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49 posts tagged with Folk by y2karl.
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David Grisman and Jerry Garcia in Concert on Various Occasions

Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Two Soldiers
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Handsome Cabin Boy
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Man Of Constant Sorrow
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- When First Unto This Country
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Dreadful Wind and Rain
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Russian Lullaby
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Sweet Sunny South
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Old Rockin' Chair
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Down Where The River Bends
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Shady Grove
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Friend of the Devil
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman -- Ripple [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jul 29, 2013 - 16 comments

Skip James' Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

...James is, of course, overshadowed by the most famous bluesman of them all: Robert Johnson... Few can resist the legend that he sold his soul to the devil, was poisoned by a jealous lover, and died a young genius's death... Skip James' mythos is less compact than Johnson's. James survived his misspent youth, and the story of his later years provides plenty more of the kind of misery that fueled his music. Where Johnson supposedly cut a single, grand deal with the devil—trading his soul for mastery of his form—Skip James seems to have struck deal after deal and never come out ahead. In a way, James' story is the truest story of the blues: He led an open wound of a life, and all he got for it was minor-league, post-mortem stardom.
Skip James' Hard Time Killing Floor Blues

See also Mississippi John Hurt & Skip James on WTBS-FM 1964 [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jun 15, 2013 - 17 comments

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks

Ry Cooder and the Moula Banda Rhythm Aces - Let's Have A Ball, a film by Les Blanks
This is the complete show from the Catalyst in Santa Cruz in March 1987.   Via The Iwebender Channel

Love that Maria Elena.... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 9, 2012 - 10 comments

Farewell Angelina by Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and Nana Mouskouri, among others

Audio only, Newport 1966: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Recorded Jan. 13, 1965, released 1991: Bob Dylan - Farewell Angelina
B/W Video 1966 Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
Tablature and lyrics following those of the Dylan recording: dylanchords: Farewell Angelina
French TV 1967: Nana Mouskouri - Adieu Angélina
Bratislava 1989, avant de la Révolution de velours: Joan Baez - Farewell Angelina
From the 90s, or so I believe: Nickle Creek - Farewell Angelina
June 19, 2010 at Kidzstock: Joan Baez and Jasmine Harris - Farewell Angelina [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Dec 7, 2012 - 33 comments

Sharron Kraus - Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes

Sharron Kraus - Thrice Toss These Oaken Ashes
posted by y2karl on Jul 29, 2012 - 8 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988

Ramblin' Jack Elliott at Old City Hall, Redding California, 1988
This is Ramblin' Jack in his prime. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on May 20, 2012 - 7 comments

Bobby Charles, Singer, Songwriter, National Treasure 1938-2010

Bobby Charles 1938-2010. Songwriter, musician's musician and cultural treasure, he died on last Thursday in Abbeville,Lousiana. In the 1950s, he wrote Fats Domino's Walking to New Orleans, Bill Haley and the Comet's See You Later, Alligator and recorded for Chess records. His eponymous Bearsville album recorded in Woodstock in 1972 has been described as the best Band album released under another name.(Check out Small Town Talk there.) He appeared as well in the Band's farewell concert filmed as The Last Waltz. He made an enormous contribution to American popular music. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 19, 2010 - 25 comments

bluestab's blog meets AfricanAfrican aka NegroArtist.com

Chanteur puissant à la voix rocailleuse. And here is bluestab's blog And here, via Babelfish is bluestab's blog in an English of sorts. Then, while, looking for mp3s to match the tabs, I came across the universe of African American history and culture that is AfricanAfrican aka NegroArtist.com, a site so big it has two URLs. [Billy Mays] But, wait--that's not all! [/Billy Mays] [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Oct 23, 2009 - 12 comments

O Black and Unknown Bards - Among Other Things, Regarding The White Invention of The Blues

