Old Roots, New Routes

Old Roots, New Routes : The Cultural Politics of Alt.Country Music

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Fluid by design, the term Alt.Country has forced even the genre's own mouthpiece, the magazine/website "No Depression", to declare its terrain to be 'alternative-country music (whatever that is)'. Although the parameters of Alt.Country have always been muddy, its origins - indeed, its patron saints - have been generally acknowledged to range from the Carter Family and Hank Williams - as interpreters of traditional American country - to the country-rock fusions of Gram Parsons and Steve Earle.From the start, the Alt.Country scene has consciously positioned itself in opposition to the slick country sounds emanating from Nashville hit-machines such as Garth Brooks and Shania Twain, but the genre's embracing of authenticity and disdain for commercialism - while simultaneously injecting into a traditional, working-class music form an often cosmopolitan flavor and "Generation X" values - has resulted in a fascinating hybrid full of contradictions.In "Old Roots, New Routes", Pamela Fox and Barbara Ching bring together a range of scholars to dissect, define, and explore the influences, meanings, and identity of this significant contemporary music form, providing in addition terms by which to approach the worlds of country and alternative music more generally. Individual essays explore the work of a variety of artists, including Neko Case, Jay Farrar, Justin Trevino, and Alt. 'hero' Gram Parson, along with promotional rhetoric, album art, advertising, and fan websites, to offer readers a comprehensive understanding of how alt.country functions as a musical genre.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 264 pages
  • 158 x 228 x 24mm | 539.77g
  • The University of Michigan Press
  • Ann Arbor, United States
  • English
  • 0472070533
  • 9780472070534

About Pamela Fox

Pamela Fox is Associate Professor of English and currently the Director of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Georgetown University. She is the author of Class Fictions: Shame and Resistance in the British Working-Class Novel, 1890-1945. Barbara Ching is Associate Professor and Director of The Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities at the University of Memphis. Her previous books include Wrong's What I Do Best: Hard Country Music and Contemporary Culture and Knowing Your Place: Rural Identity and Cultural Hierarchy, edited with Gerald Creed.show more

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