New York-based country songwriter Cliff Westfall writes songs about heartache, loss, addiction you know, funny songs. Or he can turn on a dime and dive headlong into a sentimental weeper. The Kentucky native delivers with a mixture of wit and bravado that, for Westfall, is central to what country music is all about. On his new album, Baby You Win, hes assembled a crew of some of New Yorks best musicians to explore a new idea of Americana, drawing inspiration from sources often forgotten by the current country scene.
Cliff Westfall was born and raised in Owensboro, not far from tiny Rosine, Kentucky where Bill Monroe invented bluegrass music, and he grew up listening endlessly to Kentuckians like The Everly Brothers who changed the path of popular music. Though he got his start playing cowpunk music in Kentucky, he soon left his home state behind for the bright lights of New York City. The term country music is almost a misnomer anyway, argues Westfall. A big part of the original audience was people a generation or two removed from the farm who had migrated to the city. People more familiar with factory work and honky tonks than with the back end of a mule, you know? The music they wanted to hear was as much about cutting loose, dancing and having a good time as it was about sadness and hardship. That was kind of the story of my family. Or maybe Im just attracted to neon lights, I dont know.
That is to say, country music was born in cities big and small, throughout the South and wherever Southerners ended up, as much as it was in the country. And though rural America is endlessly mythologized today in modern country music, the city is still at the heart of country, and still a source of new inspirations and influences on the traditions. On Baby You Win, Cliff Westfall brings his Kentucky roots to a very urban New York world, opening up the old country sounds to a much wider vision of Americana.
ATWOOD'S IS A MIX OF SEATING AND STANDING ROOM. PURCHASING A TICKET DOES NOT GUARANTEE SEATING!
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Atwood's Tavern (View)
877 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
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