Americana can have as many definitions as people you ask, but it is a powerful musical style. We can hear it from the east coast to the west, from the northern border to the southern gulf. It is a fascinating style of music that sometimes is an amalgamation of other styles, but often is true to its roots. It’s pretty hard to beat good mountain acoustic music or a soulful bayou tune. Americana in its many forms has one thing in common – it has to have a spiritual vibrancy to it. Here are three artists capturing that ethos wonderfully.
Blue Water Highway Band – “Speaking of the Devil”
-This song is incredibly fun, with hand claps and a really raucous composition. That said, it’s also a pretty thoughtful and spiritually challenging song. This band reminds me so much of Green River Ordinance that I kind of can’t believe it. They really should open for GRO! But anyways, this is a feel good and convicting song. It’s ultimately about a romantic relationship, but it could easily be applied to other types of friends. If you make it through a listen without clapping or singing along, go see your doctor. You may not be livin’.
Luke Bulla – “Temperance Reel”
-Luke Bulla is keeping a timeless art alive. We used to get a lot more bluegrass submissions, but lately it’s been a little light. When we finally heard this tune from Bulla, we were glad to hear the familiar sounds of the mandolin and the fiddle. In fact, the fiddle part on this song is pretty much the crown jewel of the song. Bulla’s vocal is really good and not like one of his influences, Ricky Skaggs. When you take the full track together, it’s a true-to-life bluegrass tune that will put a smile on your face.
River Kittens – “Mama”
-A lot of people who make reference to classic female country singers jump right to Patsy Cline, but for an accurate comparison for River Kittens you need to go with the iconic Kitty Wells. It’s even a lamenting song, “mama you would hate me if you knew me.” It’s super sad, but perfect for the golden age of country music. I really find it hard to believe this song was written and recorded in the 21st century. This is one of those songs that reminds me why I became a music blogger to begin with. It’s deliciously heartbreaking.