As I try to figure out how my musical taste led me here, to liking songs from bands and singers I'd never heard of like Arc Angels and Ian Moore, I decided to go back further than the 80s and trace my own musical history. In the 70s, I used to listen to Cream and Traffic. Now, of course, at the time I thought of them as rock groups, plain and simple. I didn't hyphenate or add a descriptor. Maybe that came later in music, when the pigeon-holing and labeling took over. It used to be that music was either stuff you liked, or stuff you didn't like, and the genre was less important.
Because as I listen to Traffic again today, I realize that I was listening to (gasp!) jazz and blues when all I thought I was getting was British rock. Take a listen to The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, one of my favorite songs of my younger days. So intricate, so layered, so emotive. Now, some forty years later, we call it Prog rock and that's probably an apt label. It was so progressive it sounds timeless. Yet it is so musically rich, you can tell it didn't come out the last few years.
I also loved Cream -- again not realizing just what you would call what I was listening to. Shhh, it's blues-rock. I had no idea back then who Eric Clapton was or what had influenced him, I just new he was unreal on the guitar. Supernatural. Monster Guitar Man -- impervious to the laws of motion. He actually believed his fingers could be in multiple places at the same time. And Jack Bruce? Listen to that bass line -- it's sick.
So a shout out to Casey James for opening my eyes and ears. I will from here on out not judge a musical genre by its title, but will give it a fair listen. Back in the day, before we compartmentalized everything, music was just music. The Texan with the crossover appeal is bringing that concept back.