The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redefined

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Song of the WeekFeb 23, 2018

As fiddles and banjos have become increasingly commonplace in mainstream music, the spirit of a string band -- one that's predicated on a kind of pure, punk-rock joy -- has often taken a back seat to a more earnest, precious treatment. But in Appalachia, that traditionalism was about skill, about a kinetic energy, about falling…

Song of the WeekFeb 16, 2018

Any given day of the week, one person or another will try to convince us all that rock 'n' roll is dead -- that synths have replaced guitars for good and children are growing up more interested in clicking "like" on Facebook than they are clicking a set of distortion pedals. Believe what you want,…

Song of the WeekFeb 9, 2018

Our music is filled to the brim with songs about the hardship of love -- how difficult it can be to fight for a true partnership, to triumph over heartbreak, to pine away for some unrequited romance. Love, and its never-ending complications, will likely feed songs until eternity, and lyrics will forever serve as a…

Song of the WeekFeb 2, 2018

It's February again -- i.e. the time of year when we all must grin and bear it as the supermarket aisles fill with heart-shaped candies, pink marshmallows, and cheesy cards. Valentine's Day can be sweet for a class of third graders, but downright silly for the rest of us, regardless of relationship status. Suddenly, restaurants…

Song of the WeekJan 26, 2018

Onomatopoeia: a word that resembles the sound that it describes. "Boom," for example. "Pow!" Or the ominous "his-s-s-s-ssing" of a snake. In poetry, it's a useful tool to give those stanzas a bit of a visceral punch. Perhaps we learn about the term in middle school over a copy of Shakespeare. Maybe we write songs…