Countrified blues rock.
My senior year of high school, I realized I loved country music. Sure, a lot of modern country music is more pop than anything, but I love me some slide guitars and twangy vocals. And when you combine a country aesthetic to rock grit, you've got yourself a perfect combination.
"When the Levee Breaks" by Led Zeppelin (1971)
This is one of my favorite Zeppelin songs where John Bonham's insanely hard percussion thrives and Robert Plant's harmonica soars. Not to mention a great vocal performance and some insane slide and electric guitar work by Mr. Jimmy Page. It's one of their long songs, but it never drags for me. They've got a couple of major/minor key changes, unique sound mixing, and a lot of passion that makes this just so cool to listen to.
"Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" by Cage the Elephant (2008)
With a more hip hop recitation of the lyrics on top of the bluesy guitars, this song is uniquely modern rock. The other stuff that I've heard from Cage the Elephant is kind of boring rehash of other bands, this song stands out as both catchy and fun because of the country blues arrangement.
Questions to ponder:
1. What makes country music so legit? (I'm talking old school country.)
2. How is it, in a world where real instruments and skill can be used to create bluesy-country-rock fantastic-ness, that Lady Gaga dominates the music scene? And why are her songs so catchy?
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