World Premier of Joe Buck EPK “Piss & Vinegar”
“Yeah, I wore the cowboy suits and sang straight up, but that was 1992. I thought that was the most punk rock thing I could do, is play hillbilly music. That’s what I wanted to hear. I couldn’t find it anywhere. So I had to go start playing it. I just couldn’t be a fraud, so I learned that right. And now I can go fuck that shit up”
Joe Buck is the nexus of where punk and country meet. He has the wisdom of 10 old men, with the energy of 10 teenagers, and is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, despite the growls and god-awful language. Former bass player for Hank III, former everything for Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers, Joe Buck is now a one man wrecking crew, hell bent on pounding and screaming his message of a world gone mad to the masses.
After years of touring and putting out low-fi homespun projects ripped in the back of his motorhome, Joe Buck hooked up with legendary producer Jack Endino to record Piss & Vinegar.
“I have to have a really great representation of this stuff because I’m really proud of these songs and they didn’t get their due, and its one of those things where I can’t move on until I get this like I need to.
While recording with Jack Endino in his Soundhouse Recording studio in Seattle, Blake Judd of Judd Films flew out with Todd Tue of Milk Products Media to record an EPK. They hooked up with local videographer Nick “Ginger” Lindsay of No Brow Productions, and the Joe Buck EPK came to life.
Keith Neltner of Neltner Creative contributed the artwork for Piss & Vinegar, which now can be ordered here. (expect 2-4 weeks for delivery, and there’s limited quantities for online sales.) You can also check for Joe Buck tour dates on his MySpace.
Shots from the recording:
November 30, 2010 @ 9:34 am
He sure is scary lookin’ but the music speaks for itself.
November 30, 2010 @ 10:44 am
He is so on the money when he talks about kindness being a sign of weakness anymore and that being nice, trusting, caring, etc. will just get fucked and that is fucked up.
December 2, 2010 @ 10:36 am
That’s why nice guys never get laid, because it is perceived as weakness.
December 2, 2010 @ 2:00 pm
it’s all a matter of swagger, right? isn’t that what the rap artists tell us?
Swagger it up right and be a nice guy and you’ll get what you’re looking for.
November 30, 2010 @ 10:56 am
Man O’ Mighty…I sure would like to hear Joe Buck with a FULL band behind his music! Does this album have that? Is there a preview available somewhere?
November 30, 2010 @ 11:10 am
There’s not a band backing him up, but Joe Buck plays drums, bass, etc. and backs himself up on many of the songs. I haven’t heard the full album yet myself. I’m waiting in line with everyone else to get a copy. Trying to run down a track list and I’ll post it here when I get it.
December 11, 2010 @ 2:29 am
November 30, 2010 @ 1:03 pm
1. Evil Motherfucker from Tennessee 2. Born to Scare 3. Dig my Grave 4. Music City’s Dead 5. Are you my enemy 6. Demon in my Head 7. Devil is on his Way 8. Drug Train 9. Dig a Hole 10.Hillbilly Pride 11. I will Survive 12.Muddy Water 13. Planet Seeth
November 30, 2010 @ 3:21 pm
November 30, 2010 @ 1:36 pm
LOVE Joe Buck! Love his music, love his personal philosophies. Pretty much want to hear anything that comes out of his mouth. He’s great to watch as well, so expressive and amusing. Damn, he should do a talk show, that would be hilarious. I’d watch that!
November 30, 2010 @ 3:22 pm
He’d throw chairs at the audience, instead of vice versa. Lets make a pilot!
November 30, 2010 @ 2:27 pm
I so want fucking MORE!!!!!!!! Who is the Nick “Ginger” guy? Never heard of him.
November 30, 2010 @ 2:44 pm
Dangit Trig, I didn’t “hook up” with them. I swear you won’t stop spreading rumors about me and man-love.
Congrats to Blake / Todd / Keith, they all did a great job on this!
November 30, 2010 @ 2:53 pm
See I knew it! You are a slut Ginger!
November 30, 2010 @ 3:32 pm
After awhile they stop becoming rumors, Ginger.
