Americana Sales Gaining Traction, Outsold Country Last Week

Bon Iver, 22 A Million

Bon Iver, 22 A Million

The growing Americana movement continues to gain steam. According to Billboard, last week four albums included in the Americana/Folk Albums chart were among the 10 best-selling albums overall.

Those include Bon Iver’s 22, A Million, Bob Weir’s Blue Mountain, Drive-By Trucker’s American Band, and Van Morrison’s Keep Me Singing. The move means more sales for the genre than any other genre, except for rock (which all four of those projects also qualify for).

It marks the first time Americana has outsold country sales in the weekly top 10, since Billboard rebranded the Folk Albums chart as Americana/Folk Albums, beginning in June.

Drive-By Truckers

Drive-By Truckers

“I think it’s burgeoning in the commercial marketplace for a community that already existed in a non-commercial marketplace,” Jed Hilly, executive director of the Americana Music Association, told Billboard. “I think that the fact that there’s a word in the dictionary, there’s a Grammy Award, [now] there’s a place for these artists who don’t necessarily fit in the mainstream commercial boxes, but do have artistic similarities can call home.”

Hilly says the inclusion of a diverse set of artists—from Bon Iver to Van Morrison and Chris Stapleton—in the Americana/Folk Albums chart is part of the reason for the success of the Americana genre.

“Americana is a funny genre, because in some ways it can be very inclusive because it spans from blues to gospel to bluegrass influences, and it’s a grittier style that crosses genre boundaries in some ways,” he said. “I think all genres are expansive; I don’t see any point in arguing. I just see it as a bigger conversation in the evolution of musical styles. What is rock today? It’s not Chuck Berry and the foundations of rock and roll.”

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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