The question we all ask ourselves and each other on a regular basis! This article in Paste Magazine goes some way to explaining it. The Milk Carton Kids wrote a great parody about this subject during the Annual Honours & Awards in Nashville this September.
"What Even Is Americana"
A country song that’s a little too political
A feminist anthem that’s a bit too literal
Your lyrics are biblical your twitter feed is liberal
You ain’t mainstream cause you look atypical
Forget the pop charts, you ain’t on 'em
you need Americana.
A folk song with no discernible chorus
Bluegrass waltzes and Civil War stories
Zydeco, Tejano, original, traditional
Old-time stringband clothing is conditional
An R&B cover with pedal steel on it
I guess that’s Americana.
So what if your songs are a little too sad
And your publicist is your mom and dad
But you keep on rolling in the back of that van
Ain’t no clue when you’ll be home again
But when you’re up on stage every night it don’t seem so bad.
What even is Americana?
A trade group a Grammy category subgenre
An annual award show with Emmylou on it
Don’t need to see the envelope, Isbell won it
A home for all of us who don’t fit in
Who just want to write, and play, and sing
And hear real music whatever you call it
I say it’s called Americana
So what do you say, Americana?
You paid $500 for a weeklong conference so let’s get on the same page and stop asking the question.
Written by Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale, The Milk Carton Kids