But it really is 'redneck pop'. It is a commercial industry selling a product aimed at simple minded white people. Of course not all country fans fall into that stereotype.
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C-10-4-me
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« Reply #50 on: August 08, 2007, 09:46:52 PM »

All they play in my neck of the woods is what they call "todays country and your familiar favorites". Which simply means the play list only goes back about 5 years or so and you can about guess what gets played. I'm not the greatest country fan even though as a kid I heard Haggard,Hank,Patsy,George Jones,Ray Price and a cast of hundreds all the time in our house. The reason I'm not a country fan is because I can't listen to the names already stated but instead am treated to overdone orchestration and shallow songwriting all designed to appease someone other than me. I do like some of the newer acts that actually do try to sing country,but even then it's usually only a song or two out of 10 or so on a CD.
Ron
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Happily married to the woman of my dreams and looking forward to growing old together.<br />Truly,God has smiled upon this simple man.
Tycho
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« Reply #51 on: August 08, 2007, 10:15:12 PM »

I think official Nashville will eventually be the victim of its own shallowness and bloatation.  For example, I really wanted to like Brad Paisley because he's such a hot guitarist, but every time I listen to his stuff it just seems to be mostly shallow swill.  At least with someone like Vince Gill in his heyday, there was always good stuff on his CDs once you got past the two or three over-orchestrated schlocky ballads.  I have yet to hear that with Brad P. (although I won't give up trying).
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Caleb
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« Reply #52 on: August 08, 2007, 10:40:57 PM »

The music industry today is made for simple-minded people of ALL colors...not just the whiteys.   But whites are the only group that anyone could make a jab at and get away with it.  Anyway......

I cannot take modern country music serious at all.   If it's not a mullet (Toby Keith) its simply bad singing (Vince Gill), or the old tried-and-true, as well as completely lame sexuality angle of folks like Shania Twain....though I'm not even sure if she's even popular anymore.  If you gotta show something to sell something, what you got for sale isn't good enough. 
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Tycho
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« Reply #53 on: August 09, 2007, 03:40:31 AM »

I differ with you on Vince Gill.  And anyway, my view is that there's been no such thing as "bad" singing since Dylan.  If a singer has an individual voice that moves you, that's good enough, no matter how technically imperfect he or she may be.
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jeremy3220
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« Reply #54 on: August 09, 2007, 04:00:09 AM »

my view is that there's been no such thing as "bad" singing since Dylan.  If a singer has an individual voice that moves you, that's good enough, no matter how technically imperfect he or she may be.

I agree, if the singer is sounding exactly like they intend to, I think they are singing perfectly. I may not like it but thats another story.

Dylan is one of my favorite voices btw. I also like incoherent wailing and screaming sometimes too though; like Old Time Relijun.
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