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...there was something about this guy - his singing, with all this mumbling and stuff going on, and his playing - it put something into me, man. I said "This is what I'm gonna do" - Hubert Sumlin, on hearing a warped Charlie Patton record he had found in a trash can

Author Topic: Sitting and thinking: festivals  (Read 14959 times)

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Offline frankie

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #75 on: April 08, 2009, 07:59:00 PM »
in jamming situations in Country Blues and Old-Time music, I would much rather play songs and tunes that the folks I'm playing with know, and that I do not know.

I totally agree.  It's definitely a pleasure to play a new tune, and to have that feeling of successively "getting it."  It's also fun from the other side - to teach someone a new tune, walk them through a couple of things, and then *let go* and see what happens.  The fun is there in the teaching, but the rewards are in the letting go.

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #76 on: April 20, 2009, 06:48:12 PM »
Well we just got back from four days in the tent at the Old Settlers festival outside Austin. The name would make you think it's old timey but that's only true in the campgrounds, on occasion.

The main stages are full on amplified music but that's OK, they're a long way from the camp site, and there were some very good sets. Would you believe the Traveling McCourys, Del's sons, red hot bluegrass outfit, jamming with a thunderous Florida Sacred Steel band, The Lee Brothers? Me either, but it was wonderful.

I played a lot of country blues at various jams but probably was the exception to the rule, people seemed to enjoy it though. We spent a lot of time backing folks doing their own songs and old favorites, and I enjoyed myself as pretty much the lone fingerpicking element, slipping in a John Hurt, Leadbelly, Mance or Travis tune that people might have heard, and doing some accordion / guitar duets Cheryl and I have going.

Anyway it was great seeing relatively old (as in 'met them in 2005' after I arrived here, feels like along time to me) musical friends from Louisiana, and meeting many new people. I've learned to let my expectations drop before I arrive, see what happens, and if I have a good time that's good enough for me. Plus I got a bit of a tan, after the rain stopped.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 07:24:58 PM by Rivers »

Offline Annette

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #77 on: March 28, 2012, 12:13:06 PM »
When I went to my first old time festival (Gainsborough) I was amazed to see so many musicians - having been to loads of blues festivals it seems 90% of the crowd were non-musicians whilst at an old time festival 90% were.

One interesting thing an acoustic musician did at a festival was to come of the stage and got on to the same level as the crowd - he said acoustic blues was not meant to played on a stage but at the same level as the audience - and I must say it worked - every one seemed so much more involved.

The last few times I went to Colne I only bought tickets for a few performances on the main stage (Steve James was one) - the rest of the time I spent in the Acoustic Cafe or Dressers Club.

Haven't been for ages though.

Will be at the Orwell Bluegrass Festival (don't personally like BG very much) but there are a lot of old time people there.

Might try and get to the Wallingford Beer and Booze festival this year - but not sure if there are any side-events these days.

Annette
Annette

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #78 on: March 28, 2012, 07:07:49 PM »
My early love of bluegrass has faded. I will actively go out of my way to avoid it. Nothing against the musicians or the fans, it just doesn't interest me much anymore, it mostly all sounds the same to me.

Sometimes there's a jazz angle, blue notes, minor keys, and that will tend to get me listening. Otherwise, meh. Plus in a stand-up session the players have such sharp elbows, and in TX they're frequently bigger and taller than me.

Frankie had a good quote I can't resist replaying: "Bluegrass sounds better than it is. Old Time is better than it sounds". Old time also has its problems; it's really hard to guitar-accompany clawhammer banjo with finger picking, or at least I find that to be so. Don't get me started on trad Celtic diddley-i music. I love to listen to it occasionally, hate playing it. People get so pissed off when you inevitably miss the changes, since they themselves devote their entire lives to memorizing somebody's idea of the exact note perfect way the tune should go.

The big plus for country blues IMO is that people who play it are much less serious and puristic about it which leaves a lot of room for individuality and more generally inclusive to anyone who wants to jump in.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 07:14:53 PM by Rivers »

Offline Gumbo

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #79 on: March 29, 2012, 01:57:44 AM »
great post, Rivers. It made me smile and nod. :D

Offline eric

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #80 on: March 29, 2012, 07:57:31 AM »
I don't listen to much bluegrass any more as the style or at least a lot of what's promoted as bluegrass seems kind of ossified.

