Americana is an amalgam of roots music formed by the confluence of the shared and varied traditions that make up the American musical ethos; specifically those sounds that are merged from folk, country, blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll and other external influences. Americana, as defined by the Americana Music Association (AMA), is “contemporary music that incorporates elements of various American roots music styles, including country, roots-rock, folk, bluegrass, R&B and blues, resulting in a distinctive roots-oriented sound that lives in a world apart from the pure forms of the genres upon which it may draw. While acoustic instruments are often present and vital, Americana also often uses a full electric band.”
A while ago I did a post on my top 10 country versions of Bob Dylan songs (soon to be updated), since then I’ve been made aware of a lot more songs from people who read the original post. Then most of my pickings where of classic country leaning on outlaw country, in this post I will concentrate on the new generation of country/ alt. country.
Here are 13 favourite Bob Dylan songs performed by Americana artists. Lets start with a great live version:
Bobby Long & John Fullbright – It’s Not Dark Yet:
What a wonderful sound and such a great performance. These guys are just so good!
Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 17 million albums in the United States alone.Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded several notable songs throughout his career including “These Days”, “The Pretender”, “Running On Empty”, “Lawyers in Love”, “Doctor My Eyes”, “Take It Easy”, “For a Rocker”, and “Somebody’s Baby”. In 2004, he was both inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, and bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
I’ve listened to Jackson Browne for about 30 years, I have a friend who has a couple of older siblings who introduced him to this incredible songwriter/singer, I got it from my friend. I am eternally grateful.
In many ways, Jackson Browne was the quintessential sensitive Californian singer/songwriter of the early ’70s. Only Joni Mitchell and James Taylor ranked alongside him in terms of influence, but neither artist tapped into the post-’60s Zeitgeist like Browne.
He is a true music enthusist and he has produced albums by The Eagles, J.D. Souther and Warren Zevon and more. When he was inducted into The Rock’n Roll Hall of Fame, Bruce Springsteen said that even if The Eagles was allready in the hall of fame: “You wrote the songs they wished they had written”. Bruce says all the good things that I would like to say about Jackson Browne, take ten minutes and listen to this very fine speech:
Alison Maria Krauss (born July 23, 1971), American bluegrass-country singer-songwriter and musician. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss and Union Station.
Alison Krauss helped bring bluegrass to a new audience in the ’90s. Blending bluegrass with folk, Krauss was instantly acclaimed from the start of her career, but it wasn’t until her platinum-selling 1995 compilation Now That I’ve Found You that she became a mainstream star. (Allmusic)
She has been part of the country music scene for 30 years now. Her output is constantly good and she is true to her musical vision. I really love Alison Krauss, with and without Union Station.
Happy Birthday, Alison Krauss!
Here are my 10 favorites:
When You Say Nothing At All (Performance at the White House 2011):
A music video or song video is a short film integrating a song and imagery, produced for promotional or artistic purposes.Modern music videos are primarily made and used as a marketing device intended to promote the sale of music recordings. Although the origins of music videos date back much further, they came into prominence in the 1980s, when MTV based their format around the medium. Prior to the 1980s, these works were described by various terms including “illustrated song”, “filmed insert”, “promotional (promo) film”, “promotional clip” or “film clip”.
Music videos use a wide range of styles of film making techniques, including animation, live action filming, documentaries, and non-narrative approaches such as abstract film. Some music videos blend different styles, such as animation and live action. Many music videos do not interpret images from the song’s lyrics, making it less literal than expected. Other music videos may be without a set concept, being merely a filmed version of the song’s live performance.
My favourite music video artist is without a doubt, Tom Waits! Since I saw the video for In the Neighbourhood in 1983, I’ve eagerly waited for his promotional videos for his albums. They are valid works of art in their own right, and combined with Tom Waits’ songs they’re taken to a higher level.
When musicians decides to write their memoirs they are often uneven (this is a kind statement). They often struggle to give words the life that do in their songs, this “new” format may not come naturally to them. That said, many of these men and women have great stories to tell and often provide compulsive reading. They do stumble in their wording and structure from time to time, but the stories are compelling and they succeed in capturing the spirit of their cultural moment with astonishing insight.
These twelve ten books are great examples of how it can be done if the authors manage to adjust to the new form. They are good period, not because they are written by famous artists, but because they reflect all the creativity, movement and human drama you’d expect from people driven by art. We kept it to memoirs, so no fictional prose (sorry, Nick Cave), no poetry (sorry, Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen), there are some of the books that touches different genres but all these books are mainly memoirs.
They are not necessarily the best biographies about artists written (although sometimes they are) but they are the best books written/narrated by the musicians themselves!