Gram Parsons, "A Song For You"

'Country music' is an odd target for ire, popular though it may be. For a long time, country's second home was in southern California, and this even before the rise of country-rock bands in the late 60s. Its distinctive features are all borrowed from other genres of music--it's particularly hard to imagine country music without the influence of blues--and it runs from slow-paced twang and whine all the way to music indistinguishable from the average 90s alternative band. It's focused less on the rhythm than the lyrics, and the vocal phrasing of particular lines, and can thus require a bit of patience. But when it's on, it's marvelous.

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