I keep reading that some of our excellent local bands like The Eastern and Unfaithful Ways, (including Marlon Williams who will be performing at New Brighton Library during New Zealand Music Month ) are in the forefront of an alt country revival in New Zealand. Great. Umm… what exactly is alt country?
It turns out that isn’t such an easy question to answer. It’s a sub genre of country – that’s obvious – but after that things blur a bit. Everyone agrees that it involves eschewing the slick productions of the mainstream commercial country music business. Instead it harks back to the music of the working people as preserved by people like Woody Guthrie and Hank Williams. However, its influences are extremely wide – rock, punk, bluegrass, traditional American folk, rockabilly and honky tonk for example.
Some of its best known proponents include Gram Parsons, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Wilco and Son Volt. Here in NZ is seems to be influencing artists ranging from Flip Grater to the Phoenix Foundation.
Are you into New Zealand alt country? Tell me your favourite NZ artist.