...The narrative of the blues got hijacked by rock ’n’ roll, which rode a wave of youth consumers to global domination. Back behind the split, there was something else: a deeper, riper source. Many people who have written about this body of music have noticed it. Robert Palmer called it Deep Blues. We’re talking about strains within strains, sure, but listen to something like Ishman Bracey’s ''Woman Woman Blues,'' his tattered yet somehow impeccable falsetto when he sings, ''She got coal-black curly hair.'' Songs like that were not made for dancing. Not even for singing along. They were made for listening. For grown-ups. They were chamber compositions. Listen to Blind Willie Johnson’s "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground.'' It has no words. It’s hummed by a blind preacher incapable of playing an impure note on the guitar. We have to go against our training here and suspend anthropological thinking; it doesn’t serve at these strata. The noble ambition not to be the kind of people who unwittingly fetishize and exoticize black or poor-white folk poverty has allowed us to remain the kind of people who don’t stop to wonder whether the serious treatment of certain folk forms as essentially high- or higher-art forms might have originated with the folk themselves.
From Unknown Bards: The blues becomes apparent to itself by one John Jeremiah Sullivan. I came across it while browsing Heavy Rotation: Twenty Writers On The Albums That Changed Their Lives. For Sullivan, that album was American Primitive, Vol. II: Pre-War Revenants (1897 - 1939), which is my favorite CD of the year. Which came out in 2005 while I just got around to buying it this year. Foolish me. It is a piece of art in itself in every respect--all CDs should have such production values. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Aug 6, 2009 - 50 comments

Wrath of the Grapevine: The Roots of John Fahey

So, about 9 months ago I started working on this compilation... Until yesterday, however, I hadn't seen a tracklist from the mysterious 10-cd set called the VrootzBox, so this is not a derivative work, however similar it may be...I should mention that not all of these songs are songs that he covered or copped licks from. Most of the music he has made mention to, though a few of the songs were recorded after his formative years and one or two he never would have heard. But they are presented to give an illustration of the styles he drew from (such as gamelan, which he grew up playing in his neighbor's back yard).
Wrath of the Grapevine: The Roots of John Fahey
via FaheyGuitarPlayers
posted by y2karl on Jun 1, 2008 - 12 comments

Scenes From Latcho Drom

First, and foremost, here is La Caíta - El Pájaro Negro. Could there be singing anymore heartfelt than this ? I wonder. And here she is, in an ancillary role, with the Amaya family. Also, from Spain, here is Tchavolo Schmitt, Dorado Schmitt & Hono Winterstein - Kali Sara & Tchavolo swing. From Romania, here are Taraf de Haïdouks and, from them, here is Taraf de Haïdouks and of them, here is Balada Conducatorolui - Nicolae Neacsu. From the Thar of Rajasthan, here is the very charismatic Talab Khan Barna, and here, from Egypt, is Bambi Saidi. And let the etymological connection between Egypt and gypsy be noted here and now, by the way.

All of these are. of course, excerpts from Latcho Drom. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Mar 20, 2008 - 7 comments

Robert Petway - Catfish Blues

And here we have a couple of YouTube productions, screensaverish animations of photos and lyrics to the original recordings: Robert Petway - Catfish Blues and Tommy McClennan - It's Hard To Be Lonesome. This is mostly about Petway and Catfish Blues but you can't mention Petway without mentioning McClennan, as they ran together in their time and as both did versions of Catfish, a song canonical in Delta Blues, recorded and performed by nearly everyone--Muddy Waters - Rolling Stone, for example. Petway just happens to be the first person to record Catfish, and quite possibly the person who wrote it and certainly. to my mind, at least, the person who nailed it... in the uptempo version at the very least. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 28, 2008 - 8 comments

Times ain't Like They Used To Be: Richard "Rabbit" Brown, New Orleans Songster

In 1900 they were everywhere. Singing on street corners, in front of circus entrances, or just moving down the dusty roads of the South, playing anywhere a crowd might be cajoled into donating a dime to the cause. To survive they played any request--ballads, popular tunes, white hillbilly music, hymns, and the newly emerged blues. Songsters were the first folk musicians to be "professional" ...Most songsters faded into the past. A few waxed recordings, leaving a tempting glance into their world--and many questions. Such is the case with Richard "Rabbit" Brown, one of the most celebrated songsters and the only one from New Orleans to record.
Times ain't Like They Used To Be: Richard "Rabbit" Brown, New Orleans Songster--so, James Alley Blues is the song most everyone names as Brown's greatest and, now, you can play it online here. [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Feb 7, 2008 - 17 comments

