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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the ride
Although this book is flawed it remains the best attempt to date to provide some kind of coherent guide to 'alternative country'.It is now 7 years since it was published so of course it desperately needs updating. However I've never had a need to be up to date, and what was interesting musically in 2003 is still important now.What you get then is an attempt to trace the...
Published on 9 Dec 2009 by Gizmophobic

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wide but not very deep
A wide-ranging intro to alt country, whatever that is. Unfortunately, not very deep. It looks like the research was done by reading No Depression and Uncut magazine rather than original sources, so there's little here for someone who's already a fan. And the odd omissions and mistakes make it less than brilliant as an introduction for a newcomer.
Anyone could argue...
Published on 18 May 2004


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wide but not very deep, 18 May 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: South By Southwest: A Roadmap To Alternative Country (Paperback)
A wide-ranging intro to alt country, whatever that is. Unfortunately, not very deep. It looks like the research was done by reading No Depression and Uncut magazine rather than original sources, so there's little here for someone who's already a fan. And the odd omissions and mistakes make it less than brilliant as an introduction for a newcomer.
Anyone could argue about the omissions. Personally, I was surprised to see no mention of the Mavericks or k d lang (not "alt" enough?) or BR5-49 or the Two Dollar Pistols (not country enough?). Also, it was a surprise to see Buddy Miller, Duane Jarvis and Dave Schramm relegated to brief mentions of their work as sidemen. But it was a shock to find no mention at all of Kieran Kane or Wayne Hancock. I suppose you have to leave someone out.
But the frequent spelling mistakes are not a matter of opinion (and for me distracting). Most notable are Jason "Rindenberg" and "Hazledene", both famous enough to spelled properly. Likewise "Margot" Timmins, and Margo might be surprised to learn she has three brothers in the Cowboy Junkies. Thelonious Monk is not alt country, so maybe we should forgive the spelling as "Theolonious". However, no-one could think the E Street Band's sax player is named Clarence "Cellons" (or even "Clemens").
That said, Brian Hinton's opinions are worth reading. He has interesting things to say about (for example) Bruce Springsteen's relationship to country, and about Johnny Cash. A few more opinions and a bit less recycling old magazine material would have made a more interesting book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the ride, 9 Dec 2009
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Gizmophobic - See all my reviews
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This review is from: South By Southwest: A Roadmap To Alternative Country (Paperback)
Although this book is flawed it remains the best attempt to date to provide some kind of coherent guide to 'alternative country'.It is now 7 years since it was published so of course it desperately needs updating. However I've never had a need to be up to date, and what was interesting musically in 2003 is still important now.What you get then is an attempt to trace the development of the genre, roughly from early 20th century folk song collectors such as Cecil Sharpe. through to the attempts of Beck and the like to update Americana. The emphasis is very much on the last 30 years or so and you get the impression Hinton is primarily itching to tell us about his own cd collection and that works fine for me. As has been noted above he is pretty liberal with cribbing from the likes of UNCUT and No
Depression. Again that's fine with me, I've no intention of buying up either's back catelogue and he always credits them. All in all its a fascinating ride through some back roads I would never have found. What other book has the likes of the Bad Livers and Scroat Belly in it?
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars sxsw, 24 Feb 2004
This review is from: South By Southwest: A Roadmap To Alternative Country (Paperback)
Trying to review an entire genre of music, especially a "non-genre" like "alt-country" is almost impossible. There is so much to it...
This book, however, gave me hours of reading fun, even if I had to sit the book aside after short stints because of its style. I didn't particularly care for the glowing praise that it gave some of the musicians as lifted directly from cd liner notes or from No Depression magazine (if I want to know what No Depression says, I'll read No Depression). That's the only reason I went with 4 stars instead of 5.
The scope of this book is fantastic, even for someone who doesn't care all that much about Gram Parsons. :-)
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South By Southwest: A Roadmap To Alternative Country
South By Southwest: A Roadmap To Alternative Country by Brian Hinton (Paperback - 3 Nov 2003)
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