Thursday, March 22, 2007

The de-regionalization of country music?

Country music is powerfully associated with the American south, and the southwest. You probably don't think 'northern Wisconsin' when you think 'country'. Ahhh, if so, you err, my friend. C&W has long had a big presence in the north, northeast, even Canada. (Post a query, I'd be happy to give details.)

Today, I was listening to some (if you don't know this stuff, check out Boot Liquor and Bloodshot Records.) So this song comes on with this line:
I first met her drinking from a bubbler in the park.
Whoa. That ain't country, that's Wisconsin. So, I check it out. It's a band called The Blind Robins, a song called "Miss Limestone County". (See here for lyrics.) Great band, by the way.

You know about blind robins? It's a bar snack (see here), and if I love anything more than bar snacks, it's smoked herring. But to the point: That's a seriously Upper Midwestern item.

Need to buy this album; will try to report on it. Anyway, it's nice confirmation of the presence of this kind of sound in the region.


Anonymous said...

Just to be clear: Blind Robins may be popular in the Upper Midwest, but it's hardly exclusive to there.

Anonymous said...

Actually, before moving to the Midwest, I only knew that 'bubbler' was a term that Rhode Islanders used (since I knew one and she and her friends always used this word). Now I hear Midwesterners claiming the word...

Urban Djin said...

You may not have noticed it, but Wisconsin is a very rural state. The largest city, Milwaukee, is still pretty small. Country music has been metamorphosing for many decades now. I wrote a piece about the problems of defining contemporary country music for my website. I revised it recently for my myspace blog.