For the record, I collect old recording equipment and love the sound of original recordings.  Nothing beats the sounds that came from the dirt floor of Hitsville, USA.



BUT, as an old school elitist, even this is getting old.


I think this may be part of the reason music seems so watered down lately.



Let me explain.


Jack White and Elton John are releasing a 3 part documentary called American Epic. In it, they recreate the original sounds from pivotal points in American music history.  From the location to the equipment used.


The documentary will air on PBS, May 16th, 23rd and 30th:



Now, it is not the documentary I have a problem with. This is stuff we should all learn about. It is important music history, heck, just important history you should know about.  And anything Eton John and Jack White do is great.


I feel like this is part of the problem we have right now in music.  Everyone is trying to recreate something – take it back to that classic sound. It’s not the fact they use a vintage AKG C414 microphone, it’s what they expect it to do for them.


THIS is the problem.  Music fans are constantly screaming that we wish music was what is was in the seventies or nineties and, “oh, the new Cheryl Crow sounds just like her old stuff, it’s great!”. But is it? Not the new Cheryl Crow stuff, I am sure it is fine. I mean, is it good that it sounds like her old stuff?


All of the times the music fans refer to that – what they want to “go back to” was a time of innovation, new recording techniques, and new ways of thinking everything was all fresh and new. Other than Led Zepplin stealing the guitar riffs and lyrics, all that music had never been done before, they weren’t trying to recreate a sound.  They were creating the sound.


Is there a sound that you like? We all have one. Or maybe you have a certain era of music that you think music sounded the best?


This doesn’t mean we can’t love and listen to those old sounds. They will always have a place in our hearts.  But when it comes to new music, don’t you want something you have NEVER heard before? Not the sound of Allen Toussaint, but a sound that Allen Toussaint, would like.


  • Eric
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Filed under: American Epic, documentary, elton john, Jack 969, Jack White, music