Friday, 01 February 2008
As much as I love the traditional forms of country, blues and bluegrass, even I have to admit that all three are moribund franchises at this point. Sure, you still have folks like Dwight Yoakam, Del McCoury and Buddy Guy who are more or less holding up the conventions of their respective traditions, but they are increasingly being relegated to novelty status, artists who preside over lonely musical estates like curators of immaculately preserved but rarely visited museums. But of all the traditional forms, it’s possible that soul music has held up the best, with first generation artists such as Solomon Burke, Aretha Franklin, and Etta James still performing a variant (albeit often more polished) of the deeply spiritual sounds that originally came roaring out of Southern churches as a secular answer to the fervor of gospel music. But even ...