About the Musical Divide:
My name is Zackary Kephart, and The Musical Divide launched as my way of connecting with the country music community. I don’t consider this a journalistic outlet, but my main area of interest with this blog is to write critical reviews, mostly for country music-related items (and, of course, its many offshoots and musical adjacent cousins in bluegrass, Americana … etc.).
While I don’t consider The Musical Divide to be a music recommendation website, I’m always happy to share (what I consider to be) good music. But through my reviews, my hope with this website is to be a better thinker and writer as well as understand why I like or dislike certain music; I believe that’s how we find ultimate joy from it. I value everyone’s opinion and perspective here, and while “divide” is in the name, my hope is to bridge those gaps in taste we have to be better music fans.
Why “The Musical Divide?”
To me, country music is heavily fragmented. That’s not a statement on the genre in the current day (though it certainly applies), but rather an observation of its history. “Country music,” as a term, means something different to every individual artist, critic or fan you can ask, and between traditionalists wanting to fight for real country music as well as pop country fans wanting something progressive, it leads to a broken family.
But I think we’re more alike than we aren’t, and that statement extends to whether you’re a country music fan or not. I call this website what it is because, ultimately, we aren’t going to agree on everything. I believe that opinions can, and should, change with more time and knowledge gained. Whether it’s through finding a new favorite artist, having a thoughtful conversation on something we love or something else entirely, that’s where we bridge those gaps. At The Musical Divide, I care more about what you think, so always feel free to share thoughts, especially if you have any tips or recommendations for how I can improve this website.
About the founder:
My work has appeared at This Is Country Music, The Shotgun Seat, Niagara Frontier Publications, and Niagara Wire. In May 2019, I completed my senior honors thesis, “Breaking The Bond Between Country Music And The Radio.” A few of my favorite acts are Alan Jackson, Gretchen Peters and Lucero.