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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Country Punk Country

Dave Alvin and The Blasters were a well-respected band in LA punk even though they played pretty straight-forward American roots-rock, closer to country than to punk. Nevermind. They just fit in. They were a part of the crowd, and let's not forget John Doe and X's Americana-informed music that was also the ultimate in punk rock. Chip and Tony Kinman of the Dils, died-in-the-wool, true to the cause commie punks also had a country side, and together with Alejandro Escovedo, who was in the punk Nuns, they formed Rank and File. Al and his brother would go on to form another country-influenced band, True Believers.

And all that was just in California! Over in Nashville, there was Jason and the Scorchers who displayed the ultimate punk rock energy and attitude, dressed like cowboys and played true American western rock with a punk edge.

Certainly, the great Buck Owens, an innovator of the "Bakersfield Sound," host of the kitschy television program, "Hee Haw" and all around fantastic country/western performer was on these punks radar.

Buck Owens died today at the age of 76. He lived a long and rich life and his influence lives on in the likes of artists like Dwight Yoakam, whose style is as much homage to Buck as it is original.

For an obituary of Buck Owens from The New York Times, click here.

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