Pete has written, and sent a bunch of links to songs that I would call contemporary country rock. I don’t know if that’s the correct term but while we’re both from Pompey, he’s lived a long time in the states. It’s not obviously my kind of music although across country music more broadly, I do love the sound of pedal steels and violins – a bit like the blues, I’m generally more fond of the older stuff (Carters, Jimmie Rodgers, Bob Wills, Hank Williams etc) although in Scarlet Town I do sing songs by Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss. If you check out the link to the second one here (with a movie clip) there’s some Trump stuff in the Comments, that seems really scary to me.
Here’s Pete – incidentally, he suggests about about the blues that people sing about bigger political and social issues. A few do, but it’s rarely the case. Blues songs are much more often about personal stuff – probably because poor (often Southern) blacks were so utterly disenfranchised that they didn’t dare to protest like these contemporary white singers that Pete’s found. And if they did, the white record bosses probably wouldn’t issue the record (I can put together a compilation of blues ‘protest’ songs, but by-and-large that’s the case). Blues singers did it less explicitly by analogy and metaphor, if at all.
Pete: “What I find interesting is how many of the songs talk about the woes and the change in America. Much in the way the blues artists in the past sang about the hard work and hard life and poverty these newer songs talk about the disintegration of the fabric of the country as the “Big Box” stores forced out the small mainstreet (or high street) shops, such as Jon Anderson “The Little Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KrTiUHlmCLs Also about the closure and decay of Detroit and the auto industry “There shutting Detroit down” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMx__6Zc3S0 Yet there are songs about the hope and the future such as Only in America by Brooks and Dunn https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN1iI-DaJNw and Welcome to the future by Brad Paisley https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0Yg9wjctRw He also has a very good song called This is country music that in itself tells a story that country music sings about about topics that nothing else does, like cancer and religion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_KxM4rU38Q Music starts at 0.30 There are many many songs about the veterans fighting in Afghanistan as well. I don’t have enough insight into current British music but you have to wonder if people are writing and singing about similar stuff.
Thanks Pete – this is an outrageous generalisation, but it seems to me that white British pop has been taken over by middle-class kids who learn about rock & roll in college. But I think black British kids are for sure protesting – Rap, Grime etc. What do we know about that?