I threatened to do it, and here I am - it's Americana and roots music week! Hurrah! Nerd alert, nerd alert!
Aside from liking this genre of music, I'm doing this in honour of my brother, who leaves to hike a good chunk of the Appalachian Trail this week. He doesn't read this blog, thank god, but this is my nod to him nonetheless. Being the thoughtful sister, I made him a mix in preparation for the trip, cleverly entitled, The Appalachian Trail Mix 08, which, hello - HILARIOUS.
Before moving to the UK, the extent of my knowledge and interest in this genre was what I heard in O Brother Where Art Thou. I liked the music, but could take it or leave it. However, within the past few years I've felt oddly connected to Americana and roots music. Being a transplant sometimes provides you with the most unlikely of outcomes.
Mock me if you like, call me a redneck. I just love the pared-down, simplistic nature of this kind of music. A lot of it goes back to 1920s/30s, a time in history I find endlessly fascinating. Obviously quite a bit goes beyond that - Civil War times, also an interesting period.
I hope that even though you may have preconceived notions of this genre, you give it a listen. You can hate it afterwards, but give roots a chance!
Woody Guthrie: So Long, It's Been Good to Know You
The O Brother element - I'll Fly Away: Alison Krauss & Gillian Welch
The Carter Family: Wildwood Flower
Dock Boggs: Calvary
And because I'm OBSESSED with Tim Eriksen, you must suffer through some of his videos. If you've seen Cold Mountain, you'll recognise his voice. "Haunting" is often used for female voices, but his is the first male voice which comes to mind when I think of that word. Love.
Tim Eriksen: O Death
Am I Born to Die?
Sacred Harp Singers: Idumea (also from Cold Mountain)- yes, the video is completely unrelated, but it's the best audio version I could find!
I'll leave it at that for now. Given the amalgamation of the whole Americana/roots/bluegrass genre, I could spread this out to more than one post easily. This is not even to mention my love of early Mississippi Delta bluesSorry everyone. I'll get back to the hipster stuff next week.