Listening to Country music, I have come to the conclusion that
half the songs are about drinking whiskey, tequila, or beer, and
the other half are about divorce, or the activities leading up to it.
Come to think of it, the first often brings on the latter.
This occurred to me after picking up the flyer at the Bluegrass
festival in Hampton last week. As is invariably the case, bluegrass
gatherings are of teetotalers. They also tend to sing more gospel,
and often skip Sunday performances.
So while they may appear to the uninitiated as very similar, they are
quite different. The songs are different. The voices are different. And
the instruments used to perform them are different. As one fan
observed, while listening to the 30′s era Carter family, there wasn’t
the emotion in the song, as there is in country music. Indeed, they are
often more about storytelling, as to having you believe they are telling
about their own life, as in country.
The instrumentation is worlds apart also. In bluegrass of course, you
have a guitar, an upright bass, a mandolin, a fiddle, and a banjo. All
acoustic, and no percussion. In country music, anything goes. You can
tell they are country, because they wear cowboy hats and boots and
sing with a twang. They have a ‘warble’ in their guitar chords, and that
separates them from pop.