December 2, 2010 @ 2:02 pm
Be kind. He is reforming is ways…
November 30, 2010 @ 3:49 pm
Joe Buck is one artist no one should sleep on. His music is honest, raged, endearing and brutal. It’s a slap in the face for all the pussies out there that think they are making music. I can’t wait to buy a copy of this. I already know it will be in my top 3 of 2010.
November 30, 2010 @ 4:09 pm
Back cover from Motor:
November 30, 2010 @ 7:11 pm
oooh! such awesomeness!
December 2, 2010 @ 2:05 pm
I have an interview on hold with Keith Neltner. Now that I’ve seen this cover art and the fundraiser project I wanna head down to Newport and chat him up immediately. BrAvO! His art is amazing…
November 30, 2010 @ 4:48 pm
I’ve had my copy for a month…he he
November 30, 2010 @ 11:37 pm
Was waitin on this shit! Ready to get a copy from him on the road.
Essential Albums For 2010 « Saving Country Music
December 1, 2010 @ 2:17 pm
[…] and since Joe Buck’s new album may not be available to the masses for weeks, we will include it as a 2011 […]
December 1, 2010 @ 2:21 pm
What label is putting it out? I know it was initially supposed to come out on Century Media but that fell through from what I heard.
December 1, 2010 @ 2:49 pm
No label. DIY. He was only going to sell it at shows and then decided to put it online in “limited quantities.” He has it with him at shows now. The online sales won’t go through for a few weeks.
December 1, 2010 @ 5:44 pm
Joe Buck is the epitome of intense … layered with kindness. Go figure.
December 3, 2010 @ 12:09 pm
This is great to hear. I commented on this in another one of the posts on here. This album is cleaner and more produced then all the other stuff JBY’s put out, and in my opinion the way a studio album should be. His live show supporting this album is hard, loud and angry. This last time that I saw him Zeke was the headliner. The time before it was Wayne “The Train.” I’ve seen him here in Portland and once in S.F. He’s always the nicest guy, and much to my amazement he remembered me. Says something about staying sober. He was also nice enough to give me this album. I always try to get him to play Give It Up, but he never has. Told me he is going to record it with Zeke, I’d expect it anytime now. He’s also got a new shirt that has him as a scarecrow. Picked it up for my step-dad.
December 8, 2010 @ 10:18 am
I am not going to knock the guy for doing what he loves. He obviously has passion, and this walks in the same neighborhood as country music, but I don’t know that this is “real” country music?
This is “real” hellbilly-ish.
December 8, 2010 @ 10:55 am
Who labeled this as REAL country music? Joe Buck did make REAL country music for many many years, helped revitalize Lower Broadway in Nashville where lots of REAL country goes down every day, and continues to play country music in his live sets along with his punk music. In fact when I saw him a few months ago, the first three songs he played were straight up country songs, with probably half the set being country. No, his new album and this EPK representing it is not REAL country, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t germane to the overall conversation. And honestly, even though most of what he does now is straight punk, it is still more country than most that flies that flag, so . . .
December 8, 2010 @ 12:23 pm
Well, you put the blog up on a site called “Saving Country Music”, and didn’t recognize in the article it isn’t country. It is a country guy making punk music. Fine, not a problem, but a misleading article. Of course Joe Buck fans love it, but if the charter is to shine some light on lesser known acts making country music, where does this fit?
If someone finds this site today, and looks at this article, there gonna think this is the music trying to be saved.
We know Taylor, Sugarland, Lady A-wful isn’t country. That gets mentioned in articles regarding them….But this isn’t country either.
December 8, 2010 @ 1:23 pm
Well Waylon4Ever have you ever met Joe Buck? Been to one of his shows? Speaking from experience Ive seen him play live many times and country runs through this Motherf@*#!&*’s blood. He can play Hank Sr., Hank Thompson, Wayne Hancock, etc…He can tear up the banjo, mandolin, acoustically he is a genius. Guess what I’m sayin is country music is ingrained in this man and you can’t deny that he adds to the moral fiber of country music that we all speak of these days.
December 9, 2010 @ 9:40 am
wow, I feel your pain Trigger when people hear/read what they want.
here it goes Sass…
I have seen Joe Buck. I don’t doubt his country passion and roots. I simply said this Piss & Vinegar project isn’t country. It is a country guy doing punk music. Nothing wrong with it. BUT this project is not “Saving Country Music”. Joe Buck maybe a savior of country, but this project simply is another side to him.
