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Author Topic: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues  (Read 12647 times)

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Offline frankie

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #45 on: August 30, 2009, 10:01:31 AM »
The Texas Sheiks - http://www.myspace.com/texassheiks

Suzy Thompson, Geoff Muldaur, Cindy Cashdollar...  what's not to like?

Offline waxwing

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #46 on: August 30, 2009, 03:12:14 PM »
Please ignore my previous post, I just read the About page on your website and see that you are indeed limiting your list to solo and duo acoustic string players and possibly harp players, but only as seconds. Ok. Your list.

Wax
"People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."
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Offline frankie

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #47 on: August 31, 2009, 04:37:55 AM »
you are indeed limiting your list to solo and duo acoustic string players and possibly harp players

kind of sad and unfortunate...  add to it an apparent confusion of "fingerstyle guitar" (a method of sound production on the guitar) with "country blues" (a type of music played with many instruments) and we've got a description designed to include new-age noodlers and exclude collective units like Sausage Grinder, The Texas Sheiks and the South Memphis String Band, whose ability to play country blues is undeniable.

Offline thecountryblues

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #48 on: August 31, 2009, 11:31:58 AM »
I added lots of new names from the help received on this website and will post an updated list soon. Thanks for all your help!
\
------

Frankie, OK, call it as you will.
In order to get an attainable goal, there have to be limits. If you don't it is unachievable. It is a daunting task, as is.
My website does not accuse people of being "new age noodlers" and is not about pigeonholing. Delineation is not easy.
The people that get full reviews are very much blues players.
I won't put anyone in who isn't.

I appreciate all input and the criticism that comes with it.
Maybe later, when I get done with writing full reviews on the musicians presently on the list, I can start to include bands. Right now I am going to stay the course and deal with the almost 400 people who are not in bands.



FM
(no, not Frequency Modulation- Frank Matheis)

Offline frankie

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #49 on: August 31, 2009, 02:56:32 PM »
My website does not accuse people of being "new age noodlers"

Remember, I'm easily confused.  I never said your website accused anyone of anything.  I suggested that the description of country blues you apparently favor seems to "include new-age noodlers and exclude collective units" - the exclusion would also run to folks whose primary instrument might not be the guitar.  I also suggested that this was sad and unfortunate.

But don't change on my account - I'm just a bunch of bits on a computer screen.  You're the one paying for the site, it's clearly yours to do with as you will or won't, to make as informative or mis-informative as you wish.

This here is a discussion forum, and yes, I'll call it as I will.  Thanks.

Offline thecountryblues

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #50 on: August 31, 2009, 03:16:26 PM »
Frankie, I have never, ever stated or implied that you were "easily confused", yet you open with this as a volleys now a few times in a row.
I have never said that. If you are saying that about yourself, that does not come from me.

If my interpretation of country blues/acoustic blues and traditional style blues is broader than yours, that does not mean that I include "new age noodlers".

Nor does it mean that I am excluding instruments other than guitarists.

I get the strong sense here that I have somehow offended you in a serious way and that I am really rubbing you the wrong way, with strong disapproval of me.

You did say that this was a discussion forum. Do you get mad at everyone who says and does things you don't agree with or raises issues or views not you your liking?

I would much prefer not to engage in personal animosity or hostility.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2009, 03:18:19 PM by thecountryblues.com »
FM
(no, not Frequency Modulation- Frank Matheis)

Offline frankie

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #51 on: August 31, 2009, 03:41:33 PM »
Frank - I'm simply taking issue with your description of country blues - that's all.  I'm not angry, neither do I know you well enough to approve, disapprove, like or dislike you.  I described myself as "easily confused" because I am, and if we mutually start to confuse who said what about which and whom...  well...  it just gets worse.  This doesn't get any better as I get older, either.

I've participated in forums and discussion lists for a long time - I can't bother to be offended about this stuff unless it's really egregious, which in this case, it simply isn't.  All I offered is my opinion - that's all.  Plenty of people probably don't agree with me.

Of course, that's why I have my OWN website... no big deal.

You can indulge in as much animosity or hostility as you can muster up...  don't count on me to get excited about it, though.

btw - this is turning into meta-discussion (talking about talking)...  a big downer for forums in general.

over & out.

Offline thecountryblues

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #52 on: August 31, 2009, 04:07:08 PM »
Frankie, Love & Peace.

By the way, I like your duo.
Are you "Frank & Kim Basile" ?

