Today, Andrew Sullivan has been doing a lot of posts under the theme of "Things We Love About America." That, and the fact that I've been listening to The Band a lot lately, got me to thinking about one of the things I love about America: rock n' roll. Rock n' roll is the greatest expression of creativity that popular culture in the United States has spawned.
And no one does it as well as we do - not the British, and certainly no one else. In particular, I love The Band, because they are the first group to do Americana well. At least that I'm aware of. Yes, they are mostly Canadian - except for Levon Helm, the drummer and vocalist. But they do it better than anybody. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, for example, is a great song that revolves around an odd topic - the preservation of the Union during the Civil War. Here's a great version of it, from the Last Waltz:
And you should also check out The Band doing The Weight, with the Staple Singers. Also from The Last Waltz. Happy Fourth of July.