Country music’s political divide rears its head again over crowd safety

“I don’t know any artists in the Americana world who are openly anti-vax.”

The Guardian has published a really interesting piece today entitled “We aren’t all dumb hillbillies” about the backlash which Jason Isbell has experienced over his stance on having to be vaccinated or have a negative test result to attend his gigs in the US, which has particularly irked some country musicians it appears. As part of the piece, they talk to Memphis singer-songwriter John Paul Keith who says: “This is entirely the fault of the unvaccinated, and the politicians, clergy, and media figures who are lying to them.”

When asked if he was afraid of suffering the same sort of abuse Isbell has endured, he goes on to say, “No, I’m worried about having to cancel my gigs, or getting a breakthrough case… A lot of independent artists and working musicians are not in a position to demand that the places they play require vaccines. If a bar band musician tries that, they may just find themselves out of a job.” In Keith’s view though, the dividing line is really between Americana and country as a genre: “It’s no secret that mainstream country music is, generally speaking, to the right of Americana. I don’t know any artists in the Americana world who are openly anti-vax.”

And this, dear reader, if you’re ever asked is the dividing line between Americana and the worst elements of mainstream country music. One involves brain cells. You can read the whole piece here.


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About Mark Whitfield 1684 Articles
Mark Whitfield has been Editor of Americana UK for the last 20 years while also working in public health as his day job, which has been kind of busy recently.

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