Americana

    • When You're Gone
    • The Milk Carton Kids
    • Carolina
    • Adeem the Artist
    • No Reason
    • Sunny War
    • Bittersweet Symphony
    • Aubrie Sellers
    • New View
    • H.C. McEntire
    • Dig A Little Deeper (In The Well)
    • Billy Strings
    • Burning Bridges
    • Wyatt Flores
    • Porch Light
    • Josh Meloy
    • Fifth of May
    • Zach Bryan
    • Big Ole Feelings
    • Gareth Leach & Davidson Brothers
    • Crossroads (Acoustic)
    • Striking Matches
    • Love is Gonna Come Again
    • Jaimee Harris
    • Rich Little Girls
    • Brit Taylor
    • Lonesome State Of Mind
    • Blue Highway
    • Midnight Train
    • The Weathered Souls
    • I'll Be Right Here
    • Rome & Duddy
    • Auld Lang Syne
    • Trousdale

About

Sometimes also called roots music, Americana is a diverse movement that stretches across genre boundaries and generational lines. Encompassing country, the blues, folk, bluegrass, rock music and more, the Americana scene is comprised of artists who embrace the sounds that form the foundation of the country’s musical heritage, though they often play these styles with a modern twist. As you might guess, there’s no one sound or style that defines Americana. The artists of the Americana movement come from a variety of backgrounds, reflecting a vast array of influences. And while the Americana scene contains its share of traditionalists, many Americana artists also blend these influences in new and idiosyncratic ways.

Though the Americana scene truly came together in the late 1980s, the origins of Americana stretch back to the late 1960s, when rock artists like The Band and Creedence Clearwater Revival began to explore the country’s musical traditions, from early country to pre-war blues. The late 1960s were also when a group of country artists, including Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, began to also pursue a more traditional sound, partly in reaction to country’s embrace of pop music. From outlaw country to the folk revival, the 1970s would see the rise of many new roots music movements that would eventually find their way into the sound of Americana. And hybrid genres like country rock and Southern rock would blur the lines between these various traditions even further.

By the early 1980s, the heartland rock sound of Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty had brought roots music back to the mainstream. Punk and alternative rock bands like X and Los Lobos had also begun to embrace traditional styles like country, folk, the blues and more. And with country music once again experiencing another wave of mainstream success, country artists from Randy Travis to Emmylou Harris began pioneering a roots-oriented sound that would become known as neotraditional country. Another crucial development would be the rise of the alternative country scene in in the late 1980s. Developing from earlier genre-bending sounds like cowpunk and roots rock, many alt-country acts like Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks had backgrounds in punk or alternative rock, but they would revive an interest in traditional country and blues among younger audiences.

During the 1990s, Americana became a recognized sound, both a home for traditional musicians and alternative rule-benders, and it only continued to expand sonically and artistically in the 2000s. Americana is broad enough to encompass the alternative bluegrass of Alison Krauss and The Avett Brothers, and also the folk rock of Old Crow Medicine Show and The Lumineers. Many alternative country bands like The Drive-By Truckers and Wilco are still enthusiastically embraced by Americana fans, but popular country stars like Dwight Yoakam and Roseanne Cash have found acclaim in the world of Americana as well. Rock icons like Bruce Springsteen and Tom Petty have long been considered Americana pioneers, and an entire generation of singer-songwriters like Steve Earle and Lucinda Williams have found a home in Americana, thanks to music that doesn’t fit quite comfortably in the mainstream world of rock or country. The borders of Americana are wide open, so long as the artists find some unique way to connect with the country’s rich musical traditions.