WHAT IS "COWPUNK"?
A style of Country music that is often characterized with an exciting, festive flair, accentuated with strong melodies and fun lyrics.
Originally, "Cowpunk" was a type of music that combined elements of country and western with those of punk rock ("country and punk") - thus creating a subgenre that began in the United Kingdom and Southern California in the late 1970s - early 1980s. As time went on and mainstream Country shifted through different phases, the term itself expanded it's ethos to include anything 'counter' or irreverent to what was deemed the most popular or "pop" version of Country music at that time. This was in keeping with the punk mentality, and has now come to include bands who incorporate different elements of other music (along with their Country 'baseline), such as Outlaw country, Western swing, the "Bakersfield" sound, tejano, conjunto, rockabilly, big band, etc.
Early examples include Social Distortion, The Gun Club, The Long Ryders, Dash Rip Rock, Violent Femmes, The Blasters, Mojo Nixon, Meat Puppets, The Beat Farmers, Rubber Rodeo, Rank and File, and Jason and the Scorchers. In time it has come to include Texas Tornados, Dwight Yoakam - and more recently Los Texmaniacs, The Mavericks, Steve Earle and The Dukes, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and, of course, Ledfoot Larry.