Born to Lead

Born to Lead by Mark Hodermarsky

We are especially grateful to artists-as examples, William Shakespeare, Vincent Van Gogh, and Johann Sebastian Bach-who resist convention, who dare to mix seemingly contradictory elements, and who lead rather than follow. Among their enormous contributions to literature, art, and music is their single most important gift-their incalculable influence on those attempting to emulate them.They were trailblazers.Born to Lead: Americana Music Trailblazers identifies those artists who have left indelible marks on Americana, a musical genre which resists definition yet, ironically, is easily recognizable. Respectful of traditional American musical forms-including folk, country, bluegrass, roots-rock, blues, and R & B-these Americana pathfinders crafted songs that melded a variety of genres, that pushed musical boundaries, and that mapped the musical routes for future Americana artists.Musical adventurers-Bob Dylan, the Byrds, Gram Parsons, Gene Clark, Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead, the Band, Arlo Guthrie, and John Prine-between 1965-1974, fiercely pursued their musical visions and subsequently emboldened throngs of musicians to forge their own paths.In addition to delineating and honoring the trailblazers’ roles in building the foundation of Americana music, Born to Lead: Americana Music Trailblazers recognizes those Americana artists who have followed the footsteps of these pioneers and who have also played influential roles in the Americana movement. The book seeks to provide a sharper description of the genre and also offers a section titled “Essential Recordings” in hopes of deepening an appreciation for Americana’s immense scale and diversity.