And something is vacant when I think it's all beginning : The Late Allen Ginsberg and Beck in Conversation

Not exactly breaking news, but still:
The Late Allen Ginsberg and Beck in Conversation
Related YouTuber: Beck on the late Allen Ginsberg
To complete the circle: Jackass by the South Austin Jug Band.
posted by y2karl on Feb 5, 2008 - 26 comments

Ramblin' Jack Elliott on the YouTube and Online

In more or less chonological appearance, here are examples of one of our very own still extant national musical treasures:
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Talking Merchant Marine
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - San Francisco Bay Blues
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Salt Pork West Virginia
And here, from SXSW 2006, is Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Billy Bragg - The Ballad of Pretty Boy Floyd
Also from SXSW 2006, Jack Elliott & Marty Stuart - Engine 143
From last year, here is Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Old Shep
and Ramblin' Jack Elliott - South Coast
And from last week's Bill Graham's Birthday Bash, here is
Phil Lesh, Jackie Greene & Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Friend of The Devil [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jan 20, 2008 - 8 comments

Vintage Musical Americana featuring The Max Hunter Folk Song Collection

Here is Naomia Wise from The Max Hunter Folksong Collection. Folk songs, more or less, sung by real folks, collected in Arkansas by Max Hunter between 1956 and 1976. On a related tip, here is Historic Music--recorded popular music from the 1920s, with a large selection devoted to music from the First World War. And here, from Manufacturing Memory: American Popular Music in the 1930's, are the Popular Music Jukebox 1930-1934 and the Popular Music Jukebox 1935-1939 to complete this day's vintage musical Americana experience.
The Max Hunter songs are in RealAudio. Realplayer haters can use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic.
posted by y2karl on Nov 27, 2007 - 9 comments

Honking Duck - Listen to Old Time Music from 78s

Hill Billie Blues by Uncle Dave Macon and his Fruit Jar Drinkers is under 1924 at Honking Duck. You could search that by title as well. Or you can look up by Artist as in Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters.
Need I mention all are in RealAudio ? Hate Realplayer ? Well, as noted before, fight the power and use Real Alternative aka Media Player Classic instead. It's not exactly my favorite style of interface but they certainly do afford a large selection.
posted by y2karl on Nov 5, 2007 - 6 comments

Folktunes.org - The Folktunes Archive for teaching and learning.

Viola Lee Blues by Cannon's Jug Stompers
The House Carpenter - Clarence Ashley
Old Dan Tucker - Judge Sturdy's Orchestra
Minglewood Blues - Cannon's Jug Stompers
Coo Coo Bird - Clarence Ashley
Sally Gooden - Eck Robertson on fiddle
The Worried Blues - Samantha Bumgarner
Dark Holler - Clarence Ashley
Cocaine Habit Blues - The Memphis Jug Band
All are from Folktunes.org, a list of annotated links to mp3s at the Internet Archive with lyrics and history on each page. It's like a functional annotated academic SomeOfTheCoolest78sAttheInternetArchiveFilter .
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2007 - 14 comments

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers

John Fahey - Fare Forward Voyagers
John Fahey - Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Palace Of King Phillip XIV
Clips from a 2 hour performance at the Euphoria Tavern in Portland, Oregon from 1976. Among the cognoscenti at FaheyGuitarPlayers, the consensus is that these clips display Fahey in rare form on a very good night.
Apart from Fahey, Bohemia Visual Music aka Mike Nastra, the contributor of these clips, provides an interesting assortment of way too hip YouTubery offerings including, among others, Spike Jones, Dimandas Galas, Gene Krupa, Tuxedo Moon, Sun Ra, Pere Ubu and the Holy Modal Rounders.
posted by y2karl on Oct 16, 2007 - 9 comments