December 9, 2010 @ 10:13 am
First off, the big difference between Joe Buck and Lady Antebellum / Taylor Swift is they are calling themselves country, and Joe Buck is not, even though a lot of times, he indeed is.
And second, this is MY website, I don’t work for anybody else, I don’t get paid by anybody, and I don’t have to answer to anyone else’s opinions or desires about what this website should be about. You selectively pick one article out of 20 that doesn’t have to do with country music (in your opinion) and bitch about it and act like the whole charter of this website is bullshit, but it doesn’t make it true. I run this website, I say it is germane to Saving Country Music, and if you don’t like it, tough. I give you a forum to voice your opinion.
I printed this because I thought my readers would find it interesting. If Jamey Johnson wants to debut a video on my site, I’d be more than happy to. And guess what, if I did, I would gets my nuts kicked for supporting a sellout asshole. It works both ways my friend.
December 9, 2010 @ 10:31 am
Again, you bring up Jamey Johnson for absolutely no reason and no connection to this blog. For someone that doesn’t like every blog to turn into JJ, your the one doing it. Inviting it.
Taylor and Lady A call themselves country because they are the “mainstream” country today. That is a fact. They aren’t Joe Buck country, they aren’t Ernest Tubb country. But they are what is considered “country” in the mainstream.
Joe Buck is a version of country. A very positive version of it.
You say the blog is germane to the charter, I think it is germane to point out that this album is a punk album. A good one at that. But this album isn’t saving country music from mainstream acts. Joe Buck as a whole is fighting the mainstream but this album isn’t country. That isn’t an opinion, that is a fact.
December 9, 2010 @ 12:34 pm
It’s funny…on this site and in lots of other contexts, I see the words “real” and “authentic” in contrast to “sell out” or “pop.” If you step back and assess the context of these terms and operationalize them for use on this site, or in general conversation, there are assumptions being made about what qualifies each adjective as a modifier. I could talk for hours about how “real” and “authentic” are framed within cultural discourse and how they are problematic terms to use in any manner. But it seems to me that what is consistently being argued here is “who is real?”, “what is quality?”, and “what makes music authentic?”.
Everyone has a different measure of this, right? This is Trig’s site so he gets to lay out the criteria and the qualifications. If his definition of “real” or “authentic” includes a country boy playing punk music, so be it. The reason why you go back and forth over such things is that not everyone agrees on the criteria used to define “real” or “authentic,” and as such, folks get irritated and emotional about their personal definitions.
I would like to suggest that you all have a conversation about these terms. Define them collectively. Decide what makes music real…what makes it authentic…what it means to sell out…why pop can’t qualify as real or authentic music…how money taints things…what is “country”?
These are questions I think it would be fascinating to see answers to. Of course folks aren’t all going to agree. But I think a collective definition would be useful, no?
To me, authenticity is an inner quality that cannot be defined by standard terms. It is intrinsic and esoteric. It can’t be made or fabricated, and when someone attempts this, they become less authentic than they were before they started to try.
In reality, there is no pure authenticity. When you go out for Mexican food, and you want “authentic” Mexican food, how do you get this if you don’t go to Mexico? There is no Mexican food in the US that is authentic because everything that qualifies something as authentically Mexican is only one version of what it is to be Mexican (a Mexican cook, Mexican spices, Mexican ingredients, etc). And in Mexico, is there only one kind of authentic Mexican food? No.
I hope this makes sense. I’ve written about the concept of authenticity for years in an academic context and I see you all spinning your wheels here arguing over who qualifies as “real” or worth “saving”. Operationalized definitions help a lot, but perception is always subjective.
It seems that there is a community of people who agree that there is music in the genre of “country” that is worth saving. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be so many folks who tune in to this site. Honestly, I never thought of myself as a country music lady. I grew up listening to punk music. But what I am attracted to here is shares qualities with what Trig is trying to “save.” I may not be able to articulate what it is on my own…but I know it when I see it.
Perhaps all of us are this way? I don’t know.
Now, back to that G D grading.
