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When I was a young boy coming up, that man was king, king, you hear me? - Muddy Waters, on Son House

Author Topic: bluegrass meets country blues meets country  (Read 2752 times)

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Foresthill_Picker

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Re: bluegrass meets country blues meets country
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2007, 04:07:37 PM »
So from what I am reading there are a few who would call a merging of Country Blues with Bluegrass and Country a bad thing? Then what do we do with an artist like Doc Watson who (IMHO) merges Bluegrass, Country Blues and Country quite well. I recently made a playlist of Doc's songs and not only were there a bunch of Bluegrass classics, but also  Spikedriver Blues,  Stackolee, Mississippi Heavy Water Blues, Did You Hear John Hurt?, John Henry/Worried Blues, Talking To Casey. His version of Stormy Weather ....hmmmm what category music would that song belong to? ....other than a Doc Watson classic !!

I like to see all these types of music have a chance to be learned, heard and judged on the performance, not on some preconceived notion that some songs shouldn't be performed at certain venues.

Thanks

Stephen

Offline CF

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Re: bluegrass meets country blues meets country
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2007, 04:42:05 PM »
I think everyone here was judging these new incarnations particularly on the performances but the problem I face as a performer of country blues for a bluegrass crowd is that they have preconceived & often limited notions of what 'old-timey' music is & very little of it (in my experience where I live) includes the prewar efforts of non-whites.
There is no contemporary playing this music at the level of a Doc Watson that I can think of off-hand . . . & isn't he an 80 year old man?
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline Johnm

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    • johnmillerguitar.com
Re: bluegrass meets country blues meets country
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2007, 07:31:50 PM »
Hi all,
I think one of the difficulties in being a musical generalist who performs Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Blues convincingly is that these styles tend to have very different rhythmic feels, and even within any one of the different styles there are a variety of different rhythmic feels, as in the way Earl Scruggs's smooth roll contrasts with the punchy, straight-up-and-down feel of Ralph Stanley or the bouncy feel of Allen Shelton. 
I would make a distinction between performing repertoire from these various styles and playing in the styles.  I have never thought of Doc Watson as a Bluegrass player, though he does make Bluegrass songs part of his repertoire from time to time.  I just think Doc plays in his style, which encompasses Old-Time songs, Bluegrass songs, as well as occasional Country Blues, Country and Pop Standards. It's all just Doc.
Jody Stecher is a present-day musician who not only plays repertoire from Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Blues, but can play in each of the styles convincingly, which is far rarer.
I'm dubious of musicians who think it's easy to play in a variety of styles.  I think the best way to do that is to take songs from different styles and express them in your own style, as Doc has.
All best,
Johnm

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