Dead Wax for 6:00pm on Jan 7th, 2016

Episode 52: Featuring Colter Wall.

I think that country music is not defined by posturing on how country you are. It’s not defined by your birthplace, or being raised in the South, or song lyrics about your truck or your girlfriend or beer or any of the other tripe commonly associated with country music due to commercial radio. It’s something deeper, something down in your bones, a soul sound. Maybe I’m naïve, but this type of sound comes across as authentic. It’s not something that can be emulated, an artist either has it or they don’t. Too many people get caught up in labels and unnecessarily restrict the genre. To me, country music includes the legends typically associated with it, like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, and Willie Nelson. But it also includes artists like Robert Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Blind Willie Johnson. Country blues are just that, country music. These artists all share their unique perspective on rural life within the lyrics of their music. Today’s artist of the week, Colter Wall, draws influences from all of these artists. His music digs deep into your soul, both in lyrics and in that deeper sense, more than the notes he plays or the time signature of the song, something about his vocal phrasing and tone. There is a haunting sound to his music. His debut EP, Imaginary Appalachia, was released in June, but I missed it until just this week. Colter is from Swift Current, Canada. I had to look it up; it’s in Saskatchewan, near the Montana border. No matter where he’s from or how you label his music, this is roots music at its best!