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Auteur: Dawidoff, Nicholas
Titel: In the country of country
Sub titel: A journey to the roots of american music

In the Country of Country strikes a compelling balance between first-person testimonial and straight history text. In a series of chapters focusing on early "country" artists & groups, Nicholas Dawidoff travels to meet musicians in their own environment, often travelling with them to the towns they grew up in. The book records the surroundings both through the eyes of Dawidoff, seeing the place for the first time, as well as through the eyes of his subject and their memories of the place. Through this mix of perspectives, the book gives a great sense of the effect of history in the present day, as well as the enduring power of the music described. His careful choice of subjects also helps define and articulate what many hold valuable in both country music, and music in general. One gets the impression he takes the role of author as through he is the curator a historical exhibit, showing a common thread among country artists of the last 80 years. This is of course with the notable exception of Hank Williams, which at first I wondered about, but later accepted, seeing as plenty had been written about him already as well as the fact that the invocation of his legend might well overshadow the other artists featured. He is though, like Elvis, a constant presence in the book, whether explicit or unspoken. In the Country of Country can serve as a great introduction to many who know they like country music, but get lost in boot-scootin' commercialism or monochromatic alt-country. The companion compliation CD sounds like a great start towards further investigation.
1997, 365 pag., Euro 20,4
Vintage, New York, ISBN 037570082X


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