I've been spending time trying to really pinpoint how to describe my music and really think about what it means when I use genre labels. In analyzing what I like to write and what I like to record and perform, I think I've got the answer. Articulating it is still a bit tricky, but here goes: I'm part Folk. Part Americana. Half my music tends to be concretely issues or history based more along the lines of something Woody Guthrie might tackle. The other half is perhaps a more popular style of music which is colored by my use of instrumentation (leaning toward acoustic and rootsy).
In my first album, Follow the River Bend, half of those songs are personal songs, angsty, emotional fountains more typical of singer-songwriters (Sunshine is an example). The other half are songs that would more correctly fit in the Folk camp...songs about the Gulf oil spill (Oil's Done Come), wallstreet and our government (Company Man), Alzheimers (On the Train), living with disabilities (No Voice).
I have subsequently put out two songs that are more Folky than anything -- one about Occupy Movement (I Will Not Leave) and another song about the Titanic as it sank 100 years ago this April (Twenty Lifeboats).
My second album, Missing Anchor, I'm recording in the summer of 2012, has a similar makeup. I have a song about Trayvon Martin (Bullets...here's a demo), and on the other end a more generic song about personal struggle (What Remains...here's a demo). The rest of the songs I've been writing fall into those camps pretty evenly.
For me as an artist, that sort of means that I like saying things about current or past events just as much as I like to maybe reflect on my personal journey through this world (or the lives and journies we all take). Since it sort of just lays out that way, I'm going to stick to the notion of a fifty percent rule. At the very least it helps me describe my music more accurately.
No matter what labels may be used, I just aim to write better songs each and every day about things I care about, which is equal mix of the outside world and the inside world. That's a good path for me to follow I think.
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