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Encyclopedia > Alternative country
Matt Hillyer of Texas-based Eleven Hundred Springs
Matt Hillyer of Texas-based Eleven Hundred Springs

Alternative country is a term applied to various subgenres of country music. Image File history File links Ehswiki. ... Image File history File links Ehswiki. ... country music, see Country music (disambiguation) Country music, the first half of Billboards country and western music category, is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. ...



"Alternative country" can refer to several ideas. Most generally, any musician who plays a type of country music different from the prevailing trend can be said to play "alternative country". By this standard, for example, the Bakersfield sound was alternative in the 1950s, and the Lubbock, Texas musicians were alternative in the 1960s. country music, see Country music (disambiguation) Country music, the first half of Billboards country and western music category, is a blend of popular musical forms originally found in the Southern United States and the Appalachian Mountains. ... The Bakersfield sound was a genre of country music developed in the mid- to late 1950s in and around Bakersfield, California, at bars such as The Blackboard. ... The 1950s decade refers to the years 1950 to 1959 inclusive. ... “Lubbock” redirects here. ... The 1960s decade refers to the years from 1960 to 1969. ...

In the 1990s however, "alternative country" came to refer to a disparate group of musicians and singers operating outside the traditions and industry of mainstream country music. In general these musicians eschewed the high production values and pop outlook of the Nashville-dominated industry, to produce music with a lo-fi sound, frequently infused with a strong punk and rock & roll aesthetic, bending the traditional rules of country music. Lyrics are often bleak, gothic or socially aware. Otherwise, the musical styles of artists that fall within this genre often have little in common, ranging from traditional American folk tunes and bluegrass, through rockabilly and honky-tonk, to music that is indistinguishable from mainstream rock or country. Indeed many alternative country artists come from punk and rock backgrounds. This already broad labelling has been further confused by alternative country artists disavowing the movement, mainstream artists declaring they are part of it, and the retroactive claiming of past or veteran musicians as alternative country. No Depression, the most well known magazine of the genre, declares that it covers "alternative-country music (whatever that is)". For the band, see 1990s (band). ... Lo-fi — from Low Fidelity — describes a sound recording which contains accidental artifacts, like distortion, or environmental noise, or a recording which has a limited frequency response. ... Punk rock is an anti-establishment music movement beginning around 1976 (although precursors can be found several years earlier), exemplified and popularised by The Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Damned. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... It is proposed that this article be deleted, because of the following concern: Article doesnt appear to meet notability according to WP:NOTFILM and makes no assertions that it does. ... Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music. ... Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, and emerged in the early-1950s. ... A vintage belt buckle from Gilleys, a large honky tonk featured in the movie Urban Cowboy. ... No Depression is a bi-monthly magazine which covers the genre of Alternative Country music. ...

Despite this confusion, it is generally agreed that alternative country resulted from two opposing influences. The first is traditional American country music, the music of working people, preserved and celebrated by practitioners such as Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, and The Carter Family. The second is country rock, the result of fusing country music with an aggressive rock & roll sound. The artist most commonly identified as the originator of country rock is Gram Parsons (who referred to his sound as "Cosmic American Music"), although Jason and the Scorchers, and Steve Earle are frequently identified as important innovators. These two styles merged in Uncle Tupelo's 1990 LP No Depression, and this album is widely credited with being the first "alt-country" album. The bands Whiskeytown and The Old 97's,continued in this tradition and former Whiskeytown singer Ryan Adams continues to shape the genre to this day in his solo career. Neil Young has embodied both the rock and folk/country influences for many years, and could be considered the "Godfather of Alt Country", carrying it from the Woodstock era thru to the Gen X era to the present. Woodrow Wilson Guthrie (July 14, 1912–October 3, 1967) was a prolific American songwriter and folk musician. ... For other persons named Hank Williams, see Hank Williams (disambiguation). ... Maybelle, A.P. and Sara The Carter Family was a rural country music group that performed between 1927 and 1943. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Rock and roll (also spelled Rock n Roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... Gram Parsons (November 5, 1946 – September 19, 1973) was an American singer, songwriter, guitarist and pianist. ... Alt country band led by Jason Ringenberg whose sound combined punk with country music. ... Steve Earle (born Stephen Fain Earle January 17, 1955) is an American singer-songwriter, well known for his rock and country music, as well as for his political views. ... Uncle Tupelo was an alternative country music group from Belleville, Illinois, active between 1987 and 1994. ... See also: 1990 in music (UK) Musical groups established in 1990 Record labels established in 1990 list of years in music // January 21 - MTVs Unplugged premieres on cable television with musical guest, Squeeze February 6 - Billy Idol is involved in a serious motorcycle accident, resulting in several broken bones. ... No Depression is the title of an album released 1990 by the alt-country band Uncle Tupelo. ... Whiskeytown was an alternative country band formed in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1994. ... The Old 97s (L-R: Philip Peeples, Ken Bethea, Murry Hammond, and Rhett Miller) The Old 97s are an alt-country band originally based in Dallas, Texas. ... Commonly confused with Bryan Adams David Ryan Adams (born November 5, 1974) is a prolific American alt-country/rock singer-songwriter from Jacksonville, North Carolina. ... This article is about the musician. ...