December 9, 2010 @ 12:52 pm
wow. I don’t know if I want to get in a discussion with you on the concept of authenticity and real. You clearly have studied the concept much more than I can say I have, in a more academic way.
I agree with everything you laid out. I also think there is the broad definition of “country music”.
What are we trying to save? Jimmie Rodgers country or David Allan Coe’s country?
This is Trig’s site, so he defines his charter in his mind, and sometimes there is agreement others times there isn’t due to what you point out… we are all defining “real”, “authentic” and “country” a bit different. None more right or wrong than the other. BUT to many on here throw the words “sell out”, “fake”, “produced” with little to no objective support.
December 10, 2010 @ 6:39 am
Well, this post was one I had hoped Trig would comment on. I wanted to see what his take was on what I had to say. I want to see the charter and I want to understand, as you state here, what exactly is being saved.
These are questions that turn me on. I could care less who makes the cut ultimately because in reality, opinion, is opinion is opinion…I like to know how people operationalize definitions of terms they throw around.
December 11, 2010 @ 6:25 am
You know when something is real KAK? When you feel it, and with pop country, I ain’t feelin’ nothin’ but manufactured hooks, overused tactics, manipulation, greed, selling souls and selling “authenticity” (to say the least).
Just because one sells the most, doesn’t mean they are the best. Jimmie Rodgers country and DAC’s country are more similar than any newfandangled act out there now. What ties them close? Keepin’ it real.
Triggerman is giving voice to the fundamentals of country music. The foundation that pop country wants to alter. The fundamentals that each pop country song tries so hard to sequester. I’m sooo country I got straw hangin’ out my britches. I’m so country I drive my truck and listen to Cash. Oh hey, I’m so country I got a half dozen doohickeys on the mantle and that’s not all. Think I’ll write me a country song about how country I am.
It’s not rocket science, it’s Saving Country Music.
If I’m in Mexico and order a tequila and someone tries to serve me a martini and pass it off as authentic, I think I’m going to know the difference.
December 11, 2010 @ 9:59 am
Denise, I agree with your perspective on “feeling” when something is real. I think that this is how we all identify with qualities or “realness” or “authenticity” in anything. And yet, at many times, it is difficult to articulate the exact qualities that define this for us. Our feelings are subjective, and yet this does not make them any less valid a tool for evaluation than our rational minds.
“Triggerman is giving voice to the fundamentals of country music. The foundation that pop country wants to alter. The fundamentals that each pop country song tries so hard to sequester.”
Agreed. This is Trig’s focus. And I applaud him for this. It is my desire, however, to have these “fundamentals” and this “foundation” defined, articulated, outlined, described, and clearly delineated. I want to hear someone define “real” and “authentic” and to then describe how this relates to the “country” of country music.
Why does this matter to me? Why would I want to have the invisible made visible?
I grew up listening to punk and hardcore music. My parents also had a lot of classic country albums…Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, etc. I remember also listening to pop music in the 1970s and 80s. In my mind at the time, I could “feel” the difference between music that was created for profit and that which seemed to be compellingly ripped from the heart of the artist. This wasn’t genre specific. There was an emotive force in hardcore and punk that I also saw in Cash. The genres were miles apart aesthetically, but the feeling was the same.
I could feel this. I could tell that some music was authentic and other music was not. And yet, if asked to define authentic, I always came up short. I could not (and still to this day, cannot) define what makes some music authentic.
I’m attracted to this site because I get the impression that what Trig is doing is trying to foster, support, encourage, and promote “authentic” music. I admire this. But I want more. I want to know exactly what makes some country music authentic and some not. I want to understand exactly what the relationship is between financial success and aesthetic quality. For example, when an artist makes money on their music, is this instantly a sign that they have sold out? Is selling out bad? Does money change quality?
I find it more interesting to ask these questions than to debate between artists. I don’t care if anyone likes Hank III or Jamey Johnson (did I spell that right?). What I care about is what people see as being the qualities or characteristics of authentic or real country music. If Shelton is authentic, why? If Jamey isn’t, why not? Show me…and help me understand the parameters that define what needs to be saved.
