Reintroducing New England to the Country Music World
This introductory chapter studies what local working-class New Englanders often refer to as “traditional country music,” particularly the so-called “New England country and western music.” The practitioners of and participants in this regional form of country music use live, local music to drive community events, and they are active stewards of the music's regional history and traditions. New England country and western music, history, and sociability are interwoven with national and international forms of commercial country music. The chapter also examines how the national and international commercial country music industry's diminishing interest in showcasing country music as a regional, working-class music has negatively impacted the vibrancy of New England, and has both threatened and fortified the region's sense of inheritance to the mantle of country music authenticity.
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