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Another country is the past: Western cowboys, Lanna nostalgia, and bluegrass aesthetics as performed by professional musicians in Northern Thailand

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ABSTRACT

Within the popular music scene of Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, a handful of restaurants feature live bluegrass bands, with musicians often dressed in U.S. western-style cowboy attire. By intermingling English-language songs with Lanna (Northern Thai) popular songs performed in the style of Appalachian bluegrass music, they use their illusion of the cowboy myth to point to notions of an authentic Lanna past. However, in their borrowing of this international code, they affirm established (Central) Thai boundaries of ethnonational gatekeeping. [Lanna, Thailand, cowboys, music, nostalgia, bluegrass, identity]

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