Alternative country is popularly referred to, especially in print, as "alt-country" or sometimes "alt.country". The genre is also referred to under a large number of other names, including "americana", "trashcan americana", "insurgent country", "neotraditional", "no depression", "cowpunk", "progressive country", "regressive country", "lo-fi country", "roots rock", "twang core", "rural contemporary", "country-punk", "y'allternative", "hick rock", "count-rock", "alternative country-rock" and many others. Americana is a loose subset of American roots music, that is perhaps best defined as classic American music—ranging in style from folk, country blues, bluegrass, alternative country, rockabilly, neotraditional and roots rock. ... Neotraditional country, also known as new traditional country, is a country music style that rejects most elements of modern Top 40 country music. ... Cowpunk or Country Punk is a subgenre of punk rock that began in southern California in the 1980s, especially Los Angeles. ... Progressive country is a subgenre of country music started in the late 60s which preceded and led to Outlaw country though it eventually became alternative country in the 1980s. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Alt-country today

Today a growing collective of musicians from across the country are taking a darker, more rustic approach to the genre, creating a subculture commonly referred to as "Gothic-Americana". Many credit this style's origins to the artists that came from the Denver scene in the mid to late 90s, such as the Denver Gentlemen and 16 Horsepower. Today's alt.country musicians blend traditional folk, Americana, gypsy, blues, bluegrass, country, and rockabilly with punk and alternative rock to create an original style of music firmly rooted in the alt.country trenches, but with a much darker side. Traditional instruments like violins, banjos, harmonicas, accordions and mandolins mix with electric guitars, powerful drumming and upright bass to create a dynamic, raw sound. The scene encompasses a rogue's gallery of performers and musicians, sharing the stage with burlesque dancers and circus freaks. Like a medicine show without the snake oil, the shows are filled with an incomparable energy. Pushed along by bands such as Slim Cessna's Auto Club and Jay Munly, Strawfoot, Reverend Glasseye, Curtis Eller, the Monads, Creech Holler, William Elliott Whitmore and many others, fans are growing in large numbers around the world. David Eugene Edwards of 16 Horsepower performing live in 1998. ... Slim Cessnas Auto Club is a country music band formed in 1993 in Denver, Colorado. ... Jay Munly (also credited as Munly and Munly Munly) is a banjo player, guitarist, singer, and songwriter based in Denver, Colorado. ... Reverend Glasseye, also billed as Reverend Glasseye and His Wooden Legs, are an American rock band. ... William Elliott Whitmore photo by Curtis Lehmkuhl William Elliott Whitmore is a deep-blues vocalist and musician from Iowa. ...

See also

This is a listing of some musicians in the alt-country genre 16 Horsepower 50 Cent Haircut Absolute Whores Accident Clearinghouse Alejandro Escovedo Allison Moorer Amy Speace The Audreys The Avett Brothers The Backsliders Bad Livers Barnacles basementband The Beasts of Bourbon The Be Good Tanyas The Beauty Shop Bill... Red Dirt is a genre of music based in and around Stillwater, Oklahoma (the college town where Oklahoma State University is located). ... // Texas Country Music (more popularly known just as Texas Country or Texas music) is a rapidly growing sub-genre of Country Music. ...


  • Alden, Grant; & Blackstock, Peter (1998). "No Depression: An Introduction to Alternative Country Music. Whatever That Is". Dowling Pr. ISBN 1-891847-00-7.
  • Goodman, David (1999). "Modern Twang: An Alternative Country Music Guide and Directory". Dowling Pr. ISBN 1-891847-03-1.

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Welcome to papercuts.co.uk - Information on Alternative country music (1052 words)
Alternative country, also referred to as "Americana,;" "Cow-punk," "Y'alternative," "No Depression," and "Insurgent Country," is a catch-all term describing a diverse musical genre that combines forms of traditional country music, such as twang, swing, rockabilly,; and bluegrass,; with the ethos and sound of punk rock.
While a definition of "alt.country" may be difficult to pin down, what it is not remains clear: it is not the "Hot Country" music of commercial Nashville, which is seen as homogenous and lacking a sense of tradition.
Next are the "Traditionalists," those who have been in country music for years but whose talents and contributions tend to be ignored by "Hot Country." This includes artists like Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn, Guy Clark, Merle Haggard, and Don Walser.
The Infography about Alternative Country Music (99 words)
The following sources are recommended by a professor whose research specialty is the rock-and-roll genre in country music.
No Depression: An Introduction to Alternative Country Music.
Are You Ready for the Country: Elvis, Dylan, Parsons and the Roots of Country Rock.
  More results at FactBites »



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