The Democrats and Republicans not only differ in party platforms. They also differ in their musical taste as illustrated by the entertainment booked for their national conventions in August and September.
The Democrats have tapped a talent pool to perform during the various receptions at the Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO, August 25-28. The performances will range from the hip-hop infused beats of the Black Eyed Peas and rapper Kanye West, to the slightly tamer country-folk tunes of Willie Nelson and Jerry Jeff Walker. The eclectic line-up also includes musical acts such as N.E.R.D., Jennifer Lopez and Melissa Etheridge.
At the Republican National Convention, set to convene in St. Paul, MN, on September 1, the entertainment is skewed a bit more toward country with Gretchen Wilson, Cowboy Troy, John Rich and the Charlie Daniels Band slated to perform. Non-country acts include the Beach Boys and Sammy Hagar.
However, music mixed with politics long before the parties announced their respective Convention entertainment programs. During primary season, Bob Dylan, surviving members of the Grateful Dead, Arcade Fire, Dave Matthews, and The Decemberists all played fundraisers for the now-Democratic Presidential Nominee, Illinois Senator Barack Obama. On the Republican side, John Rich, of country duo Big & Rich, threw his musical support behind Republican Presidential Nominee, Arizona Senator John McCain, with the song “Raisin’ McCain.”