'Mystic Nights - The Making of Blonde On Blonde In Nashville' by Sean Wilentz

... After take seventeen, Dylan heeds the producer Johnston’s advice to start with a harmonica swoop. Crescendos off of an extended fifth chord, led by Paul Griffin’s astonishingpiano swells (“half Gershwin, half gospel, all heart” an astute critic later wrote), climax in choruses dominated by piano, organ, and Bobby Gregg’s drum rolls; Robbie Robertson’s guitar hits its full strength at the finale. Intimations of the thin, wild mercury sound underpin rock & roll symphonics. Johnston delivers a pep talk before one last take—“keep that soul feel”—and Gregg snaps a quick click opener, and fewer than five minutes later, the keeper is in the can.
Mystic Nights - The Making of Blonde On Blonde In Nashville
An account of how the many strands of that thin, that wild mercury sound were woven. And the annotation goes on. Via email via St Urbain's Horseman
posted by y2karl on Sep 28, 2007 - 36 comments

You want the Old Skool? You can't handle the Old Skool! You don't even have a clue what the Old Skool is! *chops down door* Here's ...Johnny!!!

Here is Uncle John Scruggs singing and playing Little Log Cabin Round the Lane in RealAudio Dial Up and DSL format. The dancing is great and I do like the walk-on kitten part, myself.

That's from the Center For Southern African-American Music Video Link Page. Their audio link page is a wonder, too with individual artists galore. But, for the real deal, check out the Various Artist compilation album pages. Those may be 20 second of so mp3 clips but, still, those Yazoo, Document and Folkways albums are the bomb and there you get a taste of what they offer. And anywhere you can hear, for example, even a few bars of Blind Alfred Reed's How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live ? or Estil C. Ball and Lacey Richardson's Trials, Troubles, Tribulations rules in my world.
posted by y2karl on Jun 29, 2007 - 9 comments

Beautiful Losers

Karen Dalton - It Hurts Me, Too
Tim Buckley - Sally Go 'Round The Roses
Tim Hardin - If I Were A Carpenter
See also
The Other Side Of Greenwich Village 60's Folk Scene - Part 1
and Part 2  
more within
posted by y2karl on May 4, 2007 - 47 comments

In a city renowned for phoney affection and rabid ambition, he exudes only diffidence, humour and generosity.

"If you had Bruce playing with you," Dylan wrote, in his 2004 autobiography, Chronicles, "that's all you would need to do just about anything."
Bruce Langhorne has quite the discography. And a hot sauce, to boot. And he's led quite the life. Here is Richie Unterberger's interview with Langhorne in Parts One and Two. And here he talks with Unterberger about working with Mimi and Richard Fariña.

On a personal note, I will add that his hot sauce is hot indeed. Will buy it again.
posted by y2karl on Apr 13, 2007 - 6 comments

The Falsettos - Skip James, Tommy Johnson, Dona Dumitru Siminica & Joe Keawe, among others

Here is a video of one falsetto singer:

Skip James - Devil Got My Woman

More music by and information about Skip James, a Romanian gypsy named Doma Dumitru Siminica, leo ki'eki'e singers Richard & Solomon Ho'opi'i and other Legends of Falsetto within...
posted by y2karl on Dec 14, 2006 - 29 comments

John Fahey at Rockpalast - Hamburg Uni, Hamburg, West Germany - 1978-03-17and otherwise on YouTube

John Fahey in concert: Beverly (aka Indian Pacific Railroad Blues) Poor Boy (Which is a variation on Booker White's Poor Boy Long Way from Home)
posted by y2karl on Oct 22, 2006 - 19 comments

folkstreams.net - A National Preserve of Documentary Films about American Roots Cultures

Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...
folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
posted by y2karl on Oct 6, 2006 - 14 comments

John Smith Hurt: An Interview and the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation

Here is the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation, the website, which is the creation of one Frank Delaney of Spokane. There's a great deal of guitar related material and a page of mp3's by fans, which includes several interesting originals by one Fred Bolden, a grand nephew. I always knew he had a son who played guitar and wondered why no one had ever tried to record him. Now there is a grand nephew playing, if nowhere near as sublimely as his great uncle, in roughly the same style.

Here is an interview of John Hurt from 1963, courtesy of Stefan Grossman's guitar video empire. It is a real delight.

