|Cultural origins||Late 20th century|
Alternative country, or alternative country rock(sometimes alt-country, insurgent country, or Americana ) is a loosely defined subgenre of country rock, which includes acts that differ significantly in style from mainstream country music, mainstream country rock, and country pop. Alternative country artists are often influenced by alternative rock. However, the term has been used to describe country music bands and artists that are also defined as or have incorporated influences from alternative rock and cowpunk, indie rock, roots rock, bluegrass, neotraditional country, punk rock, progressive country, rockabilly, punkabilly, honky-tonk, outlaw country, folk rock, indie folk, folk revival, folk punk, hard rock, R&B, heartland rock, and Southern rock.
In the 1990s the term alternative country, paralleling alternative rock, began to be used to describe a diverse group of musicians and singers operating outside the traditions and industry of mainstream country music.Many eschewed the increasingly polished production values and pop sensibilities of the Nashville-dominated industry for a more lo-fi sound, frequently infused with a strong punk and rock and roll aesthetic. Lyrics may be bleak or socially aware, but also more heartfelt and less likely to use the clichés sometimes used by mainstream country musicians. In other respects, the musical styles of artists that fall within this genre often have little in common, ranging from traditional American folk music and bluegrass, through rockabilly and honky-tonk, to music that is indistinguishable from mainstream rock or country. This already broad labeling has been further confused by alternative country artists disavowing the movement, mainstream artists declaring they are part of it, and retroactive claims that past or veteran musicians are alternative country. No Depression , the best-known magazine dedicated to the genre, declared that it covered "alternative-country music (whatever that is)".
Alternative country drew on traditional American country music, the music of working people, preserved and celebrated by practitioners such as Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, and The Carter Family, often cited as major influences.Another major influence was country rock, the result of fusing country music with a rock & roll sound. The artist most commonly thought to have originated country rock is Gram Parsons (who referred to his sound as "Cosmic American Music"), although Michael Nesmith, Steve Earle and Gene Clark are frequently identified as important innovators. The third factor was punk rock, which supplied an energy and DIY attitude.
Attempts to combine punk and country had been pioneered by Nashville's Jason and the Scorchers, and in the 1980s Southern Californian cowpunk scene with bands like the Long Rydersand X, but these styles merged fully in Uncle Tupelo's 1990 LP No Depression , which is widely credited as being the first "alt-country" album, and gave its name to the online notice board and eventually magazine that underpinned the movement. They released three more influential albums, signing to a major label, before they broke up in 1994, with members and figures associated with them going on to form three major bands in the genre: Wilco, Son Volt and Bottle Rockets. Bottle Rockets signed, along with acts like Freakwater, Old 97's and Robbie Fulks, to the Chicago-based indie label, Bloodshot, who pioneered a version of the genre under the name insurgent country. The bands Blue Mountain, Whiskeytown, Blood Oranges and Drive-By Truckers further developed this tradition before most began to move more in the direction of rock music in the 2000s.
Country is a genre of popular music that takes its roots from genres such as blues and old-time music, and various types of American folk music including Appalachian, Cajun, and the cowboy Western music styles of Red Dirt, New Mexico, Texas country, and Tejano. Its popularized roots originate in the Southern United States of the early 1920s.
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the late 1940s and early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the mid-1960s and later, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily from the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly from a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. For instrumentation, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.
Indie rock is a genre of rock music that originated in the United States and United Kingdom in the 1970s. Originally used to describe independent record labels, the term became associated with the music they produced and was initially used interchangeably with alternative rock or "guitar pop rock". In the 1980s, the use of the term "indie" started to shift from its reference to recording companies to describe the style of music produced on punk and post-punk labels. During the 1990s, grunge and punk revival bands in the US and Britpop bands in the UK broke into the mainstream, and the term "alternative" lost its original counter-cultural meaning. The term "indie rock" became associated with the bands and genres that remained dedicated to their independent status. By the end of the 1990s, indie rock developed several subgenres and related styles, including lo-fi, noise pop, emo, slowcore, post-rock, and math rock. In the 2000s, changes in the music industry and a growing importance of the Internet enabled a new wave of indie rock bands to achieve mainstream success, leading to questions about its meaningfulness as a term.
Alternative rock is a category of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1970s and became widely popular in the 1980s. "Alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream or commercial rock or pop music. The term's original meaning was broader, referring to a generation of musicians unified by their collective debt to either the musical style or simply the independent, DIY ethos of punk rock, which in the late 1970s laid the groundwork for alternative music.
