Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Sharpsburg Prairie Dog

Beloved among aging baby boomers, Garrison Keilor, and NPR listeners, Sharpsburg Prairie Dog's take on bluegrass utilizes two warbling female vocalists who sing carefully crafted high-harmony duets, an electrified banjo, a fiddle player, and a washboard bass. Although every song sounds completely identical to the one that came before, no one seems to notice or care.

Members of an Americana, back-to-basics music movement which makes no pretenses towards originality in songcraft or performance, Sharpsburg Prairie Dog instead tries to emulate early twentieth century folk and to sound exactly like Appalachian hillbilly music. The intent may have been to revisit a long forgotten musical form, whose original practitioners have long since passed away, but instead of pushing the genre forward, the result produced is a kind of willful inertia--each song part and parcel of an endlessly repetitive nostalgia piece that everyone professes their love for out of a desire to seem trendy and on the cutting edge, but no one really cares much for in reality. In reality, it's just white noise, albeit a trendy kind of white noise.

No comments: