Friday Morning Music: Roots Rock!

Every Friday we start your day off with a series of videos, loosely gathered around a theme. This week, what could broadly be called Roots Rock!

Roots rock is a big field, and I’m not presuming to say this is the best of it, just the songs that stick with me. The back-to-basics emphasis on strings, beats, and lyrics can be very powerful. From the originators, like Bob Dylan, to the modern virtuosos like the Avett Brothers and Wilco, to the outright misfits like Billy Bragg, it’s a sprawling, beautiful genre.

Bob Dylan – Tangled Up In Blue My favorite Dylan song, one that seems more personal, more descriptive, and scaled far less grand than his song-of-a-generation stuff.

The Avett Brothers – I and Love and You A song about leaving, about becoming, about holding on while moving on. Featuring beautiful harmonies between brothers Seth and Scott Avett, and a powerfully minimalist piano-drum-stings arrangement, the song vears from mournfully angry to singalong and back.

Billy Bragg and Wilco – Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key Off of their spectacular, and spectacularly bizarre collaboration Mermaid Avenue, an old British punk teams up with one of alternative music’s most respected bands, and produces this roguish, nostalgic wink of a song.

Wilco – California Stars A more rock-focused blend of modern rock with roots influences, and my favorite Wilco song by a country mile.

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