Consider this a follow up to this post. Not all of the links there are good. The Mississippi John Hurt Guitar Tab Book, for instance, is now available only in PDF format but well worth the download. And here is an illustrated discography of John Hurt by another Stefan, Stefan Wirz, a subject of yet another post back in the day.
posted by y2karl on Oct 4, 2006 - 19 comments

Etta Baker 1913-2006

Etta Baker 1913-2006
posted by y2karl on Sep 25, 2006 - 19 comments

y2karl's 78 RPM jukebox-o-rama

For murder ballads, here's your Mississippi John Hurt's Louis Collins and your Grayson & Whitter's Ommie Wise. Then, for some early white blues bottleneck guitar, here's your Frank Hutchison's K. C. Blues. Not to mention Charley Patton's Screamin' And Hollerin' The Blues. All courtesy the Internet Archives 78 RPM tag. where there is way more--like Bix Beiderbecke's first record, Davenport Blues, Louis Armstrong's Ain't Misbehavin' and Geeshie Wiley's Last Kind Words, among many others. Then, for more, Nugrape Records has an mp3 page. The standout there, at least for me, is Gus Cannon's Poor Boy Long Ways From Home. As for their namesake, the Nugrape Twins, well, the Archive has the mp3 of I've Got Your Ice Cold Nugrape. And don't let me omit mentioning PublicDomain4U. They have Mississippi John Hurt's Frankie, for one. Tyrone's Record and Phonograph Links will lead you to more 78 RPM goodness. And don't forget the inestimable and erudite vacapinta first directed us to Dismuke's Virtual Talking Machine.
posted by y2karl on Aug 25, 2006 - 48 comments

The Vera Hall Project and Songs by Vera Hall

Vera Hall was a black woman born near Livingston, Alabama at the turn of the century. She grew up in a supportive family and community, but in difficult, poor rural living conditions. At a young age, Hall became a respected and devout member of the church, and remained so for the rest of her years. But after leaving home, she also fell in with more worldly crowd, for whom blues, craps, and alcohol were the entertainments of choice. The tension between these two spheres-- that of spirituals and the church, on one hand, and that of blues and the juke-joint, on the other-- is a theme that recurred throughout her life and infused her music. She drew upon both perspectives to cope with and overcome her life's perennial difficulties; sadly, it was dotted with tragedy: she lost both parents, a sister, a husband, a daughter, and two grandchildren-- all before she herself passed away in 1964 at the age of 58.

The Vera Hall Project [+}
posted by y2karl on Sep 17, 2005 - 5 comments

The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders and Charlie Poole, to boot

We kept changing the name. First it was the Total Quintessence Stomach Pumpers. Then the Temporal Worth High Steppers. Then The Motherfucker Creek Babyrapers. That was just a joke name. He was Rinky-Dink Steve the Tin Horn and I was Fast Lightning Cumquat. He was Teddy Boy Forever and I was Wild Blue Yonder. It kept changing names. Then it was the Total Modal Rounders. Then when we were stoned on pot and someone else, Steve Close maybe, said Holy Modal Rounders by mistake. We kept putting out different names and wait until someone starts calling us that then. When we got to Holy Modal Rounders, everyone decided by accumulation that we were the Holy Modal Rounders. That's the practical way to get named.
The Story Of The Holy Modal Rounders. In 1965, they used the psychedelic in a lyric and channeled Charlie Poole. From 1999, Green Man reviews their Too Much Fun!--& Ink 19's take as well. From No Depression comes Bohemian Rhapsody and from Richie Unterberger here's an interview with Peter Stampfel and the liner notes he wrote for the CD re-issue of cult classic The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders. In a related bonus, here you can find Charlie Poole singing Moving Day, a great song which I first heard by the Rounders.
posted by y2karl on May 30, 2005 - 19 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.2 - On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy

On "Love and Theft" & On On "Love and Theft" and the Minstrel Boy & The Annotated Love And Theft...    In melody, Bye and Bye comes by way of Billie Holiday's Having Myself A Time and Floater by way of Bing Crosby's (& Eddie Duchin's & Kate Smith's & Isham Jones's...) Snuggled On Your Shoulder--and lyrically, by way, in part, of Junichi Saga's Confessions Of A Yakuza, which was not a crime novel, as StupidSexyFlanders once surmised, but an outright As told to memoir, which makes it four or five degrees from Yakuza to Dr. Saga to translator to Dylan to Plagiarism in Dylan, or a Cultural Collage?

