Tuesday, May 12, 2015


There's been a theme running across country music journalism for the last year and the more I think about it the more it really seems to ring true: modern country music is in what the Guardian UK has termed it's "hair metal moment," and what it really needs is something akin to the alternative rock explosion or its own "Nirvana;" something to lay waste to the mountains of vapid auto-tuned country stars that keep walking out of the Nashville machine and are only discernibly different based on the brand of their bedazzled jeans. I know, I know, the argument for "authenticity" can turn into a minefield pretty quickly but if we're talking about Country Music (which we are), we're talking about one of the very things that's supposed to set that genre apart: these singers have lived their stories, it's supposed to be about authenticity. Thank g-d there's been bubbling in the underground and we've got people like Sturgill Simpson, Jonny Fritz Corndog, Bloodshot Records, and yes, Miss Lana Rebel holding down country for the rest of us.

From Tucson-by-way-of-Portland, Miss Lana Rebel has been crooning for years and we're lucky to have her again for Total Fest this summer. I think this particular review out of the Portland Mercury sums Miss Rebel up way better than I could do:

“Lana Rebel is the badass matriarch of local dust bowl country. Sounding like the coal miner's daughter trapped in a collapsed mine, the music of Rebel is gorgeous and morose, a sad waltz of cowgirl balladry that can't be cured by even the most generous whiskey pour.”

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