In Nashville, some record executives, producers and radio announcers set a clairvoyant example to refer to the particular conservative universe of country, the music that most defines the United States: you can not remove the lettuce from the salad. That is, if you suppress the fixed condiments of a traditional type of sound and lyrics associated with the countryIt's like you take the lettuce from the salad and then, according to them, it's not a salad.
Brandi Carlile and Kacey Musgraves, the two great winners of the 2019 Grammy Awards along with rapper Childish GambinoThey are great examples of salad without lettuce. Or, at least, salad country cooked in its own way, without the tolls of the powerful Nashville industry. There, in the known as city of music, his songs have broken molds, as artists from the level of Lucinda Williams, Allison Krauss, Miranda Lambert or Gillian Welch have been doing for years. Luckily, they are not the only ones. Both Musgraves, winner of the Best Album of the Year and Best Country Album with Golden Hour, as Carlile, who swept the genre american taking the Best Album, Best Song and Best Performance, represent the last female batch emerged in the margins of mainstream. A group of women who, in the last decade, play American roots music for their compositional and interpretative talent, but above all for their admirable character.
With his fine voice, Musgraves debuted in 2002, but his name gained notoriety in the broad circuit of American music with an album that bore his name published in 2007. Since then, with gems like Same Trailer Different Park (2013), has consolidated as an independent artist, turning its back on traditionalism. In his songs he has defended the use of marijuana and homosexual relationships. Sacrilege for that macho sector of Nashville with so much decision-making power, where only beautiful girls who sing with broken hearts and cowboys that save them. And not only has it broken with that. In Golden Hour, the best album of the year for the Academy, arrima el country to pop more than ever in his discography. Do not cut a hair and use the auto-tune and electronic touches in the cowboy sound. It is not a new Taylor Swift, who left years ago any hint of country for his profile pop stardom vedette. Musgraves is herself, a cowgirl of base and personality that takes elements of the pop without worrying about the opinion of the men of jacket and tie to the front of the industry of Nashville.
Brandi Carlile is even more stubborn against conservatives. This lesbian singer, married and with a daughter, came out of the closet at age 15 and knows exactly what it is to feel rejected. His music speaks especially of it, but also of the need for understanding and the search for human contact. Halfway between country and folk, in that bastard mix that is the genre american -whose spirit resides in the use of electrical instrumentation-, his songs are crossed by a vigorous feminine vision, consolidated by an intensity characteristic of rock and an imposing voice, as demonstrated last night in Los Angeles when he interpreted the absorbing The Joke, accompanied by piano and a section of violins. The entire audience ended up clapping on their feet. The rise of Carlile has been progressive, with firm and sure step since its debut in 2005. In By the Way, I Forgive You, The award-winning album summarizes its fascinating creative universe. His best songs are expansive, with some crescendos fed by his privileged throat and his great sense of epic. It sounds hurt and fierce, fragile and solemn. Just listen to only three compositions as Follow -which opened his first album-, The Story Y The Joke to check everything he is capable of. Drag
The Joke is a song that speaks of the marginalized, of those people that society and authorities corner, especially immigrants. Like the whole disk By the Way, I Forgive You, It is an allegation against the America of Donald Trump. With these Grammy and this media exposure more than deserved, Carlile stands in a feminist response to the narrowness of the trumpism and that America burned with patriotism and hatred for the different. The same message that rapper Childish Gambino throws in full of controversy and sarcasm in This Is America. The Grammys have recognized the music that fights conservatism and paranoia and have crowned two female exponents full of pride, who do the most difficult thing: to transform the most immobile.