Column

Through the Lens

Focusing on the finest roots music photography

Amos lives in West Virginia, where he works with Mountain Stage and takes stunning photographs of live music performances.

Through the Lens

Focusing on the finest roots music photography

Amos lives in West Virginia, where he works with Mountain Stage and takes stunning photographs of live music performances.

Takeaways from AmericanaFest 2018; or, WTF is Americana?

My sentiment of Americana is what it is supposed to be: where rock, country, folk and blues collide and make a mess. 

No polish, no bleach and no starch. 

Since No Depression's inception, the idea of being honest and true to the art of song and artist, has been its focus. Peter Blackstock and Grant Alden were true believers that the sound was alternative to what was going on Music Row. Be a rebel with a cause! 

As a publicist, I call it The Rolling Stone of Americana. It's an important magazine, whether it's print or on the web - and not one other publication has stood the test of time like this one. (I can honestly say I've been a part of this magazine for about 20 years.) It might have run into a wall or two but it has always keep its eye on the road. 

The road between Big City to Sin City is a bumpy ride... just gotta keep bottle and the Bible near the bed. 

Congratulations on capturing both the challenge and opportunity in two words: voting members. I’ve got no beef with the good hard work that the organization has accomplished, but I truly believe they erred when they decided to go down the path of doing the old-school award system. By just using the simple standard definition of Americana music with all of it’s ‘big tent’ intentions, how could a nomination and award system be anything but unfair, un-inclusive and a slap in the face to the musicians who bring a mixed-bag of experience and influences? I’ll keep saying it: lose the damn awards. Keep the ‘nominees and catagories’ portion to satisfy the radio, label and marketing weasels who get off on the ego gratification if you must, but stop with this winner-loser merry-go-round. It’s de-humanizing and fosters the lack of diversity. If anything, expand the field and don’t stop at just five nominees per category, but make it unlimited. Acknowledge and help expose all the great work done over the past year, don’t put an artificial limit on it. 

Thanks for your view.  Again, I ask what year were they celebrating with 2017's "Vampire" in 2018? If they can't be diverse at least be current.

Oh, and it's a "Chili Parlor Bar."

Ah, I see it was corrected in the text. But I'll leave my photo since there was no reply. I should have asked EasyEd! 

 

 

 

Americana music is just a bigger-umbrella term for what was called alternative-country music in the '90s and early '00s. It's basically American mongrel — a mix of country, rock, blues, folk, pop, punk, singer-songwriters & twang — and all of the hyphenated variants. If it mixes the usual rock quartet (electric guitars, bass, and drums) with acoustic country/folk instruments (fiddles, mandolins, banjos, pedal steel, acoustic guitars, etc.), then I'm just about in heaven.  In other words...whatever that is!

Most "major" music industry awards tend to bland things up and settle for more popular/safe choices - - it's just the nature of the beast. As an admitted fan of Americana music, I already know not to judge the Americana book by its music industry awards cover.  I find the music itself to be wide-open, vital, and endlessly fascinating. New blood helps to keep it that way. Rag on the awards all you want, but continue to enjoy the music!