I'm treading on dangerous ground using such words as "authenticity". A lot of the existentialist stuff leaves me cold with concepts of an isolated creative superman. I can't see it that way at all, because we exist and create in a social context. Lifting old ideas and running with them is fine by me because everyone has influences, and I think most derived meaning and enjoyment of art is usually down to a fine balance of familiarity and surprises.
But those anal kids with their VERY specific selection of amps. Or the guys purposely trying to sound terrible. I consider that to be Authentic!
I consider that to be the modern authenticity.
Rich white NY kids doing poor black guy Mississippi music, and white Swiss guys playing funk on a replica Space Bass. That didn't happen in quite the same way 100 years ago, and it began in earnest 50 years ago.
Our authentic culture right now is one of synthesis. We now have immediate access to a the largest cultural library of interconnected creativity. If some broad sense of historical creative "authenticity" meant being true where you were from, then we are all from a time that is culturally more interconnected than any Delta Blues guitarist in 1930 could ever have imagined.
I think that our problem is in trying to use tags such as genetics, location, upbringing in order to link ourselves to an out-moded idea of authenticity (in the broadest sense). It's an over-simplification that doesn't stand up in the modern
media and cultural spotlight.
So while the people who use a very specific vintage guitar and insist on recording on a specific type of tape run on misaligned heads - they are certainly not authentically Duane Allman, but they are authentic to our hyper mediated now
. Whether that's pleasant or not, is another matter.
I think that this new kind
of authenticity is overlooked. It's almost too new, too close to use to really see it. So we continue to use old measures.
Meanwhile. here's RL Burnside. Being old school Authentic. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_DOnKJ232M