December 10, 2010 @ 10:39 am
i just became familiar with Joe Buck and recently watched a doc on youtube called “trashville”….it really gave me a full appreciation of this mothafucka…hes one cool dude and he makes no apologies for any misconceptions people may have about what he does…. cant wait to hear the album…
December 11, 2010 @ 2:55 am
In my humble but over puncualized opinion, THIS SITE is about making un commercialized music known. We may not always agree with something that is pushed forward as “1, 2 or no Guns” , but we sure as hell can’t say we left this site not hearing about it! tHANKS for the post Triggerman, after reading this and knowing the multi talents of Joe Buck I pre-ordered the album. As I have (probably) too often mentioned, I am not a big fan of “one man bands”, but it sounds to me like this is a very well produced example of a multi-talented individual with ALL the Bells and Whistles!
December 11, 2010 @ 6:42 pm
To reply to KAK:
The difference in real/authentic and manufactured/sellout is in the motivation. If you take someone else’s as your own, you have sold out. If you just wanna be on the radio, you have sold out. If you disrespect the music, you are a fake. Shelton doesn’t need to prove anything. Pop Country, Gaylord Enterprises and all of Music Row sold out years ago. Believe me, I doubt Jamey Johnson and others ever want to see me face to face.
By the way, Happy Birthday to Shelton tommorrow and reinstate Hank.
December 13, 2010 @ 11:15 am
Are you making claims again with no support?
Lets review the statement:
“The difference in real/authentic and manufactured/sellout is in the motivation. If you take someone else”™s as your own, you have sold out. If you just wanna be on the radio, you have sold out. If you disrespect the music, you are a fake. Shelton doesn”™t need to prove anything. Pop Country, Gaylord Enterprises and all of Music Row sold out years ago. Believe me, I doubt Jamey Johnson and others ever want to see me face to face.”
You and I have gone back and forth, so I don’t think we will find agreement here, as I have said, opinions are fine, they are never wrong. However, as Kak points out below, “…pass on the criticism and the debates over who qualifies and who doesn”™t. We all like different stuff. But I love to hear the stories”¦”
so Kak (and Denise) here is a story for you…
First questions to Denise’s logic:
1. What motivatied Hank III to sign with Curb way back when? Hmmmmm, money.
2. What motivates Hank III to go around as Hank III, and not Shelton? Hmmmm, money.
3. HankIII’s sound is metal, death metal, more death metal. He sure passes off his grandpa’s sound as his own.
4. How does Pop Country, Gaylord Enterprises and all of Music Row…. connect with what Jamey Johnson is doing right now?
And the story behind some of this-
What is more genuine, authentic and real? (Not what do you like to hear more)
HankIII (Shelton) grows up with country royalty namesake, is a bit of troublemaker- as runs in the family. But Shelton tries the death metal scene. Where big money success is limited. Then ends up having a kid from a one night stand and needs money to support it.
So becomes a copy of Hank Sr. and signs w/ Curb cause he has the name to get a nice contract. Wears a costume and pretends to be Hank Sr. until he can’t stand it and then finally lets his hair grow and goes back to what he is….not near “traditional/real country” music. He is a REAL metal/punk guy. But he has a country following based on his name and the chicken dance he did with Curb.
Jamey Johnson- Grew up in Alabama, NOT wealthy, NOT comfortable. NOT a namesake.
Hometown is miles from Hank Sr’s stomping grounds. Jamey and friends used to drink beers and pick songs at Hank’s gravesite.
Moved to Nashville after stint in the Marines to try and play his music and live the dream. Worked construction, was successful at it. Found more success as a songwriter than artist as well, but eventually got a record deal. Made some “questionable” carrer decisions, but who hasn’t. Label didn’t support him, wife left him.
Crawled in a buddies basement for about a year and wrote stuff.
From that the album “That Lonesome Song” he releases on his own dime online, only to be picked up by label due to the quality of music and buzz surrounding it. He never claimed to be an outlaw, never claimed to be a new sound, never claimed to be anyone but Jamey. He simply wrote and sang what he was going through and felt, with some tunes that were unique and catchy to the mainstream. (not every song has to be 100% what your life is at the moment you write it).
Those are two brief factual summaries of both. I am a fan of both Jamey and HankIII. There is no purpose to argue them. They both seem authentic to me, but I don’t see how some folks can say one or the other is “real” or a “sellout”. You might not like the music they make, it might not move you, but lord, how can you say one’s music is produced joke, and the others is not.
