In her criticism of Mount Pilot [Spot Check, June 6], Monica Kendrick writes: “Too many of these city slickers are wailing about hard times when it sounds to my Blue Ridge-bred ears like they’ve never even crapped in an outhouse.” Is Ms. Kendrick suggesting that unless born and raised within the cultural roots of a genre, one is immediately insincere when playing that music? If so, here’s a short list of impostors:
The Rolling Stones, hailing from England and playing Chicago blues. Jon Spencer, wealthy Brown graduate, playing his skewed version of Delta blues. Alison Krauss, one of the finest bluegrass fiddlers today, from Champaign, Illinois. Jon Langford, leader of insurgent country’s Waco Brothers, also British. And country balladeer Richard Buckner, from San Francisco.
To question a band because its location doesn’t correspond to the evolution of its chosen genre showcases an ignorance of countless musical groups of notoriety throughout this century. And to make the suggestion that such a band’s music would be legitimized if its members had “crapped in an outhouse” is ridiculous, not to mention unfunny.
I could give a damn if anyone disliked the band. But to grudgingly discredit Mount Pilot in print because it plays the musical style of one’s birthplace (without any mention of material or performance) is stupid, baseless anger on parade.
I should also add before closing that the band’s primary songwriter has spent the majority of his life in the rural south and midwest–voiding the nouveau hillbilly/city slicker cracks–and all members of the band have taken a shit in an outhouse. Just keeping it real, Ms. Kendrick.