FM
(no, not Frequency Modulation- Frank Matheis)

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #53 on: August 31, 2009, 06:29:21 PM »
Mr. Matheis, I like the layout and look of the website.  Good work!  If I send you a CD, would you like to review it? (I'm also willing -- even eager --to be interviewed)  e-mail me at bluesman@coyoteslim.com.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

Coyote Slim's Youtube Channel

Offline jason

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #54 on: August 31, 2009, 08:09:16 PM »
What about Keb Mo'....

Offline jason

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #55 on: August 31, 2009, 08:10:08 PM »
Keb Mo'

Offline RobBob

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #56 on: September 01, 2009, 05:34:59 AM »
Add John White from Georgia.  He has fine CD of blues on banjo available through CDBaby

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JohnWhite

Very nice recording and good blues.

RB

Offline Blue in VT

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #57 on: September 01, 2009, 07:17:54 AM »
Don't forget Doug Jones....aka Littlebother Jones

A great performer around Atlanta and teacher both in person and online.

http://www.littlebrotherblues.com/

Cheers,

Blue
Blue in VT

Offline jed

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2009, 01:57:09 PM »
"Don't waste your breath-o-meter!"  Now where's that quote generator... 


So, I was writing this little set of questions to see if I could ask y'all could help clear up my newest confusion, and ended up with a big long, acousto/digital ramble of a query that confused me even more.  So, with a few large slashes and cross-outs, here is my edited ponder for Mr. FM: 

You have made a good start on something, young man; now can you please come back when you have decided what it is? 

That burgeoning list - from what I can tell, and from what I've read, it seems to be a list of alive-as-of-June 2009 (mostly, anyway - Harry Lewman left us in 2008), active blues-makers (some per their hand-raising, some per your words), interspersed among celebrity-status, (mostly) living and formerly (or, in some cases, currently) active blues-makers (more or less).  A few additional basic criteria - guitar takes precedence, acoustic trumps electric (with certain types of exceptions), etc., appear to govern the choices (near as I can tell). 

See all those parentheses?  They represent exceptions (mighty big ones) to the site's stated focus and policies.  Added exceptions that are unstated further dilute the message, stripping it of its remaining value.  So what is the message?  What is your intent?  Why do you want to enlist viewers' attention? 

The site has a huge and growing list (cf. footer gifs, below), and nearly anyone who loves and/or plays acoustic blues can add his or her name to it.  Good rule.  Once on the list, the name stays on.  Good rule.  What do these folks all have in common?  Near (again) as I can tell, they're (mostly) all alive, they may play an instrument (or perhaps two) that they made themselves or (most often) bought from someone else; some may make records; some may play concerts, shows and/or hope or plan to do so.  However they play, whatever they sing, the drawstring is created by the title "The Country Blues."  Many of these single and duo artists and claimants are all included on a list whose name may well not describe their work.  Other artists are excluded from the list because, unlike listees who have not contributed to the Country Blues canon and culture, these primarily group-based artists are unknown for their single and duo Country Blues contributions.  In addition, a number of listees are primarily non-acoustic and primarily (or almost exclusively) group-based.  Uh-oh.  Where did the rules go?  More importantly:  Why? 

The listees appear to be connected not by the music, but by a set of incongruously-applied guidelines.  I can live with that; in fact, I like it!  At the same time, I don't see The Country Blues as its theme.  Projecting here:  As the list grows, it will, by apparent design, begin to look less and less like a list of musicians and more and more like a list of people who visited the website (cf. Q1, below). 

So, the title confuses me - to no end.  My queries follow; I don't need to know the answers - these are for your thinking cap, Mr. FM: 

Question One:  How will you determine whether a potential listee is a real guitar player, air guitar player, internet addict, bot tester or my dog Ronnie? 

Question Two:  Is the site about a named music style or about one person's view of said style? 

Questions Three and Four:  On whom do you rely to be your pre-publishing fact-checker and proofreader?  What credibility do you expect to garner when the site's content ignores its own fuzzy rules (thanks to the other Ronnie for the adjective)? 

Question Five:  Who's going to update the "currently active" status for musicians who retire, return from retirement, go on hiatus between gigs (or practice sessions, or rehab visits) or become posthumously influential exceptions to the live-at-posting-time policy (Who's in that third picture anyway?)?

Question Six:  For a site on which so many list inclusions and style claims are certain to excite countless billions of nerve endings, what is your intended single focus - the music, the people who might (or might not) include a bluesy I-IV-V progression among their setlists, the drive to promote "The Country Blues" - or thecountryblues(dot)com? 

Question Lucky Seven:  Who's your audience - whom do you want to impress, and what do you want to impress upon them? 

