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