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A musical genre forever outside the lines
With a claim on artists from Jimmie Rodgers to Jason Isbell, Americana can be hard to define, but you know it when you hear it. John Milward’s Americanaland is filled with the enduring performers and vivid stories that are at the heart of Americana. At base a hybrid of rock and country, Americana is also infused with folk, blues, R&B, bluegrass, and other types of roots music. Performers like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, and Gram Parsons used these ingredients to create influential music that took well-established genres down exciting new roads. The name Americana was coined in the 1990s to describe similarly inclined artists like Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle, and Wilco. Today, Brandi Carlile and I’m With Her are among the musicians carrying the genre into the twenty-first century.
Essential and engaging, Americanaland chronicles the evolution and resonance of this ever-changing amalgam of American music. Margie Greve’s hand-embroidered color portraits offer a portfolio of the pioneers and contemporary practitioners of Americana.
John Milward has written about popular music for more than forty years; he was the chief pop music critic for the Chicago Daily News and USA Today, and has written for Rolling Stone, the New York Times, and No Depression. He is the author of Crossroads: How the Blues Shaped Rock ’n’ Roll (and Rock Saved the Blues). Margie Greve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone and the New Yorker and has been shown in galleries in New York City and the Hudson Valley.
"Concise, lively, and informative, with many colorful anecdotes adding intriguing detail. Milward's deep knowledge of music history and expertise on roots-music genres make Americanaland an essential addition to the music book canon."--Holly George-Warren, author of Janis: Her Life and Music
"There’s a common thread that runs through the great patchwork quilt that's come to be known as Americana Music. John Milward has artfully followed every stitch of that thread and revealed the story behind every patch. In doing so he’s made huge strides in giving this rich genre the legitimacy it deserves."--Larry Campbell
"Encyclopedic. Kaleidoscopic. John Millward [offers an] account of a century of American music culminating in what we now call Americana. Countless stories of those who have brought this music that bubbles up from a bottomless well sunk deep in American soil."--Jim Rooney