Is Acoustic the New Electric?

I read this week that Aimee Mann (Voices Carry) is taking her tour acoustic. This news comes on the heels of Cyndi Lauper‘s release of acoustic versions of many of her top hits, Barenaked Ladies (and Kevin Hearn‘s) acoustic recordings, and Bruce Springsteen‘s Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. Springsteen at least started his career as a folkie (before he realized that rock musicians were much better paid).

So, what is the deal? In the ’60s, when musicians wanted to be daring, they strapped on a Fender Stratocaster. By the ’90s, the shoe was on the other foot when lots of artists went on MTV’s unplugged (making piles of green selling the resulting albums). Still, when push comes to shove, they’re back in bed with their amps and drum kits. Why is it cool, and a concert draw, for rock musicians to lose the juice, but equally good musicians who live an honest acoustic live are passing the hat?

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