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Iranian Country Music

By Kristin Deasy, RFE/RL

Blues, country music, cowboy boots, and twang: welcome to the ever-widening world of Persian music.

The Iranian band "Kiosk" was awarded the Best Blues Band of 2008 by the World Academy of Arts, Literature, and Media in October (listen to their latest album, "Global Zoo," here).

The band began in a basement in Iran, just a couple of friends and a guitar. While American country music is often characterized by a personal story -- -- getting the wife, the job, or the dog back -- Persian country music lyrics tend to revolve around more entertaining or lightly political subjects.

Sometimes, though, language appears the only difference between the two countries' genres, as the following music video featuring Mehdi Mafi demonstrates:

It's unusual in its down-to-the-detail imitation of American country music, cowboy hats included.

Contemporary music in Iran is ever the amalgamation, and influences from American country music pop up most often in newer, more experimental bluesy songs.

Many artists are also blending the musically adaptable blues into the country's eastern harmonic heritage. One example is Shahryar Masrour, whose 2008 album "Sometimes" is a fusion of blues and country influences.

Copyright (c) 2009 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

... Payvand News - 02/12/09 ... --

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