Oh, who's going to throw that minstrel boy a coin ?
posted by y2karl on Apr 14, 2005 - 18 comments

The Minstrel Show 2.0: Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter

Jump Jim Crow, through the hoops of one Robert Christgau's erudition as he surveys the literature extant in In Search of Jim Crow: Why Postmodern Minstrelsy Studies Matter, through multiple readings of Raising Cain: Blackface Performance from Jim Crow to Hip Hop, Demons of Disorder: Early Blackface Minstrels and Their World and and Love and Theft: Blackface Minstrelsy and the American Working Class. Consider, too, The Minstrel Cycle from Reading The Commitments and other various and sundry attempts to peek inside the minstrel mask—all multiple readings reading blackface minstrels from the pejorative to the explorative, subversive to oppressive, past to future, unfolding tesseractly, if not exactly, with singing, dancing and extraordinary elocutions. Buy your tickets and step within for The Meller Drammer of Minstrelsy in The Minstrel Show 2.0
posted by y2karl on Mar 31, 2005 - 17 comments

A review of Bob Dylan in his own and other people's words

Be careful what you wish for, the cliché goes. Having aspired from early youth to become stars, people who achieve that status suddenly find themselves imprisoned, unable to walk down the street without being importuned by strangers. The higher their name floats, the greater the levy imposed, the less of ordinary life they can enjoy. In his memoir, Bob Dylan never precisely articulates the ambition that brought him to New York City from northern Minnesota in 1961, maybe because it felt improbable even to him at the time. Nominally, he was angling for Leading Young Folksinger, which was a plausible goal then, when every college town had three or four coffeehouses and each one had its Hootenanny night, and when performers who wowed the crowds on that circuit went on to make records that sometimes sold in the thousands. But from the beginning Dylan had his sights set much higher: the world, glory, eternity—ambitions laughably incommensurate with the modest confines of American folk music. He got his wish, in spades... 'I Is Someone Else'
posted by y2karl on Feb 19, 2005 - 34 comments

Casey Jones, Stagolee, Frankie and Johnny - Murder and Death Ballad Back Stories

My Back Pages--Interesting in his own right Eyolf Østrem still maintains the fan's fan tab, chords and music site, the standard by which all others are judged. I just revisited it the other night, while trying to recall how that little run in Dylan's version of Delia went, and dang, if it didn't have the back story of that ballad. I love this kind of stuff. The source of that account, John Garst, is the folklorist king of such research--he puts John Henry at a railroad tunnel near Leeds, Alabama, just east of Birmingham on September 20, 1887, for example. Murder and heroic death ballad back stories are of extreme interest to me, so I decided to post a few more here: Frankie and Albert, Frankie and Johnny, Casey Jones and Stagger Lee. Did I say I love this kind of stuff?
posted by y2karl on Sep 23, 2004 - 10 comments

The Story of Suzanne

Now Suzanne takes your hand
and she leads you to the river


The Story of Suzanne
posted by y2karl on Nov 20, 2003 - 33 comments

The Annotated Blonde On Blonde

The closest I ever got to the sound I hear in my mind was on individual bands in the 'Blonde on Blonde' album. It's that thin, that wild mercury sound. It's metallic and bright gold, with whatever that conjures up.

Bob Dylan 1978

Blonde On Blonde--Seven mixes, four or five covers, four or five women, some missing photographs and one leather coat... (story within)
posted by y2karl on Nov 19, 2003 - 26 comments

Acoustic Jazz & Swing: Jug & String Band 101

How To Be A Jug or String Band MVP - starting with guitar: It's all in tablature, by the way, something easy enough to understand. Three finger fingerpicking guitar is easy to learn--start with Mississippi John Hurt: Payday was the first song I ever learned. Of course, it's a cinch, being in Open D--but open tunings are a cinch, too. With open tunings, how about learning some slide guitar? Beyond John Hurt, slide or not, open or standard, , there are the ever expanding Fahey Tablatures at John Fahey.com, where Melissa keeps the flame burning ever brightly.
There's Much More Within...
posted by y2karl on Sep 5, 2003 - 17 comments

