Thursday, 22 December 2011

The British are coming! The British are coming!

Here are my favourite types of music:  Rock and Roll, Folk and Blues.  Some people refer to this stuff as roots music.  Some call it Americana (or Canadiana, if you're on this side of the border and typically Canadian (i.e. self-conscious)).

Whatever you call it, it's great music.  And like all American music, it's the offspring of black-meets-European culture.  The best of it is simple, honest, and speaks to everyday people about everyday life.

I've loved this music all my life, but I was a good way into it before I could really appreciate the real McCoy.

The reason is the British Invasion.  The Beatles kindled my passion for music.  They gave me Rockabilly and Motown.  They gave me Folk Rock.  Led Zeppelin and Cream gave me the Blues. The Stones did it all, with a dose of Country.  All very roots, very Americana - all with a side order of fish and chips.

I didn't understand it at the time, didn't get that these bands were taking American music and throwing it back in the face of Americans.  I liked and listened to lots of American artists too, but to me there was something about the English sound that was more alive, more fresh, more interesting.

Hey!  I'm white and have British roots.  So how could I not love my black music served up by Honkies and Limeys?

I still love it, but over the years I've also gradually come to appreciate the unadulterated, original, untouched-by-hallucenogens (most of this was the Sixties, right?) sound(s) too.

A roundabout journey.  Instead of going down the road, I had to travel across the ocean and back again to discover all this great music that was surrounding me all along.

I guess I finally heard someone singing "baby come back."

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