Wow, have I been enjoying this fine radio station more than ever lately. I just heard a Folk-Blues artist named Eric Bibb whose song “Stayed on Freedom” is just excellent. I could listen to this type of Blues any day.
I grew up in Sussex County, NJ, and Newton was a town of 7000 that was so close to the Appalachian Trail that my father used to take us kids up on hilltop locations along the trail to places that had ponds, lakes and waterfalls – not to mention panoramic views of acres and acres of woodland.
High Point, NJ
Even though we received all the latest in media from NYC – 60 miles to our southeast, there was a boat house / bar on Swartswood Lake that had “hippie bluegrass” – with really great bands playing Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe, etc tunes. I think we all wanted to hear the “Southern Rock” that was popular at the time, and the joke was some yahoo would yell out “Freebird”, but these long haired bluegrass cats would have none of that. They might delve into something in the Blues or Folk genre, but they were pretty much “Americana” as far as I can remember. This music seemed to match our county – with the Appalachian Trail running through it – it was a sort of theme song.
In the 80’s R.E.M blazed a musical trail that I liked much more than that 70’s “Southern Rock”, and there has been a constant re-invention of what Americana is since then. But that’s what is fun about Americana – there are so many “threads” that weave all over the place, and they are all 100% American and quite unique.
There are so many different takes on “Americana” – the soundtrack to “Brother Where Art Thou” is one of the absolute best examples – and it got me to track back into the original artists – but also appreciate newer artists playing on old themes. I never liked Country Music that much – but then I heard Dolly Parton’s Bluegrass music and Johnny Cash playing modern rock covers in his style – and wow – did I learn not to judge an artist by some past phase that I didn’t care for. Americana is a wonderful “stew”.
KPIG weaves its way through Folk, Blues, Bluegrass, Country and rock and every conceivable type of “Americana” tinged music that you could ever imagine, and in a way that you end up appreciating music you previously might have dismissed or thought you weren’t into that much.
To say I am unhappy about our blowhard wannabe tin pot dictator in the white house is an understatement. But when I hear all of this wonderful Americana music – I realize as a country, somehow we have suffered fools before, and we will suffer fools again.
“Hope” by R. Holoch, 2008
Fir me, Americana music is Hope itself, and KPIG serves it up in a way that keeps the Hope alive.