I quite unapologetically check the Social List (the mostly-student elist) regularly for information about less-than-official goings on at Fletcher, and the ideas and information that are traded there never cease to amaze me. Here’s an example.
On a recent Thursday afternoon, at 3:28, an international student wrote:
Can you please recommend some very good, calm/peaceful country music for me? I don’t mean old, but something a little melancholic and nostalgic.
At 3:39 the options start to build, when a U.S. student recommended:
Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams are all pretty fantastic. I would just Spotify/Pandora their greatest hits albums, although listening to Johnny Cash’s “Live at Folsom Prison” all the way through is also a great experience.
At 3:53, the next suggestion:
They’re not often counted as “country” musicians, but you may want to check out some of the music at the roots of both the country and blues music genres. Folklorist Alan Lomax also traveled through the South in the 1930s and 1940s recording a lot of these folks in their hometowns for the Library of Congress, and his work provides a pretty fascinating look into a slice of U.S. history.
Finally, 3:58, only a half hour after the original email:
If this is the direction you’re going, then I’d recommend Robert Johnson, Skip James, and Mississippi John Hurt (my personal favorite). Truly beautiful, humble, and haunting music.
And just like that, the student has the information he needs to kick off his search for country music. Thank you, Social List.