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Author Topic: The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience  (Read 657 times)

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Offline lindy

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I haven't read this book, but it looks like something we would enjoy. This is the Publisher's Weekly review:

The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience
Stephen Wade. Univ. of Illinois, $24.95 (504p) ISBN 978-0-252-03688-0

Banjo player and folk music expert Wade was introduced at an early age to the dynamic nature of "folklife" via Casey Jones, an indigent performer born in 1870 who was famous throughout Chicago for his eccentric street-corner routines involving a chicken named Mae West who, when not perched atop the old man's hat, drank from a flask, tightrope-walked, and danced "the shimmy-she-wabble" and "the boogie-woogie" to the sounds of Casey's accordion. Throughout Wade's exhaustively researched excavation of the histories behind a baker's dozen field recordings made by the Library of Congress in the 1930s and ?40s (which are included with the book on an audio CD, along with 17 other tracks), the author never loses sight of the ebullient and sorrowful lives behind the music, of which Casey Jones and his hat-top chickens were merely one example among many. From 12-year-old Mississippian Ora Dell Graham singing "Pullin' the Skiff" to Kelly Pace and prisoners of the Arkansas State Penitentiary doing a rendition of "Rock Island Line," Wade profiles these and other "vernacular builders" while "grappl[ing] with questions of culture and ownership, and by extension, what is ours, individually and collectively." Tracing these songs' and singers' roots from cotton fields to prison yards, from front porches to back alleys, Wade's study offers an understanding not only of a musical thread vital to American culture, but of America itself. 50 b&w photos. (Sept.)

Here's the LA Times review, with a video that is essentially a long commercial for the book, but with good content:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/music/posts/la-et-ms-stephen-wade-beautiful-music-all-around-us-field-recordings-library-of-congress-20120911,0,1970714.story


Offline jostber

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This book certainly looks interesting. Anyone checked it out?


Offline Stuart

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Thanks for the reminder. The library has it now and I just placed a hold. I'll let you know.

Offline jostber

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The video in the linked article with author Stephen Wade is very fine too. Opens with Bozie Sturdievant.



Offline Pan

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The video in the linked article with author Stephen Wade is very fine too. Opens with Bozie Sturdievant.

I'll second Stuarts thanks, jostber.

Cheers

Pan

Offline jostber

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Ordered this today, hope to get it before my vacation in Spain. :)


Offline Stuart

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I picked it up at the library last Saturday and although I've only had a chance to read the "Introduction," it impresses me as an excellent book.

http://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/55qpr7zm9780252036880.html

http://www.amazon.com/The-Beautiful-Music-All-Around/dp/0252036883/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1360264135&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Beautiful+Music+All+Around+Us

There's some footage of Anderson Punch, a.k.a. "Casey Jones, The Chicken Man" (mentioned in Lindy's initial post) in the video "And This Is Free: The Life and Times of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell St." (I highly recommend it):

http://www.amazon.com/And-This-Is-Free-Legendary/dp/B0015FQZCQ

and Folkways-Smithsonian has released Stephen Wade's "Banjo Diary: Lessons from Tradition" on CD:

http://www.folkways.si.edu/stephen-wade/banjo-diary-lessons-from-tradition/american-folk-old-time-bluegrass/music/album/smithsonian

The Liner Notes:

http://folklife-media01.si.edu/liner_notes/smithsonian_folkways/SFW40208.pdf

http://www.amazon.com/Banjo-Diary-Lessons-From-Tradition/dp/B008MZPWAS/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_z

Also of interest:

http://www.loc.gov/today/pr/1997/97-164.html

http://www.amazon.com/Treasury-Library-Congress-Field-Recordings/dp/B0000002UB

« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 03:38:58 PM by Stuart »

Offline jostber

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I received this book some weeks ago, and it's truly wonderful. A fine production, a great read and beautiful CD as well. A really good perspective on the different musicians who was recorded in different ways creating something special.


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