The fact that the music business has always needed and wanted to “pigeonhole” artists and players into neat little categories has long been a thorn in the side of many. It almost seems that if one is multi-talented, and can play in many genres, they are doomed because of an identity crisis that occurs with record companies, radio stations and the like. Even the public is in on this, as they start to feel that they have to give you a category, or else they can’t listen to you!
I know that personally, this has always been the story with me, and if I go into a random cd shop, I may find my cds under “Folk”, “Blues”, “Country” or “Rock” categories. When I wanted to search for the airplay and charting of my latest album, “Toolin’ Around Woodstock”, I found out that I had to look under the “Americana” category…one I had never even known existed! kind of a nice category, though, because it seemed to grow out of the very necessity I am talking about here, the fact that many of these artists can’t really fit into one easily defined category. Rather, an artist such as I, who carries influences from so many genres of music, can at least be called “Americana”…better than nothing!
It’s always been tricky….when does Blues become Rhythm and Blues? When does Country become Pop? When does ANYTHING become Pop?! What defines what is Pop? So much Rock, to me, is really Pop now, and so much of Country is really more Rock than anything else. It does get awfully confusing, and all I can say is that as you are developing, do not be afraid to cross genres….this will always serve to make you a better artist, and will always broaden your horizons. Take a look at some songwriters….there are many who write for all genres, easily, and who gladly accept the challenge of simply writing a great tune, whoever it may be for, and whatever genre they had in mind while writing it! Stay true to yourselves and you influences…no matter what you do, it’ll come out sounding like YOU…and that should always be your number 1 goal!