Most days I have a grumpy old man, “back in my day” attitude about my generations’ taste in…well mostly everything, but especially music. The past decade has been scary and disappointing for me in regards to what was considered popular music, and I truly thought all hope was lost for the future.
Let me explain. Pop.
Never mind, no need to explain that one. We all know it sucks and is void of quality.
And I don’t want to get into the techno argument because I’ve had it a million times with my Dj friends who have tried to convince me that people who construct sounds on their lap top and make techno music have an equivalent amount of musical talent as someone who shreds on the guitar or belts ballads like Whitney. We will never agree.
However, over the past few years, I have observed an increase of young fans that are getting into Americana, Folk, Bluegrass and good ole, well written singer/songwriter music. This makes me happier than I can even explain.
I’ve been going to music festivals with my dad since I was old enough to stand on my own two feet and dance. It’s become our tradition, and now every summer we have our own little musical adventure. We camp, drink, jam, dance and discover new music to get us through the year until its time to return again. The last few years have been all about Strawberry Music Festival. We’ve made friends we only see at this festival, but stay in touch with all year. I’ve met musicians that have changed my life and opened my world to music I would have never discovered on my own.
Most recently, I took my dad to BottleRock Music Festival in Napa, CA. He hadn’t seen Robert Plant perform since the 70’s and I felt so lucky to have shared the experience with him.
The thing that made me so happy about this festival was the size of the crowds and amount of fans that came out to see bands like the Avett Brothers and Brothers Comatose. And these “kids,” (aka people my age and younger) had as much energy and excitement as crowds I’ve seen at Raves, listening to horrible pop, techno and offensive rap. They knew all the lyrics, they jumped up and down and cheered for killer fiddle solos. It was moving. It restored my faith in them and their taste.
When Brother’s Comatose performed “I’ll never grow old,” I witnessed a whole new generation of modern day peaceful hippy kids, dancing around in circles and holding their hands up high singing “I’ll never grow old,” along with the band over and over again. I felt less old than I usually do at these big festivals because it actually felt like I was at Strawberry. I felt like I could relate to everyone there, like we all belonged there together.
It could be just wishful thinking, but I’d like to think that this generation isn’t getting enough out of techno, MDMA and repetitive lyrics about partying all the time anymore. I think music is evolving along with the rest of the world. Minds are opening slowly, but they’re opening, and that’s enough for me.
I could go on and on with a list of bands that I love but I’ll try and just focus on the best and most influential.
If you have any interest in this type of music at all, I can promise you this list will convert you completely. These are bands that are current, making music for today’s generation, with old school roots. Enjoy!