Howard Armstrong, artist, muscian, pornographer and national treasure

Howard Armstrong, artist and black string band musician who played 22 instruments--excelling by far on violin and mandolin--who spoke seven languages, who first recorded in 1930 and was still an active performer up into this year, died last Wednesday of complications due to a heart attack he suffered in March. He was the subject of the P.O.V. film Sweet Old Song, which will be reprised a week from today on August 12th, 2003. He was also the subject of Louie Bluie--the first film by string band muscian and director of Crumb and Ghost World, Terry Zwigoff--which is well worth your watching by itself. He was quite a character and lived quite a life.
posted by y2karl on Aug 5, 2003 - 7 comments

Vernacular Music from the American Memory historical collections at the Library of Congress

"Now What a Time": Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943
Approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College (now Fort Valley State University), Fort Valley, Georgia. The documentation was created by John Wesley Work III in 1941 and by Lewis Jones and Willis Laurence James in March, June, and July 1943. Also included are recordings made in Tennessee and Alabama by John Work between September 1938 and 1941. Audio Title Index

The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip
Folk singers and folksongs documented during a three-month trip through the southern United States. Audio Title Index

California Gold: Northern California Folk Music From the Thirties
Materials from the WPA California Folk Music Project Collection, including sound recordings, still photographs, drawings, and written documents from a variety of European ethnic and English- and Spanish-speaking communities in Northern California. The collection comprises 35 hours of folk music recorded in twelve languages representing numerous ethnic groups and 185 musicians. Audio Title Index (As Always, More Inside)
posted by y2karl on Apr 14, 2003 - 12 comments

Labors of Love: American Vernacular Music & Lucky Mojo, Too

                                   Labors Of Love
Here are some handmade pages, personal and corporate, on American Vernacular Music and more:

First, here's Long Time Coming, with three separate shrines to Dock Boggs, Pretty Boy Floyd and Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers, worthy subjects all. I have no idea what the Eyeneer Records revenue model is or was but their American Music Archive, (Latest Update - August 20, 1999), albeit spotty, is still a must stop and see with pages on Charley Patton, Sleepy John Estes and Lucille Bogan, for example, and that's just the blues section. It's a very promising sounding site--and it's too bad they never finished it, but, on the other hand, thank god,they have not yet pulled the plug. Lea Gilmore's It's A Girl Thang's Historical Profiles has it goin' on with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Big Maybelle and Georgia White for examples. Catherine Yronwode, of course, is a name well known here, as is her wondrous Lucky Mojo, cornucopica that it is. There, among much riches, is the extensive and authoritative Blues Lyrics and Hoodoo --but that's Not All ! »→ »→ »→
posted by y2karl on Feb 12, 2003 - 21 comments

Mississippi John Hurt

John Hurt: Although it was not John (wrong sex anyway) who through a gentle voice and pleasant demeanor (yet he had this about him too) served as my primary impetus to play the guitar, it was nevertheless he, and others who played like him - but mainly he who provided me with my first technical model (emotional model to some extent also) for playing the guitar. He was the first I heard who played in the three-finger, non-choking, "picking" style, and he was one of the best. He was in his quiet way, a very great man, and I deeply mourn our loss of him.          John Fahey

                                Mississippi John Hurt

"I just make it sound like I think it ought to"                              (more)
posted by y2karl on Feb 8, 2003 - 41 comments

More Fan Labors of Love

Folk Music. Stefan Wirz and Hideki Watanabe pay homage to their favorites. Check out Hideki's Muscle Shoals page for another slice of his Americana pie. Or click on a name--Eric Von Schmidt, say--on Stefan's completist, slow loading page and wallow in pictures and stories... Then there's the Richard & Mimi Fariña website. Jan Hoiberg's Band site is another. I love labors of love.

And don't forget the Bauls of Bengal or the secrets of John Wesley Harding revealed!

And note, newsfilterians, you can now order Mickey Jone's home movies from the '66 tour, too. I'm going to see the Bobster tomorrow, so I've been thinking of these things.
posted by y2karl on Oct 3, 2002 - 18 comments

Bob Dylan Live at Newport, 1965: Maggie’s Farm.

