Music Monday: Americana/Roots

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?

Hicks' Farewell

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.


The Town Criers said...

Oh! You should come over and cheer your brother on at the midway point. We live only 45 minutes from the midway point on the trail where you can choose your new trail name.

I swear some days that the ChickieNob is a reincarnation of June Carter Cash. And she sings the most dead-on impersonation of her with Wildwood Flower (a 3-year-old June Carter Cash, that is). I'm glad you included that one.

Chloe said...

Thank you for the tunes. I'm totally in the O Brother Where Art Thou knowledge set of this music, but I do love the music, just never had the time to invest in finding it. I can't wait to share this with my husband, he'll be so proud :)

Aunt Becky said...

My parents are hippies.

'Nuff said.

Magpie said...

I love this stuff.

Tash said...

You know, I like this music very much (O Brother is a staple in the car, and the Mr. listens to a lot of Blues programming), but for some reason I think I overthink it. I think it's a bit too close to the roots or something, so I tend to try and find connections instead of sitting back and just enjoying and letting the connections come and go -- like they frequently do in other genres.

Am certainly forwarding this along to the Mr.

Defiantmuse said...

I'm a huuuge bluegrass fan. Thanks for the great tunes!! And good luck to your bro, I'm totally jealous. I want to do that....someday.

Vacant Uterus said...

Appalachian trail mix, HAHAHAHA!!! I really did laugh out loud at that. Very clever. :-)

PS~ LOVE the new look! LOVE!

Quietgirl said...

You're rad :)

rockmama said...

Old Americana rocks my socks.

kate said...

This is the song I always think of when I think "american roots". My mother is a massive bluegrass/roots/folk fan, and so I grew up listening to this type of music, and have a very special corner of my heart devoted to this style:

yep. excellent taste in music you have.