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Peter LaFrance

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Music to Drink Beer By

There is a legend in the bar business that Country Western music is real beer-selling music. It seems the songs about prison, a dog/horse/mama dying, love-gone-bad, and hangovers are the perfect accompaniment for the mass consumption of industrial beer.

On the other hand the consumption of a high octane (highly alcoholic content), ten year old, ebony opaque elixir that pours like sweet crude oil must have a music that would fulfill the sensual requirements for its enjoyment. I can envision that brew should be tasted to the hypnotic sounds of a French Canadian fiddle player, and the warm smell of wood fire in a cast iron stove set on a huge flagstone set in wood floor in the corner of an ancient wood frame farmhouse halfway between Montreal and Quebec City, on a frosty September night.

And then there is the sound of inlet waves on a stifling hot summer afternoon in August as they slap against the pilings and the sides of the fishing boats in a small marina, that begs to accompany a pitcher of ice cold lager.

However, music is the subject of this rant and so I shall return to topic and observe that I can think of no seventeenth century classical music that would call out for the enjoyment of the quaffing of a beer to complete the moment.

The music heard where beer was enjoyed in the world of Bach and Mozart would have been the music of the masses. The lack of pretense that is the essence of honest beer would be the perfect accompaniment to the balladeer, the dance band, the solitary stringed instrument or vocal group.

If this is accepted as truth the precedent is set and it is simply a matter of following the thread from the popular music of that time to the popular music of today; which brings us back to the romantic impressions that are iconic Country Western.

Here is a music that evokes all that folks in the United States hold sacred, self contained, insular characters who answer to no one and will whip your behind if you don’t agree with them. This is a romance that holds the honesty of manual labor above the slick maneuvering of paper-pushers. No stinking imported beer for these folks. These folks are red, white and blue nationalistic who will cling to their American beers, if they can get them for $12.00(US) a case of twelve ounce aluminum cans, all the better.

As for me, if it wasn’t so freaking isolated you would find me sipping my Imperial Stout in Quebec listening to that fiddle player for the rest of my life…

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