Throughout these, my older years (I’ll be 33 on Monday), I have incurred a longing for the twang of country music. Let’s be realistic, though, Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood & the like are far from the country music our fathers grew up with. No I’m talking Johnny Cash, Hank Williams & Willie Nelson style country. Something with a steel guitar & a little accent just get’s me going, love it. So how do I reconcile this with my love of rock music?
Should I have to? In a sense, I shouldn’t. They are not as diametrically different as one would think. It’s safe to say that the Alt-Country movement that is flourishing today is an offshoot of those country artists with an injection of Classic Rock infused into it. The best is when an artist who isn’t typically country decides to “go country” for an album. Bob Dylan did it, Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones & the Beatles even dabbled with a few songs.
That twang is the sound that many artists were raised on & for some reason country music has gotten away from it. It has developed a pop sound that has less to do with the quality of the music but more with the look of the artist as a fresh crop of blond hair/blue eyed young ingenues make their debut on the country circuit which no longer involves seedy dive bars with chicken wire. Here’s a few songs by artists that played the twang to devastatingly great effects.
You Ain’t Going Nowhere – The Byrds
Jackson – Johnny Cash & June Carter
Evangeline – The Band & Emmylou Harris
Act Naturally – The Beatles
Dead Flowers (Acoustic) – The Rolling Stones
Chin Up, Cheer Up – Ryan Adams
Grey While Gone – The Small Sounds
Roadworn & Weary – Supersuckers
Tennessee Stud – The Little Willies
One More Night – Bob Dylan