There are also other artists too that are on the radio, win mainstream awards, make a lot of money that had a harder road than HankIII.
December 13, 2010 @ 12:01 pm
There ain’t nothing like a conversation about ascribed vs achieved status to rev up folks emotions! Here in America we take class very seriously even if we would like to claim that we don’t. So what you point out here is very interesting and very appropriate to any discussion of authenticity.
Shelton was born into country music royalty. In fact, he may be the heir apparent of the crown by some people’s understandings. His struggles ARE NOT the struggles of the common man. That is not to say he is inauthentic nor that he is not talented. I believe he is both, and I happen to like his music a great deal.
Trig says that this conversation can make him nauseous so I don’t want to piss him off here in his own blog, which as I’ve stated many times, is doing good in the world. However, I think making a concerted effort to outline the criteria for authenticity is helpful. Does going after money make you inauthentic? Does being born with privilege make you inauthentic? What makes someone a sell out? Is it more authentic to walk an “alternative” line than to do anything mainstream? How much do you have to sacrifice in terms of personal comfort or personal health in order to demonstrate your authenticity? Do musicians have to be in pain to be authentic? i. e. will JTE be authentic once he finally gets clean or will his music lose its soul due to the elimination of his personal struggle? (Trig did a good job with this question once before).
I like these questions on a broad scale. I like thinking about how we understand quality in art of any form and what criteria we use to determine quality. The reason why I like this is because it helps me understand myself. If you think about it, your understandings of quality and authenticity tell you a lot about what you value in this world…about the prejudices you hold and the attributes and virtues you admire.
I’m going to fly to Seattle in February and see Scott H. Biram perform 2 or 3 times. I’m thrilled. He is a bit of a superstar in my book and yet he really gets very little attention from the mainstream music world. His song Blood Sweat and Murder was on SOA recently and I remember asking a friend if he thought this was a one way ticket out of being alternative and into the world of pop. He said he didn’t think Biram would make it in that world…that he was too authentic. I like to break that down. I like to think about why Biram’s authenticity may keep him from being a mainstream success. I also like to think about what makes him authentic.
I’m curious about who is mainstream that would still qualify as authentic? When I listen to Pandora radio, every channel I design mixes in Johnny Cash. That’s everything from The Pixies to Possessed by Paul James. Why is this? Cash has got to be one of the most famous country artists of all times, and is recognized as an influence on artists from a myriad of musical genres, and yet he is still considered an Outlaw and a rebel, right?
I like to think about this stuff. I hope my thinking doesn’t make Trig ill. :o)
December 12, 2010 @ 11:08 am
Alright, the reason I am not fully divested in the argument is because I have been so many times before, and nothing gets resolved because all of this stuff is based on individual’s perception, and I’d rather focus on something new.
I will say a few things:
I don’t think money or fame have anything to do with whether an artist’s music is genuine or not. A lot of people make that distinction, and I do not think it is fair. It CAN be, but not always, and you can fall on the slippery slope of bigotry just by discounting music simply because it is popular.
Really you can’t intellectualize this argument. Authenticity is a feeling, just like soul, and that is the point. Yes, there are some more obvious factors, if someone is faking an accent for example, but either music is authentic or not, and this will always be judged differently by different individuals. My beef with Jamey has never been that he was inauthentic, but that his music doesn’t speak to me like so many others do.
Also, I have made a concerted effort around here lately, despite Waylon4Ever’s continuing criticism to not throw around the term “REAL country” as lightly. I took it down in the subheading, and I use it selectively in articles. The whole “what do you call it” argument is so tired, and really deflects from focusing on the music. But I do think that Waylon4 Ever does have a point there, that is why I have made some slight changes, despite him continuing to dig deep to find whatever contrary evidence he can.
I did attempt to remedy this issue a while back, but my conclusion was that my remedy was too confusing, though I haven’t given up on it completely.
December 12, 2010 @ 3:29 pm
I’m not sure why you would want to or anyone would expect you to be divested in any argument here? (Did you mean invested?) That statement is confusing to me. But I think I understand what you are saying.
