Country Music Hall of Fame Details Western Edge Exhibit

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Amazon Music Playlist, Companion Book and More to Come

The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is set to open its next major exhibit, Western Edge: The Roots and Reverberations of Los Angeles Country-Rock, presented by City National Bank, on Friday, September 30, lasting nearly three year .

Western Edge will trace the communities of singers, songwriters and visionary musicians in Los Angeles who, between the 1960s and 1980s, frequented local nightclubs, embraced country music, created and shaped the musical fusion “country -rock” and ultimately made a lasting impact on popular music.

The exhibit studies the rise of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Eagles, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and others who found commercial success with a hybrid of rock sensibilities and country instrumentation and harmonies. The musical contributions of these pioneers were expanded upon by the next generation of Los Angeles roots music performers – the Blasters, Los Lobos, Lone Justice, Dwight Yoakam and many more – who once again drew inspiration from the traditional American music, mixing hard honky-tonk, Mexican folk music, rockabilly and punk rock. These artists – along with their country-rock predecessors – inspired future generations of country and American artists.

“Western Edge examines a time of boundary crossing and great community creativity,” shares Kyle Young, executive director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. “This adventurous synthesis of traditional and contemporary sounds not only fueled the creativity of generations of LA musicians, but became an American phenomenon that still reverberates in music today. Along with the exhibit, we offer a official playlist, a companion book, special concerts, and public programs that will be scheduled throughout the run. Through these multiple avenues, we look forward to sharing the rich, multi-layered story of country’s lasting impact. -rock.

The museum’s curatorial and creative teams conducted over 40 hours of filmed interviews and collected an array of significant artifacts for display at Western Edge, which will be housed in a new 5,000 square foot gallery.

An introductory film narrated by multi-Grammy Award-winning artist Dwight Yoakam, a key figure in the history of the exhibit, will be shown inside the gallery, along with stage clothing, instruments , original song scripts and more. Interactive elements will allow visitors to explore the connections between the artists who make up these musical communities through audio recordings, performance clips, original interview footage and historic photographs.

Artifacts from Yoakam, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Michael Nesmith and more.

In anticipation of the opening, the official Western Edge playlist is now available on Amazon Music. The Western Edge Playlist features songs compiled in collaboration with the exhibit’s curators and follows the story of the Western Edge exhibit through three decades of music.

The playlist is categorized into three eras, representing the breadth and depth of the movement. Songs from a variety of artists are included, from country-rock pioneers the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Dillards, International Submarine Band, Taj Mahal and more, to artists who solidified the movement and took it to new heights. new heights, including Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Eagles, Flying Burrito Brothers, Emmylou Harris, Michael Nesmith & the First National Band, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young, among others.

The playlist is rounded out by the next wave of influential artists inspired by Los Angeles roots, including The Blasters, Desert Rose Band, The Knitters, Lone Justice, Los Lobos, Maria McKee, Rank and File, Lucinda Williams, Dwight Yoakam and many others.

An in-depth, illustrated companion book will complete the gallery presentation, with a foreword by Linda Ronstadt and a lead essay by longtime Los Angeles music journalist Randy Lewis. The book, available Sept. 30, will feature historic photographs and artifacts from the exhibit, along with supporting essays by Mary Katherine Aldin, Dave Alvin, James Austin, Alison Brown, Steve Fishell, and Holly George-Warren.

In support of the exhibit’s debut, the museum will host two weekend opening concerts, including the reunion and closing performance of the Desert Rose Band, as well as a host of newly added talks and performances. The concerts and programs are made possible in part by the Academy of Country Music and its travel partner American Airlines. Family programs will also be offered at the Taylor Swift Education Center.

Tickets for the CMA Theater concerts are now on sale with a limited number still available. All other Ford Theater and Taylor Swift Education Center programs are included with museum admission and can be reserved Friday, August 26, beginning at noon CT.

The Western Edge exhibit traces the story of budding young musicians who, in the 1960s, settled in Los Angeles as a bastion of youth-oriented counterculture and a burgeoning center of recording. They found a connection through a love of soulful harmonies, instrumental virtuosity and honest storytelling in folk, bluegrass and country music.

These newcomers found a rich local music scene anchored in clubs such as the Ash Grove, which featured influential bluegrass bands including the Dillards and the Kentucky Colonels, alongside masters of American roots music like Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Elizabeth Cotton. , Doc Watson and more.

Although the music emanating from LA’s folk scene often reflected the seriousness of the times, these young musicians were also influenced by the enormous popularity of the Beatles and the British invasion. Many of these folk and country-inspired musicians began adding electric instruments and percussion to their performances and recordings, eventually merging pedal steel guitar, banjos, mandolins, vocal harmonies and guitar fills derived from country music, creating a completely original form of music. which ultimately transformed the American musical landscape.

The exhibit also highlights the significance of the Troubadour Club in West Hollywood, which served as the epicenter of Los Angeles’ burgeoning country-rock scene in the 1960s and 1970s. It provided a space for creators to collaborate with a healthy dose of competition, challenging each other to write better songs, create tighter harmonies, and master their instruments.

As California country rock reached its peak in the 1970s, including the huge commercial success of the Eagles and Linda Ronstadt, the exhibition follows the next countercultural wave of roots-influenced rock & roll that emerged from the Los Angeles club scene in the 1980s. These musicians turned to Hollywood’s emerging punk-rock scene and embraced an avant-garde brand of music with their own original songs and raw, high-energy performances.

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