Born in the roadhouses, honky tonks & backroads of the USA, the tapestry of music is firmly planted in Country, Rock, & Blues. New sounds that shaped generations were created & nurtured by the melting pot of unique communities, cultures & instrumentation of mid-21st century North America. These ground breaking artists & producers gifted us the sounds that have shaped the commercial music business world-wide & remain the concrete foundation of entertainment!
Not only did Memphis, Tennessee enthusiastically churn out the birth of Rock'n'Roll at Sun Studios but the city gave us a reason to get greasy & moan the Blues down on historic Beale street. Tennessee didn't stop there - the state's capital, Nashville, also came alive as the centre of the Country Music phenomenon, creating legends not only in front of the microphone, but also became
the home-base for some the best musicians & songwriters in the world. Of course, country music wasn't born in Nashville but rather on the far east side of the state on the Virginia/Tennessee state line in Bristol. Here, the true roots of country were first recorded during the historic "Bristol Sessions" in 1927 featuring the classic talents of the Carter Family & Jimmie Rodgers, among others.
Other genres of music began to rise up in the southern USA as well, specifically southern rock & the east coast beach music scene (not the California variety - think Jimmy Buffet!)
In truth, some of the biggest names in modern music were rooted & birthed in the "American South", in particular Tennessee: Elvis Presley from Memphis, by way of Mississippi; Dolly Parton from the Smoky Mountains; & Tina Turner from a little town called Nutbush. Tennessee has in fact given the world quite the range of talent: Aretha Franklin, Justin Timberlake, The Allman Brothers, Miley Cyrus, & Pat Boone, along with actors Quentin Tarantino, Morgan Freeman & Kathy Bates.
Although Tennessee can claim a lot of credit for talent & music evolution, other southern states were also churning out unique, soulful talent. For instance, down in Muscle Shoals, Alabama not only was southern rock making a name for itself but artists were coming from around the world to record! Records born out of Muscle Shoals in the 1960's were cut by Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd & the list goes on.
So the American South gave rise to Rock, Southern Rock, Country & Blues, but I would be remiss to leave out the iconic Beach Music that came from the southern Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of Mexico. The Carolinas got us "shagging on the boulevard" - which has an entirely different meaning for you Aussies! It's actually a dance craze that is still going strong today - backed by tunes from The Drifters, The Embers, The Platters, The Temptations, General Johnson, Billy Ward, Otis Day, & the Fantastic Shakers.
And, if you head on on down to the Florida Keys, your dreams of sand, sun, & cocktails come true when you rock out with fellow Parrot Heads - and Jimmy Buffet! Thank to Jimmy Buffet's laid-back approach to life in the key of Vitamin D! - sunshine - a new recipe of sound emerged that several Nashville-based country rock acts have adopted into their personal style, like Kenny Chesney & the Zac Brown Band.
The gift of southern music innovation obviously "keeps on trucking" down on the Bayou & Gulf to the shores of Louisiana. Creole Zydeco, dixieland jazz & Old French cajun beats, as well as swamp blues & pop, have their roots firmly planted in New Orleans & the surrounding rural Louisiana countryside. The music is exuberant, chock full of a "good time" and most always has a "fiddle in the band"!
Anyhow, when you check out our American Roots show, that's the story we tell with our tunes. It's almost like taking a Uber road trip through the American musical south - having a dance and a few drinks on the way!
History on Stage
~ Wynonah Dove