Yankee Twang: Country and Western Music in New England

University of Illinois Press
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Merging scholarly insight with a professional guitarist's keen sense of the musical life, Yankee Twang delves into the rich tradition of country & western music that is played and loved in the mill towns and cities of the American northeast. Clifford R. Murphy draws on a wealth of ethnographic material, interviews, and encounters with recorded and live music to reveal the central role of country and western in the social lives and musical activity of working-class New Englanders.

As Murphy shows, an extraordinary multiculturalism informed by New England's kaleidoscope of ethnic groups created a distinctive country and western music style. But the music also gave--and gives--voice to working-class feeling. Yankee country and western emphasizes the western, reflecting the longing for the mythical cowboy's life of rugged but fulfilling individualism. Indeed, many New Englanders use country and western to comment on economic disenfranchisement and express their resentment of a mass media, government, and Nashville music establishment they believe neither reflects nor understands their life experiences.
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About the author

Clifford R. Murphy was a member of the seminal New Hampshire alternative country bands Say ZuZu and Hog Mawl. He has a PhD in Ethnomusicology from Brown University and is Director of Maryland Traditions, the folklife program of the Maryland State Arts Council.
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University of Illinois Press
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Published on
Oct 15, 2014
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History / United States / State & Local / New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT)
Music / Ethnomusicology
Music / General
Music / Genres & Styles / Country & Bluegrass
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From the Hardcover edition.
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