Wall Street Journal: Honest, Unfettered Americana
While the Wall Street Journal’s editorial policies are almost certainly, I hope, the antithesis of our shared values, it’s arts pages can be another matter.
In this morning’s edition, and online, is a very respectful article on The Americana Music Association’s Nashville festivities written by one one of the more intelligent & insightful mainstream writers, Jim Fushilli.
In the article Fushilli attempts to define Americana and looks to some of its artists to do so, but, for example, Rosanne Cash & Buddy Miller, decline. Cash does, however, muse on what it might embrace: “It seems fairly broad, but it could be limited in scope. You could call Miles Davis Americana. It’s about the artist.”
Exactly. The music and the real human beings making it.
Or, one could paraphrase Big Bill Broonzy’s response when asked if he liked folk music: It’s all folk music. I’ve never seen any chickens or cows playing music.
Or, Justice Potter Stewart’s thoughts on pornography: I can’t define define it, but I know it when I see it.
Fushilli also notes that beginning next year Americana will have it’s own category in the Grammy Awards.
So, we finally are being welcomed into the club. Or, more likely, being co-opted.
I remember the last time I watched The Grammy Awards just to watch a two minute performance by Emmylou, Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss. We had to sit through 90 minutes of what I can only describe as godawful and lots of inane chatter by the TV announcers who were so up on everything, had just talked to the hot talent of the moment, etc. Then came the album of year award — and it went to “O Brother Where Art Thou.” Suddenly, no one knew what to say. The announcers were speechless for what seemed an eternity. In other words, they had no idea what they were hearing and seeing.
But we knew and we celebrated.
Now, here’s a link to the fine WSJ article: