Honky Tonk (Country Music)

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Honky Tonk is a sub-genre of country music , but strictly speaking not a musical style of its own. The musical genre that emerged in Texas in the 1930s differs from its predecessors in terms of the themes of the lyrics and the electrically amplified instruments. It had its breakthrough in the early 1950s and formed an important basis for the development of rock 'n' roll and rockabilly .


The name of the new style first appeared in 1937 in the Al Dexter song Honky Tonk Blues . The term honky tonk , which originated in the 19th century and was a paraphrase for a coarse pub, referred to a style of country music that developed in the pubs and bars around the Texan oil fields. The loud and harsh environment of the pubs required the use of assertive instruments. The electric guitars and drums, which until then had been frowned upon in country music, easily drowned out the greatest noise.

The rough oil workers who went out on weekends did not meet with approval for the folkloric, religious or romantic texts and the family-friendly "cleansed up" image of the country music that was popular in the 1930s. Clearer language was needed here. The lyrics of honky-tonk music mainly deal with everyday problems: relationship crises, violence, fear for one's own future, alcohol and relationships, but also with happy topics such as socializing.

Honky-tonk music has its origins in country music as well as in blues and R&B and influenced the development of rockabilly and rock 'n' roll . In modern country music, the honky tonk became a variety of neo-traditionalism and also influenced country rock .

Usually simple 2/4 bars are played, which get the typical groove through a special timing. Frequently used instruments are bass (especially electric bass ), acoustic guitar , fiddle , slide guitar , dobro , piano and drums . The first star of the new style was Ernest Tubb , the most important representative was Hank Williams .

Important musicians


See also

Individual evidence

  1. DrumCoach 300 Grooves - 120 PlayAlongs , page 40 ( e-book )