Question Ninety-Nine:  Quoting contemporary acoustic bluesman (and jazzman) Mose Allison:  "What's Your Movie?"  More directly:  What do you really, really want the site to do for you? 

Understanding that the site is a one-man band and, as such, hugely challenging to conceive and produce, these are just a few questions - per your request for help - to ask yourself.  I offer these questions as one response, without humility, but with the same self-ascribed importance that I see in a site adorned with the name "thecountryblues.com." 

How you answer these and other pertinent questions will dictate the tenor, and success or failure of your site.  Without clear answers, you may certainly keep the site up forever.  It will attract, initially at least, a lot of connections.  Based on the internet's design model, the site stands to connect some people who enjoy country blues, and hand-raisers who play guitar, to a single node.  Just be clear that, without a plan whose consideration and details match the scope the site claims with its name, the site will be destined to function not as a contributor and promoter-by-example, but just as another internet side street, whose principal value will be for click-throughs.  Instead of being a Terraplane, it will be a no-good doney.  This is your choice to make. 


One last question:  Looking down the list of reviewed artists, looking down the larger list of other artists - what pops out more than anything is a contemporary generation of guitar players, some of whom are known for their country blues backgrounds and others who are known for being proficient guitar players in some other chosen style.  To my presby-myopic eye, the list looks like a collection of one person's favorite guitar players, with energy-charged reviews to vouch for each idol.  I'm good with that, too.  Because we all have our differing definitions of what constitutes our favored styles, and how our favorite musicians approach them, have you considered that your site might more accurately be entitled not thecountryblues.~ but mycountryblues.~?  If the definitions and rule-making are one person's, so should the title reflect this, yes?  Better yet, since the site is, by policy, strictly non-commercial, wouldn't the truly valid site name be mycountryblues.net?  Don't you agree that this single change will instantly give the site the credibility it seeks? 

The first ninety-nine questions are for your site content manager to contemplate.  The last questions are the ones for which your personal attention will help clear up my confusion.  If you wish to reply, please use IM; it will help minimize future meta. 

Cheers,
Jed
ok then:  http://jed.net

Offline thecountryblues

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Re: Who's Who in the Contemporary Acoustic & Country Blues
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2009, 04:14:12 PM »
Jed,
It is nice that you refer to me as a young man. At 53, that is a rare occurrence.
 
I welcome all help and all advice!
This site has been up for less than a month and I don't claim it to be perfect.
I learned a little something in a lifetime with the blues, but I don't know everything.
That's why I am turning to the blues community for advice-- and even criticism where deserved. I am very open. This is not something one person can do alone.

If there is a mistake, I hope someone will point to it and help me correct it.
And, it was clear from me from the outset that any project like this is open to interpretation.

One thing you are right on, is that I would have preferred to call this website "Acoustic Blues", but that name was taken. This was the only domain name available.
I tried as best as possible to define the content of the website and openly stated that I did not apply strict limitations or litmus tests.

What I did learn, over the years however, is that whenever I have engaged in a major project, there have always been people in the community who lend constructive, helpful support--even while being critical. I don't mind if someone says "You got this wrong. It should be this...or that". Help me with facts. That would be great. Such help has been extended to me in previous projects by friends like Adam Gussow and Elijah Wald, on and on.
The people with the most knowledge and successes of their own are usually the least resentful and condescending to those trying to get something done, and vice versa.

Unfortunately, there are always those cynical, dismissive, naysayers who feel their domain threatened, who take the position that only they have the knowledge and truth and that anybody who does any project in "their domain" gets greeted with the generalized attack with the same old "who the f... do you think you are and what the f... do you think you are doing here and who said you could do this" attitude.

I always moved on past that and always succeeded.
For every one person who is critical with an "Only I Know the blues" attitude, there are always two or three others who help through the hurdles, lend a hand when needed and act with constructive positivism.

I hope that I am wrong, but I read your long list of questions as not too helpful, a challenge for a challenge sake-- not with the intention to be helpful to make it better but just to shoot it down. What I read is a somewhat mocking, condescending summary of your dismissal of the project I am currently on. Not much more.

I welcome your legitimate and true help, if you are willing to give it. But, I am not going to go through the exercise of answering these questions, because I do not believe that you are well intentioned or earnest.

I don't know you at all. Based on your attitude, you must be one hell of a fireball of knowledge with many hugely successful major music projects under your belt.

So far you have impressed me only with a powerful supposition of superiority.

FM

« Last Edit: September 01, 2009, 04:48:56 PM by thecountryblues.com »
FM
(no, not Frequency Modulation- Frank Matheis)

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