KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s been a lot of buzz from music fans about a new documentary by Ken Burns called, “Country Music”.
Burns takes a deep look at the origins of the music starting with the ballads, fiddle songs, church music, and the blues before talking about the rise in popularity of the genre in the early 1930s, and beyond. It’s a beautifully told story about families, lives, and history told by some of the biggest names to come from the industry.
“People identify with it because it’s songs about real life,” the Kansas City Cowboy Dusty Rust said about the genre. “The whole thing that attracted me to it was the lyrics. The honesty is why I identify with it.”
Although the genre has changed significantly since it became well known, some artists continue to preserve the art in its more traditional form adding a few updates with the times. Rust is more of a traditionalist than others, but even he admits his music still isn’t for everyone.
“I’m not even sure if it’s bad feedback, but some people look at you cross-eyed and go ‘what is this hillbilly hipster (expletive),’” Rust said while laughing.
For Rust, music isn’t just about the genre, it’s his outlet to create art. While others may take pride in their style and genre, Rust is simply just trying to make music and uses country sounds to create his style.
“Growing up, I listened to all kinds of music, it wasn’t just country music,” Rust said. “I have a pretty wide listening range. I played jazz in high school, and I started blending things into country music. When I first started doing it, I wanted to make something that sounds like old golden era country music. Something grainy that sounds old, but a couple years later after going with it, you start to lose fear of composition. You think, ‘I don’t care what anyone thinks, and if I want to put some garage rock influence into what I’m doing, I’m going to do it.’”
You can hear more from the Kansas City cowboy in the podcast about his thoughts on country music, and hear music and stories about his 2018 album, “Stolen Horse.”