The changing face of country music

16. November 2012 13:55 by Julie Merar in Music   //  Tags:   //   Comments ()

thumbnail thumbnail There aren't many genres more uniquely American than country music. However, despite being an integral part of Americana for decades, the style has changed drastically over the years. From its earliest days of old-timey music to the outlaw country of the 70s and today's fusion of country pop, the style has certainly spanned a wide range of areas expanded over time.

More recently, some bands have emerged that have bridged the gap between old and new country music including North Carolina's own The Avett Brothers. Fronted by Scott and Seth Avett, the band blends elements of folk, bluegrass, country and pop together to create a sound that appeals to a large swath of listeners across the country and helped create a genre all their own, known in some circles as "newgrass."

The Avett Brothers first gained recognition for their energetic live shows and the success of 2007's album Emotionalism. That was followed up by 2009's I and Love and You, which was considered to be among the best albums of that year. In 2012, they were back with another hit album, The Carpenter, along with a popular U.S. tour.

Though The Avett Brothers have put a new spin on contemporary country music, there are some musicians who have been immensely successful for decades without having to change their style too much, including Kenny Chesney. The 44-year-old Tennessee native has seemingly been doing the same thing since the early 1990s, and can you really blame him? He is one of the most decorated country musicians in history and won four consecutive Entertainer of the Year awards from the Academy of Country Music.

Much like The Avett Brothers, Chesney has become a legend thanks in large part to his live shows, which are a summer staples in seemingly every city across the country. Most recently, he teamed up with fellow country icon Tim McGraw for the Brothers of the Sun Tour.

One of the most noticeable trends in country music over the last decade or so has been the increase of standout female performers. In years past, there was usually just one or two women dominating the scene, whether it was Faith Hill or Shania Twain. Now? Everywhere you look there is a talented female performer coming onto the scene. Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood and Jennifer Nettles have all left their mark on the modern country world.

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