Drive Stage: the new exclusive stage premiering at the Colours of Ostrava festival promises to present the latest happenings in alternative country, bluegrass, folk, blues and rockabilly spanning the whole world.
The idea behind creating it was loosely inspired by the highly successful New York stage which was particularly popular with festival visitors in the past.
For some time now, the US has been experiencing a return to its musical roots taking it right back to the dawn of American music when people had no notion of either blues or jazz. Among the young generation, interest in old-time music dating back to the 19th century has not only led to a reincarnation of popular styles from bygone years, in which African and European influences are fused, but has in its own way also taken over from old blues, bluegrass, country and folk. We are also witnessing a huge wave of interest in rockabilly and early forms of rock n’roll using acoustic instruments such as the banjo, fiddle and acoustic guitars – rendering to these a whole new level of importance.
Recently you may also have heard this blend of music (which is hard to define with precision) being referred to as Americana. Interest in modern country and bluegrass – until not long ago attracting attention for its derided symbols of conservatism, has taken on the whole world, and ultimately shown us how compatible it is with European styles. That said, this kind of music is not to be confused with popular country such as that of Taylor Swift or the folk of Mumford & Sons – who get to claim the Grammy awards and dominant the airwaves and music charts.
The Drive stage will focus on ‘alternative country,’ an alternative kind of folk underground from which a whole range of outstanding groups and personalities have emerged, pushing country and its related genres into the 21st century through a sieve of rock, punk, rock´n´roll as well as freak folk. These days, it’s also not uncommon to see this genre being mixed up with electronica and hip hop. The new generation doesn’t even really go against conservative and mainstream concepts as such, so let’s not look for attempts at cheap deconstruction in their actions but rather see how they create often purposefully provocative “contra country blues” which in the end is nothing more than about paying respectful tributes to old blues and country heroes who today’s thirty-somethings are only now discovering.
What would have been almost impossible in the past – something that quite literally drove out the puritan concept of country, is now being considered as an important alternative musical direction. And we can look forward to seeing several of its European and American representatives performing on the Drive stage.
Three sisters singing and playing various instruments. Rockabilly, country, punk and rock.
Kumbia Queers (Argentina/Mexico)
Six punk anarchists playing cumbia à la punk and country.
Agnostic Mountain Gospel Choir (Canada)
Country blues and old-time music performed in the rawest possible manner.
Mama Rosin (Switzerland)
Cajun and zydeco. Rock´n´roll. Punk.
Diving For Sunken Treasure (Germany)
Berlin psychobilly gypsy swing punk.
Bluegrass and hip hop.
Hayseed Dixie (USA)
Killer grass. Rock hits moulded to bluegrass and country.
My Jerusalem (USA)
Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside (USA)
Rockabilly and early rockn´roll.
Nylon Jail (Czech Republic)
Country, folk and electronica.
The Rocket Dogz (Czech Republic)
Rock´n´roll, punk and rockabilly.
Lucie Redlová & Garde (Czech Republic)
Folk rock and folk.