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Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music
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Rednecks & Bluenecks: The Politics of Country Music

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  52 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Now in paperback, the nationally acclaimed Rednecks and Bluenecks is veteran Entertainment Weekly journalist Chris Willman’s lively account of “how music makes strange political bedfellows and how artists’ perceived politics change over time” (Booklist). How did the erstwhile music of the rural working class come to be the music of choice of the GOP? Rednecks and Bluenecks ...more
Hardcover, 302 pages
Published November 17th 2005 by New Press, The (first published 2005)
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Beth Newman
This was a fascinating read. Willman did a fine job interviewing country music heavy-hitters from both sides of the political fence (Rodney Crowell, Kris Kristofferson, Ronnie Dunn, Toby Keith, etc.). Country music is big business today, and the 'boot up your ass' mentality is one of the reasons I don't listen to a lot of current country radio.

Today's general public assumes that country music artists are naturally drawn toward the conservative side, and when they 'get out of line', those audien
his book is a fascinating look at the political makeup of the stars and establishment of country music. Working both forward and backward from the Dixie Chicks' scandal, Willman interviews a whole host of musicians, songwriters, and other country music types to get their takes on where the country music establishment falls on the political spectrum.

Unsurprisingly, most everyone agrees that the majority of mainstream country acts are conservative, while the majority of alt-country/Americana acts
This book was ok. It had several really interesting chapters on the relationship between country music and the two political parties, especially how Democrats seem to have abandoned the mainstream country music audience. And of course I'm going to love any book that has an interview with Patterson Hood from the Drive-By Truckers.

But sometimes it seemed a little repetitive. And being an academic it bugged me when he uncritically reported stuff that I know simply isn't true or is way more complex
katherine quarles
Learned a lot about the history of country music and alt country. Also learned a lot about the politics that go with it
I read this basically because I love the Dixie Chicks, especially since they got in trouble for being outspoken.

It sort of extends to the conflict that I really like country music, and I'm a flaming commie pinko liberal (well, really green anarchist, but whatev) which often feels like a conflict.

I didn't particularly adore the writing style, but I found it interesting the whole way through. Lots of stuff I didn't know before.
M. Fenn
Not a bad read, even if it was written by a guy who works for Entertainment Weekly. It was a bit fluffy, but still seemed to give a good overview of both sides and the middle of politics in country music.
Aug 25, 2007 Chris rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: music
I don't always like Willman's writing--it's a bit over the top. There are some great stories here (particularly about Steve Earle and Toby Keith), but I'm still not sure what Willman's point is.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book's romp through the political affiliations, quagmires, and musicology of country music over the years.
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