It’s not hard to see country music is currently at a crossroads. The Nashville music machine is now led by a new young group of stars more famous from their American Idol and Nashville Star televison appearances than the sort of roadhouse and bar tours their predecessors had to endure. The old guard is starting to retreat and this group of young’uns are the focal point of where country music is headed. Needless to say, there are plenty of hardcore country fans who are not happy. Calling the music of the up and comers ‘too slick’ for pure country, they parrot a longstanding gripe as fans of hardcore country music have been calling popular country music ‘slick’ for the past 50 years or so. Ever since Patsy Cline and her peers became the purveyors of what many wags called “countrypolitan” in the late ’50’s, people have been sounding the death knell of pure country, fretting for their fiddles and steel guitars and wondering why the drummer was ever allowed onstage at the Opry. Never mind one of the inventors of the sound was guitarist/producer/A&R man Chet Atkins, a name synonymous with country music and one of its’ most honored and well-known instrumentalists. When Buck Owens brought his Bakersfield sound to country back in the early ’60’s, everything calmed down for awhile. At least, until Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson started the outlaw country movement. Country purists hated that.
Seattle-based singer/songwriter Gary Reynolds and his band, The Brides of Obscurity, have extraordinary plans for 2010: they plan to release a song a week and a full-length album a month throughout all of 2010. Yes, you read that correctly. The band will release fifty-two songs and twelve full-length albums this year and to keep things fresh the tracks will range in style from psychedelic indie-rock to power-pop to folk-inspired numbers. So genius or madman? Read the interview, hear the tunes and make up your own mind!
Q: Wow! Tell us about the inspiration behind choosing to release 12 albums this year.
A: I came up with this concept of releasing a song a week. Basically, I’ve been playing music for a long time and officially, what happens is, in the past I would record an album. I have three “Chronicles” – Cretin Chronicles volumes 1, 2 and 3 – those were what I did in my college days and they’re Brit-poppy psychedelic garage rock. Remember the “Pebbles” series that came out?