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Jahfin

The Alt.Country (Whatever That Is) Thread

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Post links, articles, videos, photos, etc. from your favorite alt.country artists here. It's a pretty broad spectrum that's never been easily defined, thus the "Whatever That Is?" tag that was used for years by No Depression magazine (R.I.P.).

I'll start it off with the Bottle Rockets.

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Don't know if you consider Lone Justice alternative country...they might have been too early...but they surely were one of the influences of the alt.country scene of the 90s.

http://youtu.be/_50-ZmoUWlU

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Don't know if you consider Lone Justice alternative country...they might have been too early...but they surely were one of the influences of the alt.country scene of the 90s.

They're by all means "alt.country" but since that was well before that term had been coined they were being referred to as "cowpunk" in those days. As were Rank n' File, Jason and the Scorchers, the Long Ryders and lots of others.

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These guys from Berks County, PA aren't exactly a household name but that doesn't stop them from being one of my favorites. They used to travel down to North Carolina back in the late 90s and early 00s to play quite a bit of shows in the area but shifting priorities and economic difficulties keep them mostly on their home turf these days. That means a road trip to their neck of the woods is the offing in the not too distant future.

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Great Thread Jahfin!!!

Hyacinth House - Beyond The End

Hyacinth House - Whiskey Nights

Edited by Deborah J

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One of my very favorite bands to see live, "alt.country" or otherwise. Also looking very forward to the documentary about them called All the Labor that should be out sometime later this year.

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Frontier Ruckus is a band I got turned onto a couple of years ago when I saw them open for Samantha Crain at the Berkeley Cafe in Raleigh. I've since seen them a couple of other times. Most recently during Hopscotch following their showcase gig at Deep South when they performed for a few of us out on the street in the wee hours of the morning.

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That was great, thanks!! I will have to pick up a CD. This is what I love about these threads...you can really find music that you may not have ever listened to before.

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Whiskeytown only has three albums and one EP (which is now out of print) so there's not much catching up to do.

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^ One of my favorite Whiskeytown songs ever from what is also my favorite album of theirs. I also like this version of "16 Days" from Austin City Limits. I only saw them in concert once* and learned right away that the live versions of their songs sounded nothing like the original studio versions, they always rocked them up. Oftentimes to the point where you couldn't even hear Caitlin's fiddle or her background vocals.

* I have seen two reunion shows, both at Slim's (formerly the Lakeside Lounge) in Raleigh which is run by Van Alston who got co-writing credits on a couple songs from Heartbreaker as well as least a couple of others that have never been officially released. On both occasions (2000 and 2005), Ryan was back in town for some solo shows and decided to put Whiskeytown back together at the spur of the moment.

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Whiskeytown was such a great band. it's a pity they exploded/imploded like they did. I never got to see them live which I really regret.

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Whiskeytown was such a great band. it's a pity they exploded/imploded like they did. I never got to see them live which I really regret.

I was living in Jacksonville, NC at the time I became a fan so maybe that's why their music hit me harder than any of the other alt.country artists I was listening to at the time. During those days (the mid to late 90s) Whiskeytown, the Backsliders, Six String Drag and others were playing pretty frequently in and around the Triangle area of NC but I never made it up to any of those shows, except for Whiskeytown at the Brewery (in Raleigh) in '98. For whatever reason, Raleigh just seemed too far away then and it was. It's a two and half hour drive. That may not seem far to most but it sure seemed like a great distance to me. On that trip to see Whiskeytown I had not one but two flat tires but I was bound and determined to get there. By the time I'd arrived, the opener (Lou Ford) had finished their set. Whiskeytown finally went on around midnight, played for about an hour and then took a short break. When they came back on they only played a song or two before things starting going haywire during "Piss On Your Grave" (another unreleased original). Guitar necks were being rammed into amps and the band members began spraying themselves and the audience with beer. Suddenly, it was over and the houselights cam up. I managed to catch Ryan's ear when he emerged from the dressing room. When I told him about the two flats, driving up from the coast and asked about the abbreviated set, he said, "sometimes it just happens that way". Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed at the time but as the years have passed I just feel fortunate to have ever seen them at all. I also got to see Ryan do a couple of solo shows at the Brewery after Whiskeytown broke up which have become very fond memories. The last time he played here was in 2005 at Meymandi Hall in Raleigh with the Cardinals. He hasn't returned to play a show in NC since. Seems he still has a love/hate relationship with his home state.

I started coming up to the Triangle area for concerts pretty frequently starting in the late 90s and finally moved here in 2008. Seems I caught the very tail end of the heyday of bands like Whiskeytown, the Backsliders and Six String Drag in those days (the late 90s and early 00s). Alt.country is still alive and well in this area but it's nothing like it once was. It's also a very vibrant music scene in general with bands like Mount Moriah, Megafaun, the Love Language and lots of others so I'm very glad I moved here. I had always wanted to move to this area anyway because of the music scene but was eventually forced out by a relentless barrage of hurricanes that began battering the coast starting in 1996 (when we got hit by Hurricanes Bertha and Fran i the stretch of two months). After Hurricane Ophelia hit us in 2005, that was the straw that broke the camel's back and we sold our cottage which had been in the family since the early to mid-70s. I sure miss the coast but I don't miss having to pack everything up anytime there was the threat of a hurricane. We lived in a flood zone so that wasn't exactly helpful either. When Ophelia hit in 2005 calls to FEMA asking for assistance were futile because they were so overwhelmed by the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina which had just hit the Gulf coast. The devastation here wasn't nearly as bad but there were still people that were made homeless after Ophelia and my family was one of them. FEMA flat out refused to help us in any way.

Apologies for the novella but there it is...

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I'm sorry to read of your family's woes and even sorrier to read how FEMA was useless. They are though, we had a tropical storm up here back in early September that caused extensive flooding and damage to a lot of upstate New York. The Schoharie river valley and the Mohawk was totally flooded out and farmers and people who lived along it in general lost everything. FEMA was two months late in providing even rudimentary support for these poor folks. Locals like myself and many others pitched in with as much as we could to get them through their personal disasters. Folks lost their homes, their farms, everything. FEMA set up shop two months late and barely wrote checks to cover living expenses. Those with private insurance had to battle with the big insurance companies for financial coverage that they've paid for, man it was a total mess all around.

The federal government of the United States is worthless. Again, sorry for your troubles.

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One of my very favorite songwriters, James McMurtry (son of Lonesome Dove author, Larry McMurtry):

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