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Americana Music as Art and History Lesson--Humility and Caroline Herring

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Every now and then the internet comes up with a gem that should not be overlooked. Readers should take seven minutes of their browsing time and reflect upon this YOUTUBE video. Americana roots singer/songwriter Caroline Herring discusses her southern heritage and demonstrates that songwriting can be intelligent, contain razor-sharp observations, and function as a tool for social consciousness.

Yes, the video is partially a promotion for an independently produced CD, but the way I look at it, Herring does not have the huge promotional machines of the record companies that ram their critical choices down our collective throats. I have no problem taking the chance and championing work like this--work that is culturally redeeming. I have already written a review of Lantana which has done its job.

This video, produced by Herring's sister, is an honest conversation with a humble artist--an artist who is so innocent that she considers Austin, Texas to be a scary, big city. Humble and frightened as she may be, Herring is a giant of a songwriting force and should not be overlooked.

This is the kind of music and social commentary that should be celebrated in American culture, instead of our morbid fascination and hero-worship of losers, drug addicts and outlaws. Unless we as a society change our patterns of hero worship, we court the danger of becoming what we adulate.

This unassuming documentary is a his/herstory lesson, sociology class, civil rights call-to-arms, and a beautiful example how one woman can make a huge difference and impact with her art.

Take a look. You will not be disappointed.

Makes me want to exercise my sword arm and head on down to the Mississippi Delta.


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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill Magazine, the Huffington (more...)

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