World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0000182616
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cowpunk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Alternative country, Punk blues, Punk rock, Country music, Cowpunk
Collection: Country Music Genres, Cowpunk, Fusion Music Genres, Punk Rock Genres, Subcultures
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Cowpunk or Country punk is a subgenre of punk rock that began in the UK and California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It combines punk rock or New Wave with country music, folk music, and blues in sound, subject matter, attitude, and style.[1][2] Many of the musicians in this scene have now become associated with alternative country or roots rock.


  • History 1
  • Bands associated with the 1980s "Cowpunk" ethos in Los Angeles 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


A 1984 New York Times article on the emerging aesthetic acknowledged cowpunk as one of several catch-all terms critics were using to categorize the country-influenced music of otherwise unrelated punk and New Wave bands. The article briefly summarized the music's history, at least in the U.S., saying that in the early 1980s, several punk and New Wave bands had begun collecting classic country records, and soon thereafter began performing high-tempo cover versions of their favorite songs, and that new bands had also formed around the idea. By 1984, there were dozens of bands in both the U.S. and England "personalizing country music and making it palatable for the MTV Generation." Examples included two UK groups—the country-tinged pop band Boothill Foot Tappers and the tongue-in-cheek New Wave outfit Yip Yip Coyote—and several U.S. bands: X, The Blasters, Meat Puppets, Rubber Rodeo (which ironically "juxtaposed countrypolitan elements and more conventional rock postures" in homage to "a pop-culture west rather than a geographic or historic one"), Rank and File (playing "an updated version of 1960s country-rock"), Jason and the Scorchers (with "authentically deep country roots"), and Violent Femmes (at that time incorporating "mountain banjo, wheezing saxophones, scraping fiddle, twanging jew's harp, and ragged vocal choruses").[1]

Bands associated with the 1980s "Cowpunk" ethos in Los Angeles

See also


  1. ^ a b c d  
  2. ^ Gerald Haslam, Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999) covers all of the major movements in California Country music from the Hollywood Cowboys to Country Rock. He also includes a chapter on the 1980s and the "Los Angeles renaissance" of country-styled "roots", rockabilly and cowpunk music and interviews members of The Blasters, Los Lobos, X/The Knitters, Lone Justice, Dwight Yoakam, Rosie Flores, Rank and File and The Beat Farmers. Kurt Wolff in The Rough Guide to Country Music (London: Rough Guides, 2000) also highlights chapters covering major California contributions to Country Music: Hollywood Cowboys, The Bakersfield Sound and Country Rock as well as California's contribution to Western Swing. Under chapters dealing with Dwight Yoakam and Alternative Country, Wolf mentions the influence of Los Angeles and its 1980s "roots" music scene.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Ganahl, Jane (November 10, 1999). "Mike Ness' cowpunk sound".  
  5. ^ a b Taylor, Steve (2006). A to X of Alternative Music. Continuum International Publishing Group. p. 276.  


  • Einarson, John. Desperados: The Roots of Country Rock. New York: Cooper Square Press, 2001
  • Haslam, Gerald W. Workin' Man Blues: Country Music in California. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1999
  • Wolff, Kurt. The Rough Guide to Country Music. London: Rough Guides, 2000.
  • Hinton, Brian. "South By South West: A Road Map To Alternative Country" Sanctuary 2003
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.