BUT...

I grew up where bluegrass was contemporary and on the radio a lot.  As a kid, it was what the old folks listened to.  Then, a friend convinced me to drive waaaay out in the country to hear Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys.   The place was a cinderblock roadhouse with a big sign that said No Fighting (in case you forgot).  About 5 minutes before show time, the bus rolled up, the Boys got out, and proceeded to tear the roof off the joint.  It was electrifying.   Bill spent the intermission walking around smoking a big cigar and chatting up the patrons.   I got an autographed LP from Kenny Baker.  The next day, I bought a fiddle for $75. I still have both.

 
--
Eric

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #81 on: March 29, 2012, 09:27:18 AM »
To slip into Facebook argot for a moment:

Like.

Offline Annette

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #82 on: March 29, 2012, 10:04:23 AM »
My early love of bluegrass has faded. I will actively go out of my way to avoid it. Nothing against the musicians or the fans, it just doesn't interest me much anymore, it mostly all sounds the same to me.

Sometimes there's a jazz angle, blue notes, minor keys, and that will tend to get me listening. Otherwise, meh. Plus in a stand-up session the players have such sharp elbows, and in TX they're frequently bigger and taller than me.

Frankie had a good quote I can't resist replaying: "Bluegrass sounds better than it is. Old Time is better than it sounds". Old time also has its problems; it's really hard to guitar-accompany clawhammer banjo with finger picking, or at least I find that to be so. Don't get me started on trad Celtic diddley-i music. I love to listen to it occasionally, hate playing it. People get so pissed off when you inevitably miss the changes, since they themselves devote their entire lives to memorizing somebody's idea of the exact note perfect way the tune should go.

The big plus for country blues IMO is that people who play it are much less serious and puristic about it which leaves a lot of room for individuality and more generally inclusive to anyone who wants to jump in.

The other two quips I like are:

Old time music is Bluegrass Lite!

and:

In bluegrass a musician uses the tune to show his skill - in old time he uses his skill to show the tune!

I also DETEST the way the bluegrass audience applauds every solo - often to the detriment of actually hearing the tune.

Annette
Annette

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #83 on: March 29, 2012, 06:28:07 PM »
Cheers Gumbo, glad you got a smile out of it!

Eric, that story gave me goosebumps, I was right there while reading it.

Annette, we all agree then! We should stage our own festival.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #84 on: March 29, 2012, 07:47:37 PM »
It wouldn't be called  "Weenie Roast"  however would it?  Weenie-stock?, Weenie-port?, Monter-weenie? ;),
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #85 on: March 29, 2012, 07:48:49 PM »
Actually Weeniestock is growing on me...I know see a dermatologist.
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Rivers

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #86 on: March 29, 2012, 09:25:21 PM »
Hmm. weeniestock. Has a certain ring to it.

I totally failed to fathom the dermatologist reference though. Anyone? Oh wait, I just got it. Not 'it', I got the joke.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2012, 09:27:32 PM by Rivers »

Offline Annette

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Re: Sitting and thinking: festivals
« Reply #87 on: March 30, 2012, 08:31:07 AM »
When I was 16/17 Chris and I went to a "rawk festival" near Clacton (Weeley?) and I remember us going crazy when Dr Ross come on - and we were going crazy when every one else around us were going "WTF". It was peeing down with rain at the time.

He came on and said "Hi there I'm Dr Ross - the Harmonica Boss!".

Aaaah - nostalgia - ain't what it used to be.

Two other stand out moments from those days are seeing Eddie Gtr Burns in Berkhamsted backed by the late Bob Brunning's Sunflower Blues Band.

And getting on the coach after the 1970 Blues Folk and Gospel Festival and getting everyone's autograph (except Rosetta Tharpe who was indisposed that night!)

In my never ending search for cash I sold this recently - it sold to the states for quite a bit!

Annette

PS The monogram in the corner is Walter Shakey Horton - I loved the way Sonny Terry smudged his ink stamp and did it again for me!

BTW the festival was in Hemel Hempstead and I had a long walk back from the M1 slip road before I was let off!


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« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 08:34:55 AM by Annette »
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