Bob Dylan Live at Newport, 1965: Maggie’s Farm. 10 MB Quicktime mp3 A notorious and historic moment, that began a legendary year of touring , stolen moments of which are available in several sometimes bootlegged formats .Sometimes, perhaps revised , stories differ at what happened, and, now, post-ironically enough, He appears at Newport again this Saturday.
posted by y2karl on Aug 2, 2002 - 35 comments

Race/Music: Corrine Corrina, Bo Chatmon, and the Excluded Middle

Race/Music: Corrine Corrina, Bo Chatmon, and the Excluded Middle. Bo Carter is not the household name that, say, Robert Johnson is but he first recorded and most likely wrote one of the standards of the 20th Century. The essay linked deals with him, his song and the push me-pull you of race and culture in America. It's a post graduate thesis rife with postmodernist terminology--yet full of ideas and insights, not all of which I necessarily endorse or agree with--but which I've found thought provoking. (Details Within)
posted by y2karl on Aug 1, 2002 - 15 comments

Harry Smith and The Anthology of American Folk Music

American Magus
Without Harry Smith I wouldn’t have existed!
Bob Dylan
… I put Harry Smith with the three most dear to me GRAND INTELLIGENCE!! Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Harry Smith…These were sharp motherfuckers… and heavy… talk about heavy!!
Gregory Corso
Harry Smith, a central figure in the mid-20th-century avant-garde, was a complex artistic figure who made major contributions to the fields of sound recording, independent filmmaking, the visual arts, and ethnographic collecting. Along with Kenneth Anger, Jordan Belson, and Oskar Fischinger, Smith is considered one of America’s leading experimental filmmakers. He would often hand-paint directly on film creating unique, complex compositions that have been interpreted as investigations of conscious and unconscious mental processes. Smith began as a teenager to record Native American songs and rituals. He is best known for his Anthology of American Folk Music, a music collection widely credited with launching the urban folk revival.
The Anthology is the focus here, but Harry Smith, the artist, avant garde film maker, polymath, musicologist and quintessential hipster must be mentioned, too. Details Within
posted by y2karl on Jul 10, 2002 - 32 comments

Mel Lyman: The Harmonica Player Who Became God

Mel Lyman 1938-1978. Mel Lyman was controversial. He was the brilliant folk musician who soothed the Dylan-ruffled crowd at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival, the Fort Hill guru whose prose in the undergound newspaper Avatar shocked conservative Bostonians of the late 60s... Many years of collecting, and help from numerous people has resulted in the large collection of articles reproduced here. Some say Lyman was God... others that he was a devil... but most of these articles show him as a charismatic individual somewhere between those two extremes. An exhaustively authoritative page about a very interesting harmonica player who became God. And, man, does this bring back the 60s...(Details within)
posted by y2karl on Mar 24, 2002 - 21 comments

John Fahey - American Primitive Guitar

John Fahey - American Primitive Guitar. I got an e-mail from a listener about a John Fahey song I played on my show today and it prompted me to revisit his website. I've been listening to him ever since '67 or so. He died last year due to complications during a coronary bypass operation--I realized again today how I miss him. (more inside)
posted by y2karl on Mar 22, 2002 - 14 comments

The Minstrel Show: Academic Histories of Blackface Minstrelsy

The Minstrel Show The Minstrel Show presents us with a strange, fascinating and awful phenomenon. Minstrel shows emerged from preindustrial European traditions of masking and carnival. But in the US they began in the 1830s, with working class white men dressing up as plantation slaves. These men imitated black musical and dance forms, combining savage parody of black Americans with genuine fondness for African American cultural forms. By the Civil War the minstrel show had become world famous and respectable. Late in his life Mark Twain fondly remembered the "old time nigger show" with its colorful comic darkies and its rousing songs and dances. By the 1840s, the minstrel show had become one of the central events in the culture of the Democratic party.. The image of white men in blackface, miming black song, dance and speech is considered the last word in racist bigotry for some. And yet, standing at the crossroads of race, class and high and low culture, blackface minstrelsy is one fascinating topic in academic circles. It’s history is intertwined with the rise of abolitionism, the works of Mark Twain and the histories of vaudeville, American vernacular music, radio, television, movies, in fact all of what is called popular culture. Details within.
posted by y2karl on Mar 13, 2002 - 26 comments

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