Alternative countryAlternative country
can refer to several ideas. Most generally, any musician that plays a sound unlike the dominant trends in country music
at the time plays "alternative country". By this standard, the Bakersfield sound
was alternative in the 1950s
, and the Lubbock, Texas
musicians were alternative in the 60s
for example. More specifically, however, "alternative country" refers to a group of socially aware country singers, often with a strong punk
- and hard rock
-influenced sound. The roots of alternative country are in 1970s
artists like Steve Earle
. The genre continued in earnest with Uncle Tupelo
LP No Depression
Alternative country refers to country bands that play traditional country but bend the rules slightly. They don't conform to Nashville's hitmaking traditions, nor do they follow the accepted outlaw country route to notoriety. Instead, alternative country bands work outside of the country industry's spotlight, frequently subverting musical traditions with singer/songwriter and rock & roll lyrical (and musical) aesthetics.
Alternative country is popularly referred to, especially in print, as "alt-country or sometimes "alt.country."
Alternative country musicians