Cowpunk is a subgenre of punk rock that began in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and southern California in the early 1980s. It combines punk rock or new wave with country, folk, and blues in its sound, lyrical subject matter, attitude, and style. Examples include The Long Ryders, Dash Rip Rock, Violent Femmes, the Blasters, Mojo Nixon, Meat Puppets, The Beat Farmers, Rubber Rodeo, Rank and File, and Jason and the Scorchers. Many of the musicians in this scene subsequently became associated with alternative country, roots rock or Americana. In the 2000s (decade), Those Darlins have been called a cowpunk band.
The U.S. state of Missouri has a storied musical history. It has been the scene of major developments in several popular music genres as well as the birthplace of many notable musicians. St. Louis was an important venue for early blues and jazz, as well as country and bluegrass. Kansas City is home to famous performers such as Charlie Parker, Count Basie, Lester Young, and its own distinct jazz style. Ragtime got its influential hold in the city of Sedalia, Missouri, thanks to Scott Joplin and his publisher John Stark, and through another Missouri native, James Scott.
Outlaw country is a subgenre of American country music, most popular during the 1970s and early 1980s, sometimes referred to as the outlaw movement or simply outlaw music. The music has its roots in earlier subgenres like honky tonk and rockabilly and is characterized by a blend of rock and folk rhythms, country instrumentation and introspective lyrics. The movement began as a reaction to the slick production and popular structures of the Nashville sound developed by record producers like Chet Atkins.
Johnny Bush is a country music singer, songwriter, and drummer. Bush, nicknamed the "Country Caruso," is best known for his distinctive voice and as the writer of "Whiskey River," a top-ten hit for himself and Willie Nelson's signature song. He is still popular in his native Texas.
Roots rock is rock music that looks back to rock's origins in folk, blues and country music. It is particularly associated with the creation of hybrid subgenres from the later 1960s including blues rock, country rock and southern rock, swamp rock which have been seen as responses to the perceived excesses of dominant psychedelic and developing progressive rock. Because roots music (Americana) is often used to mean folk and world musical forms, roots rock is sometimes used in a broad sense to describe any rock music that incorporates elements of this music. In the 1980s, roots rock enjoyed a revival in response to trends in punk rock, new wave and heavy metal music.
American rock has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and country music, and also drew on folk music, jazz, blues, and classical music. American rock music was further influenced by the British Invasion of the American pop charts from 1964 and resulted in the development of psychedelic rock.
Modern rock is rock music that followed the 1970s punk rock scene made between the mid 1970s to present day. Some radio stations use this term to distinguish themselves from classic rock, which is based in 1960s–1980s rock music.
John Chadwick Stirratt is an American bassist and multi-instrumentalist for Wilco, and The Autumn Defense.
Popular music of the United Kingdom in the 1990s continued to develop and diversify. While the singles charts were dominated by boy bands and girl groups, British soul and Indian-based music also enjoyed their greatest level of mainstream success to date, and the rise of World music helped revitalise the popularity of folk music. Electronic rock bands like The Prodigy and Chemical Brothers began to achieve a high profile. Alternative rock reached the mainstream, emerging from the Madchester scene to produce dream pop, shoegazing, post rock and indie pop, which led to the commercial success of Britpop bands like Blur and Oasis; followed by a stream of post-Britpop bands like Travis and Feeder.
Post-punk revival, also known as garage rock revival, new rock revolution and new wave revival, is a genre of indie rock that developed in the late 1990s and early 2000s, inspired by the original sounds and aesthetics of garage rock of the 1960s and new wave and post-punk of the 1980s. Bands that broke through to the mainstream from local scenes across the world in the early 2000s included the Strokes, the Libertines, the Killers, Franz Ferdinand, the White Stripes, the Kooks, Interpol, the Vines, the Hives, Bloc Party, Arctic Monkeys, the Cribs and Kaiser Chiefs who were followed to commercial success by many established and new acts. By the end of the decade, most of the bands had broken up, moved on to other projects or were on hiatus, although some bands returned to recording and touring in the 2010s.
A number of overlapping punk rock subgenres have developed since the emergence of punk rock in the mid-1970s. Even though punk genres at times are difficult to segregate, they usually show differing characteristics in overall structures, instrumental and vocal styles, and tempo. However, sometimes a particular trait is common in several genres, and thus punk genres are normally grouped by a combination of traits.
"Just to Satisfy You" is a song written by American country music singers Waylon Jennings and Don Bowman in 1963. Jennings included the song in his performing repertoire, and on radio, where the song became a local hit in Phoenix, Arizona.
James Leroy O'Gwynn was an American country music singer. Between 1958 and 1962, he recorded for the D and Mercury labels, charting six times on the Hot Country Songs charts. His work on the D label was produced by Pappy Daily, best known for producing George Jones.
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