Americana/alternative country music
Millennial consumption. The new generation blends with the old one. New trends, new tastes for things that may seem even bizarre for many people, new styles in so many domains. Let’s imagine that during that time, ‘millennials’ took control over things and put their fingerprints all over the evolution of the world. Some of the things that they've done should largely go unrewarded but others are at least a scourge that will forever sit with us. The music world was one specific area that evolved under that very millennial umbrella. And according to specialized music websites and magazines- Americana or alternative country music, it's one of the "treasure" that this century will offer like a legacy to music history. Pppfffffttt- yea right!
What’s that? Many of you may ask. First of all, how someone in the business once said, it’s something that we can't define but it's very easy to be liked. So it’s music, that’s for sure. But what kind of music it is? We can hear of course country, but also folk influences, bluegrass, R&B, Blues and even rock. And the band is playing on electric instruments! With a simple Google search, we found out that Americana appeared in the late 90’s, when some country singers that were overcome by the newest artist- had to do something to gain back their reputation, and a 1st place ranking in the music charts.
And so, a new age rolls in with the year 2000, and two well-to-do’s by the names: Jon Grimson and Grant Alden (who is the No Depression label co-founder) stated for the first time the idea that Americana could become a music genre. Together with another 30 singers and specialists from music industry formed the Americana Music Association. And that was the moment when Americana become a music genre like any other classic one. Joining the ranks of new music categories such as ‘Nu Metal’ and ‘Emo’, and each year, more and more artists love to embrace this newfangled genre. It sounds good, it's catchy for some listeners and most importantly- it's a business that's bringing money from albums sales. Then again, remember that P.T. Barnum said it best: “There’s a sucker born every minute...”
Doesn't matter if they can't say what it is. It's what the public loves and wants- errr sort of... But there is also some risk for those alternative country singer types that chose Americana for their career rebirth. Just like a deal with the devil, they had to let go of their former career as country singers and for some of them, this can can give them a step back forward. But for most it’s all downhill for public reputation. And thankfully for some years now, we didn't hear much about Americana music at all. But in 2007- Jed Hilly, who from his position as a marketing executive director at Sony and ironically also launched the band “Creed”, helped Americana music once again ride that ‘wave’. And he succeeded to maintain this music genre on the market until today. But let’s face it, nobody wants to hear someone rehashing Johnny Cash songs on an electric keyboard for the sake of calling it Americana/alternative. And for the record the internet is all about getting free music anyway, so who are these corporate douche ages fooling?...
One might say it is a sign of the times and others say it’s a calculated gamble. But the real question is who is getting the short end of the stick. Who is really getting rich from this over-bloated corpse of a music shell? In this day and age when free internet downloads are getting more than a slap on the hand and a tighter grip of the corporate machine is slickly packaging streaming services for the masses- Ohhhh man, what happened to those days back in early 2004, when the internet was all about file sharing like nothing else? Relax, like everything else it went underground- much like the real music scene already was. Demo and new albums were openly shared by fans since you could always buy a shirt with your ticket admission at the concert -huh? When all is said and done you should have saved-up enough of a nest egg to do some online slots for real money. Why the heck not? Most of the new generation is willing to gamble on a music genre that mimics everything that used to be considered real music (they even added their signature ‘Millennial Whoop’)- we can take advantage of winning back some real money that can be applied to some serious summer festivals that offer real musicians we really want to see.
There has, and sadly- will always be many discussions about Americana and the differences that are often made between these two music genres. But, Hilly is fighting against all prejudices and says that the country artists and fans should see Americana like an opportunity, not a prejudice. Therefore- keep in mind that ‘prejudice’ is having extensive knowledge of something and then basing a personal opinion based on that fact- so it seems whatever Jed Hilly is selling sure looks and smells like cow shit that he is turning into manure for sheer profit!