Americana musicians have always been the gritty underdogs of the music industry. Radio stations bleed with techno electric beats and catchy lyrics, making little room for other genres to make an impact on the charts. The Top 40 has practically been begging for something fresh to break through and pull at the attention of a new audience.
Enter: Americana music.
Music will always have a counter-culture that will sell out after reaching inevitable popularity. Alas, it is the continuous circle of life in pop culture. But is selling out really that bad? Why not have some tough lyrics to chew on? Why not have some vocals that are powerfully gritty and imperfect?
Americana music in radio format has been infiltrating different genres since the 1990s. If you put blues, rock-n-roll, folk, country, and bluegrass in a music blender, a beautiful Americana song would pour out. This perfect blend of genres makes Americana music adaptable to radio and has garnered the attention of a diverse audience. Artists like Chris Stapleton, The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile, Jason Isbell and so many more have been topping charts with their raw kick drum beats and fiery acoustic strumming.
Fear not, music lovers. We live in a world that is progressively expanding their musical horizons. In May of 2016, Billboard finally introduced a separate chart for Americana/Folk artists. A beautifully diverse music world welcomed this news with open arms and eyes full of opportunity.
Take Shovels & Rope. They have taken the Americana world by storm. A chance meeting at a songwriter’s convention in 2010 and several albums later, these two no-name songwriters have garnered serious attention from the music community. Nominated for more Americana Music Awards than any other artist in 2014, they spread like wildfire. Many artists are adding to this unbelievable moment in music history.
“Some music needs air. Roll your window down.” – Claire Colburn, Elizabethtown
Drive on some back roads. Let the fall air seep into your skin. Take some time to listen to Spotify’s The Pulse of Americana. Feel the beat of the heart of Americana.