Where is Americana Music Today?
Folk-music customs often develop in more ancient societies and are passed down for generations. The United States, however, is a relatively new country. It was founded on the principles of expansion and adaptation. As such, intermingling between cultures and ethnicities is inevitable, even within segregated areas. That said, we must be careful not to confuse authenticity with oldness.
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Van Lear Rose
If you are looking for an album that will capture the essence of modern Americana, look no further than Van Lear Rose. With its mix of rock and heartache ballads, story songs, and gospel, this album is sure to please. It is unlike any other album in the genre. This is not to say that Van Lear Rose is the only artist to make a mark on the Americana scene today, but this album is certainly among the best.
Ry Cooder is one of the most important figures in Americana music. He has played with numerous great musicians, including Ali Farka Toure, The Beach Boys, and John Lee Hooker. Cooder also collaborated with a number of other artists, including John Patitucci, Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, and David Lindley.
Margo Griffin is a singer-songwriter who hails from Maine but has made a name for herself in the Austin, Texas area. She released her debut album, Living with Ghosts, in 1996 and its follow-up, Flaming Red, in 1998. Both albums are considered seminal works in the genre of modern folk. Along with her music, Griffin is an activist and dedicates time and energy to causes affecting the environment and the less fortunate. She’s a member of the Women’s Refugee Commission and has participated in the Lampedusa Tour, a benefit tour for the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Robert Plant’s latest studio album, “Band of Joy,” is a tribute to Americana music. This record, which came out on Rounder Records, is almost entirely composed of American roots music. The album also features a track by Sandy Denny, a former member of the Fairport Convention. Denny was a member of the group and brought to prominence the female vocalist on “The Battle of Evermore.” The other ten tracks on “Band of Joy” span several genres and geographical locations, but all share a common theme of Americana music.
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have collaborated several times, and their first album, Raising Sand, is widely considered one of the best albums of the 21st century. They are now back together, with a brand new album, Raise the Roof, which features original songs as well as covers of old favorites and obscure songs. The album is available on CD, vinyl, and as an exclusive indie-store edition.
Band of Joy
The Joy Band is a supergroup of talented musicians from the Triad region. Their sound combines symphonic guitar solos, harmonies, and crafty songwriting. Their sophomore release “By the Light” picks up where their debut left off.