You make the statement that “it is all based on individuals’ perceptions” and that it is a “feeling.” This is actually the foundation of qualitative research. While you claim you can’t intellectualize this discussion, it is only through clear articulation of criteria and qualification that folks can come to an understanding and an agreement on what it is that makes a song, performer, or genre worth “saving.” Even then, we can all see that folks are going to disagree on who makes the cut.
I’ve joined your conversation late. I come from academe so pardon me for my analytical take on things. I can see that my social science approach to the subject isn’t what you are looking for and that you clearly have thought about what you are doing here. I was looking for answers for my own understanding.
For me…and this is just me…it seems somewhat unproductive to put a lot of stock in opinion and critique. Everyone has opinions and there are people here and elsewhere whose opinions I greatly respect who vehemently disagree on what makes quality music, quality music. I have a good friend, for example, who thinks Waylon Jennings is the crappiest example of a country musician that exists. Others like Waylon4ever obviously strongly disagree. Does it matter? No.
The terms “real” and “authentic” are problematic in any context because they are subjective. You acknowledge this. And yet, as you indicate, it matters to all of us here on SCM that our music is both “real” and “authentic.”
Here’s my thought, which of course is nothing but free words flowing out into the cosmos like everyone else’s…I think that the most interesting thing about country (or roots, or punk-grass, or folk, or blues, or anti-country, or whatever you want to call the lot of these blended genres) is the people who make it, produce it, promote it, and consume it. I think people’s stories are very often what make me love their music. I like to compare how they deal with the traumas and tragedies of life here and now with how I deal with it. I like to find sameness and difference between us.
I had a conversation with Tom VandenAvond a few weeks ago about lyrics. He told me that the only thing that mattered to him when he listened to music was that he could hear the stories…hear the lyrics. The words are what speak to him. I think the stories within the songs are often what make us feel that the music we are listening to is authentic. If the musician shares their story, we can relate.
Someday I want to have the time, energy, and resources to compile a visually appealing virtual database of the stories of folks involved in this scene. All music occurs in a particular time and place and within particular social settings. We respond to music emotionally and the successful musician taps into a collective emotional moment. Sometimes these musicians make bank…other times they struggle to keep their touring vans on the road.
In your earlier posting you linked me to here you say: “I”™m looking to strengthen the support for our favorite artists, so that they can afford to come to our towns and continue to make the music that we love.” Kudos to you for this. To me, this is the most valuable thing that can be done. And if they make enough money to live happy lives, then bravo for them.
But I like their stories…I like to hear who they are and why they do what they do and what their daddies and mommies think of them and what they struggled through to get to where they are and what hurts and what feels good and what they love and what they hate. I like to know the men (or women) behind the songs. To me, this breeds intimacy and through intimacy we have access to authenticity.
So if I were going to make a request, it would be that you give more time to people’s stories. I will pass on the criticism and the debates over who qualifies and who doesn’t. We all like different stuff. But I love to hear the stories…and the songs that sometimes tell part of them. When I hear Joe Buck say, “Bitter finds a home, bitter comes to stay, bitter lingers on, bitter is the way,” I want to put it in context. For me, this is what fosters connection and authenticity. For me, this is the gift he’s offering us…he is admitting his own frailty and human failures, and I know few men who care to do this on a regular basis.
But thanks for this site. It is the first place (other than my small group of friends on Facebook) that I’ve found any sort of interesting conversation about this music. Three cheers for that!
December 12, 2010 @ 6:14 pm
Bitter is one of my favorite songs by Joe Buck. Yes, real is authentic, authentic is a feelling and if you aren’t feeling it, you might not be witnessing it.
I have no problem saying real country music cause that’s what it is. Made by real folks. Who really feel things, you know? Authentic.
Great blog Triggerman.
December 13, 2010 @ 11:50 am
Trig, I do appreciate your charter here. I do disagree that I “dig deep” to find points to the contrary when it is an article’s title or first paragraph that seem to confuse the charter. That isn’t digging to deep.
January 2011 BIG Month For New Releases « Saving Country Music
January 6, 2011 @ 1:36 pm
[…] explained when Saving Country Music released the EPK for this album, it will be available only in limited quantities online. The main distribution outlet is the Joe […]