If you boil it all down, it’s possible to accredit the United States as being the roots of most modern music, at least on a superficial level. This country popularized jazz music, which eventually led to rock ‘n’ roll, which may have led to everything we’ve ever heard since. This is a huge over-generalization, I know, but stick with me here. Although the origins of rock-oriented music may be in the states, we all know that some of the greatest achievements in the genre have come from places beyond our borders. So much so that there are very few styles that we still consider to sound “American.”
One sound that does recall images of the new world is the finger-pluckin’ steel string American raga, the kind of acoustic music that makes us all think of the old Takoma Records days. One modern master of this sound is Daniel Bachman (once known as Sacred Harp). His output lately has been plentiful, and his newest LP is yet another mesmerizing account of the grand American landscape. The album is called Oh Be Joyful, and it’s out on One Kind Favor. Check above for an inspiring video for the lead-off track “White Oak” which features Bachman strumming and plucking away like it ain’t no thang. His music has always sounded effortless, but the video makes it look even more so. With hints of drone from what I think is called a Shruti box, the record travels through scenes of frantic storms of guitar to simple sleepy folk songs.
• One Kind Favor: http://www.onekindfavor.net