Full article here // Excerpt below
by Ken Carter
Over the past fifteen years there has been a growing appreciation for what has been termed “Americana” or “roots music.” It includes some elements of country and jazz, bluegrass and rock, blues and gospel. [...] The geography of roots music stretches from New Orleans, through the Delta, to Memphis and Nashville and into Appalachia. It is not accidental that these areas are the most poverty-stricken and the most religious in the United States.
Also see this post about Patty Griffin's album Downtown Church, which is the focus of much of Carter's article.