Sunday, 6 November 2011

Dixie Chicks Live

Last year I had the opportunity to see the Dixie Chicks live.

Just so you know, I'm a recent convert.  I'm not a hard core country fan, so it took Shut Up and Sing to get my attention.  Which it did.

Some random thoughts:

1) thoroughly enjoyed it

2) confused about Natalie's hair (or lack thereof)

3) wish they had played longer

4) Natalie's performance was uneven.  It was obvious this was the first stop on the tour.  She was good, but didn't appear to be emotionally connected to every song.  On at least one song, you could se she was struggling as she tried to remember it. 

But on some songs, like Not Ready to Make Nice, she was unbelievable; powerful, emotional, knock you over passionate.  More than made up for the others songs where the performance was merely good.

4) My, but hasn't country changed alot in my lifetime.  As a kid, Country meant Lester Flat and Earl Scruggs, cowboy songs, bluegrass, Hee Haw.  The fiddles and the banjos are still there, but now it's rock.

I realize there has always been a lot of overlap, and I'd heard all these songs before, but the live experience put the music in a new light.  At the concert, I heard hooks you might expect in a Deep Purple song.  I heard vocal harmonies that would be at home in a Moody Blues piece.  Prog rock and metal meets bluegrass.  Wow.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised.  All of North America's musical genres - country, blues, jazz and rock - come from the same basic building blocks, which are various Western European folk traditions, European church and classical music, and West African music.  The different genres mix things up differently, and emphasize things their own distinctive ways, but they start with the same elements.

Just goes to show you, I guess, the dangers of putting things in a box and putting a label on it.

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