Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

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Six String
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Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Six String » 27 Sep 2019, 06:58

I've been watching and enjoying the Burns special on PBS and enjoying it. Much like the jazz doc there are people everyone who loves the music will say were ignored but overall it does a decent service for the genre. I learned a few things but mostly it made me happy that I grew up hearing this music, either live from family members or through the media. One of my grandmothers played songs by Bob Wills and other Texas greats on the piano and cousins and uncles play the music plus my brother plays drums in a band in the Hill Country presently.

Anyone else watching this series? Any novice fan should watch it to understand the changes it goes through. They didn't spend enough time on George Jones even though they praised his singing. Like I said, many quibbles if you know the music but that's the way it goes with docs.
Last edited by Six String on 27 Sep 2019, 07:30, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ken Burn's Country Music Doc

Postby Muskrat » 27 Sep 2019, 07:08

A lot of my FB friends are so bitter about it, it seems that they’re pissed off that they weren’t consulted - “Boy, if I were in charge, Ole Rasmussen would get an hour of his own!” I wasn’t consulted, either, and found it monumental. Particularly if it inspires watchers to investigate further than the 16 1/2 hours already there.
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Re: Ken Burn's Country Music Doc

Postby Six String » 27 Sep 2019, 07:21

That's the thing, everyone has a list of artists not mentioned in such a sweeping documentary but tiime is money. I did 'nt expect to be satisfied based on the jazz doc so I was more open minded about the project from the start.

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Re: Ken Burn's Country Music Doc

Postby Six String » 27 Sep 2019, 07:28

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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Minnie the Minx » 27 Sep 2019, 11:56

We’ve been loving it. I’ve learned a lot - I had no idea about just how recently bluegrass arrived and how - Baron is much more invested and knows a ton of it all already but it’s been really educational for me.
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Re: Ken Burn's Country Music Doc

Postby Still Baron » 27 Sep 2019, 12:42

Muskrat wrote:A lot of my FB friends are so bitter about it, it seems that they’re pissed off that they weren’t consulted - “Boy, if I were in charge, Ole Rasmussen would get an hour of his own!” I wasn’t consulted, either, and found it monumental. Particularly if it inspires watchers to investigate further than the 16 1/2 hours already there.


The outrage is bizarre, but predictable. It seems pretty obvious that he’s telling a story and choosing to focus on major people (and a few less famous ones) who he can use to tell a story about something way bigger than checking off a list of “important” or “influential” things. So yeah, maybe Billy Joe Shaver (or, indeed, even George Jones) get short shrift. But so far (and we’re not far into it) it’s been pretty much solid gold. And a good story! I know I can’t wait to see it all and I’ve seen and heard plenty from people (like my mom) who have no interest in country music whatsoever and find themselves engrossed in it to know that he’s hit the mark. I can’t imagine anything better that would hit as wide a mark.

But I thought the jazz thing was really good too. I think it’s well worth it to miss out on a fair amount of more modern stuff in exchange for something that does right by Kid Ory or Fletcher Henderson or whomever. Cecil Taylor will be remembered whether he makes it into a Ken Burns movie or not. For now, at least.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Minnie the Minx » 07 Oct 2019, 15:53

We finished this last night. It’s genuinely changed my attitude towards country music. What a fabulous documentary.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Powehi » 07 Oct 2019, 16:57

Ken Burns. Enough said.

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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Still Baron » 09 Oct 2019, 14:28

Oddly enough, what it’s done for me is cause me to go back to some of those “neotraditional” people from the mid and late 80s and revisit their records. This was stuff that was just sort of in the air around me when I was a youth—I kinda knew the hits and have vague preferences (Clint Black, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, etc.). Dwight Yoakam’s records are what I was the most familiar and of course they sound the best because they are the most slavishly honky tonk. But I’m almost more interested in the weird 80s touches that creep in. The first big Ricky Skaggs record is pretty enjoyable ... I hadn’t realized he (and so many others) had done time in Emmylou Harris’s band.

The one I still don’t really like (musically) is Vince Gill. He seems like a lovely guy and he’s unquestionably talented, but there’s always the whiff of Baptist Sunday School about his stuff.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Muskrat » 09 Oct 2019, 19:11

Still Baron wrote:This was stuff that was just sort of in the air around me when I was a youth—I kinda knew the hits and have vague preferences (Clint Black, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, etc.). Dwight Yoakam’s records are what I was the most familiar and of course they sound the best because they are the most slavishly honky tonk. But I’m almost more interested in the weird 80s touches that creep in. The first big Ricky Skaggs record is pretty enjoyable ... I hadn’t realized he (and so many others) had done time in Emmylou Harris’s band.


Have you tried John Anderson, from the same era?

When Skaggs signed with Epic, he made a point of recording without a banjo in his band. Still, his records for the label are far more bluegrass than not. You have to look for it, but there’s a lot of bluegrass in Dwight, too - particularly the first couple albums. But no banjo or mandolin!
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Still Baron » 10 Oct 2019, 00:07

Muskrat wrote:
Still Baron wrote:This was stuff that was just sort of in the air around me when I was a youth—I kinda knew the hits and have vague preferences (Clint Black, Marty Stuart, Ricky Skaggs, Randy Travis, etc.). Dwight Yoakam’s records are what I was the most familiar and of course they sound the best because they are the most slavishly honky tonk. But I’m almost more interested in the weird 80s touches that creep in. The first big Ricky Skaggs record is pretty enjoyable ... I hadn’t realized he (and so many others) had done time in Emmylou Harris’s band.


Have you tried John Anderson, from the same era?

When Skaggs signed with Epic, he made a point of recording without a banjo in his band. Still, his records for the label are far more bluegrass than not. You have to look for it, but there’s a lot of bluegrass in Dwight, too - particularly the first couple albums. But no banjo or mandolin!


That's interesting. I guess a banjo just kinda jumps out in front of everything else and marks it in a way. There IS plenty of bluegrass in those records, or at least the one I've been playing. I'll check out John Anderson soon. It's a name I've always heard but I couldn't name a song off the top of my head (unlike the others) though I'm sure I'd recognize one.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby pcqgod » 11 Oct 2019, 03:13

So far have only seen the episode that covered the early 60's with Willie Nelson's rise as a songwriter and Patsy Cline's heyday, and also the final episode which I found surprisingly engaging. I'm sure some things could have been done differently, other artists focused on, etc., but it's still a fun and interesting watch.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Still Baron » 11 Oct 2019, 18:06

I’m digging into Keith Whitley and, after his first record which has some dreadful production, he really was great. I don’t know why I always blew him off without hearing anything. Probably because he looked like a prize goober.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Muskrat » 11 Oct 2019, 21:31

Still Baron wrote:I don’t know why I always blew him off without hearing anything. Probably because he looked like a prize goober.


That should've clued you in that he was probably great.



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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Still Baron » 11 Oct 2019, 21:39

Muskrat wrote:
Still Baron wrote:I don’t know why I always blew him off without hearing anything. Probably because he looked like a prize goober.


That should've clued you in that he was probably great.


Good point!
Ricky Skaggs looked like a total jackass until he got long white hair in his old age.
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Re: Ken Burns' Country Music Doc

Postby Powehi » 01 Dec 2019, 19:43

Anyone watching this in the UK.

Episodes are just 60 minutes long compared to two hours per episode on PBS In the US, but it’s still great.

Music, footage and stills are all pretty spot on - as is the script and Peter Coyote’s delivery of it.

Seriously considering the book - apparently weighs 5lbs