04-22-2012 12:21 PM
04-22-2012 12:38 PM
04-22-2012 12:42 PM
04-22-2012 01:41 PM
04-22-2012 01:49 PM
While I share the disdain felt by many musicians for many of those who write and talk professionally about music (just last night I listened to a half hour of music I utterly hated curated by a pair of nice, intelligent seeming behind-the-scenes public radio guys who loved it all), picking fights with critics over genre classification -- and getting insulting about it -- has to be one of the stupidest career moves a working band could make. Particularly when it might even be considered a judgment call. Now, if one thinks "country" means contemporary Nashville pop, I can certainly see how the songs I've heard so far are not Nashville pop. But then, I don't think that Nashville stuff is country at all. I'd say these guys are a lot more country than most of the robo-tuned crap that's come out of Nashville in the last decade and change. Whatever one wants to call it, though, I rather liked some of the music. I'd say you might call some of it blues skiffle music. UPDATE: after listening to a number of songs, I actually really like these guys. I would definitely say that their music is heavily influenced by country blues. Whether they want to hear it or not.
music critic caught being criminally ignorant The review from the East Bay Express March 28, 2012 Local Licks By Rachel Swan: "Howell Devine, Delta Grooves- Rough, twangy guitar and flinty washboard create the scaffolding for this country band............" The response from the band: "I've gotta say, I think you all should get more knowledgable and experienced music critics to review Cd's in the Express! At the very least , I would expect the writer to get the genre of music correct for the record that they are reviewing. Howell Devine is far from a "twangy country band" They are a blues band through and through. I think 10 outta 10 elementary school kids would have known that to be the case after one listening of HowellDevine's CD, "Delta Grooves" Rachel Swan can say anything she wants about the Cd's she reviews, and that is fair enough, for music IS very objective & subjective to each individual listener ( and critic), but girl, you gotta go back to school and learn the basics of musicology, so you will know what kind of music you are actually listening to!" A link to their music so you can judge for yourself: http://www.howelldevine.com/music.html (BTW I have no connection to the band)
04-22-2012 02:59 PM
04-22-2012 04:03 PM
picking fights with critics over genre classification -- and getting insulting about it -- has to be one of the stupidest career moves a working band could make. Particularly when it might even be considered a judgment call.
I'd say these guys are a lot more country than most of the robo-tuned crap that's come out of Nashville in the last decade and change.
I would definitely say that their music is heavily influenced by country blues. Whether they want to hear it or not.
04-22-2012 06:00 PM
04-22-2012 06:06 PM
Wow. So, you really think that about little connection between blues and country? I've been listening to folk and blues and country for well over a half century and your observations are in direct and quite stark contrast to my own.
I find it sad and frightening that a regularly published music writer can't tell the difference between country music and blues. This is not a subtle differentiation akin to "emo" verses "shoegazer," we are talking about two of the major branches in the American music tree. This band does not play a hybrid of country and blues*, they are clearly in the blues tradition, with virtually no influence from the hillbilly/cowboy/country music tradition. If the critic could not discern that, she is not qualified to review that album. *country blues is rural blues and has little connection with counbtry music, esp. the delta blues style that influenced the band in question.
04-22-2012 07:10 PM
04-22-2012 07:19 PM
04-23-2012 10:30 AM
04-23-2012 10:34 AM
04-23-2012 10:53 AM
That is what I've been on about since it really is in contravention to what I know about the evolution of what we call country music. Anyhow, whatever on that. But thank you, one way or the other, for turning me on to a cool band.
country blues is rural blues and has little connection with counbtry music, esp. the delta blues style that influenced the band in question.
04-23-2012 11:19 AM
04-23-2012 11:25 AM
Really... we were missing each other's position by inches... But, what the heck, it's all good since it turned some folks (like me) on to this fine band. :thu:
04-23-2012 02:14 PM
I don't know about genres and feelings being hurt by being misinterpreted with regards to genre... to each his own, but I just don't get it. It can be a laugh for sure, I remember some pretty square disco types categorizing my late 70's power pop as punk. Hardly offensive, though it can make you giggle a bit. But really, who cares about music journalism anymore? I just never got too wrapped up in genre labels. When it comes down to it... who really gives a #$^?
I will say, it is nice to read some insightful music critiquing. I used to enjoy reading the Classical Music review mags from the 80's cause they were so knowledgeable. Of course, that can be a source of grief too, when the reviewing gets a bit of a big head in the process. But anyway, back to my point, who cares what some doof with an in at the local rag says about you. It's most likely crap and being read by 100 people . Who cares?
Spell my name right.
04-23-2012 02:15 PM
04-24-2012 08:02 AM
In 1980, my band, Machine Dog, called itself a heavy metal ska band. To friends, anyhow. We weren't really, more a blend of punk and no wave in the Television vein, but reggae had been a big influence on a couple of us in the 70s and we all enjoyed the two-tone thing. Some of those rhythms definitely worked their way in, in an often hyperactive sort of way. And our drummer came from heavy metal -- pretty unlike a lot of other drummers in punk bands we hung with -- and our primary lead guitarist had this crazed, over the top blues metal thing going on. Fun time when you could kind of get away with it all. In the second half of the 90s, after doing one last rock project in '96 to see if I could crank up any enthusiasm for an old love, I moved into a cross-genre mode, mixing electronica, hip hop elements, and roots/blues and a bunch of other stuff. One of my most mixed up songs was this one and this was my take on swamp boogie. Here's a pop ditty. And here's how one of my blues songs turned out.
I agree with you - - genres are pretty much a advertising marketing tool for radio stations to target a demographic with their ads, or for labels to pigeonhole artists. But they can be a little useful - - if somebody's telling you about a band you've never heard of, saying stuff like 'they play swing jazz' gives you a fair idea that you won't be subjected to disco. The crossover genres are interesting. I'd be interested in hearing, however briefly, somebody who says they do reggae-punk-folk, or house-polka-opera, just to see what they do with it.
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