Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Link to EverythingDulcimer.com forum

Posted to the blog, like so many other useful addresses, so I won't forget it. It's at http://everythingdulcimer.com/discuss/viewforum.php?f=9 ... I haven't had the time to read it all (hence this link) but there's a very interesting thread on zitters (as the scheitholz was called, apparently, by Pennsylvania German speakers) and hymns that would be appropriate for the zitter.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Remembering Zion in streaming audio ...

There's a little Canadian streaming audio station with a decidedly non-commercial playlist of Jamaican music from the 50s on. It's called SCRATCH ... mento, ska, rocksteady, reggae & dub. The name comes from Jamaican producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Says website host Chris Azevedo:
The format ranges from late-1950s mento (Stanley Beckford), Jamaican-boogie (Laurel Aitken) into 60's ska (with the likes of The Skatalites, Laurel Aitken, Prince Buster and Theophilus Beckford), through the rocksteady years and on to reggae and dub.
There is no rap or hip-hop in the playlist - just some fine toasting from the likes of King Stitt, Prince Jazzbo, U-Roy and Big Youth (to name a few).

The playlist is updated weekly.
Also information on Rasta, dub, etc. And a quote from the Melodians' song "Rivers of Babylon ... where we wept / When we remembered Zion."

As far as I can tell, Azevedo is an amateur in the best sense of the word, someone who does something because he loves doing it. He has a personal website, with vacation and cat pictures but no commercial gimmickry. Just a deep appreciation for the music.

A couple of other streaming audio links I might not be able to find again --

Irish traditional music at liveireland.com on "Live Ireland." Has both traditional and contemporary streams, as well as features and a "shop Ireland" store.

Triple J or 2JJJ is "Australia's youth radio station," according to the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corp.) tease on Google.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Clapton interview: On blues, Chicago

Interesting interview with Eric Clapton on rock critic Greg Kot's blog on The Chicago Tribune's website. Among other things, there's this exchange:
Q: You've done so much to nurture the blues. Do you think it will carry on?

A: Oh, sure. There is no shelf life for that. It's classical music now. It's on another level with the music of the great masters. It's very important. It touches people in a way that classical music touches people. It's on the same level.

Q: But are there new people coming up to keep it going or will it survive only in the recordings?

A: Both. There will be a certain element preserved and enshrined, but as a language it will continue to flourish, because the people who understand the language know how to put it into any kind of music you can play. It's possible to use that root to embellish rock, pop, jazz. It doesn't have to be strictly uniform. It can be applied in different ways.
But Clapton also takes on subjects ranging from punk (he thinks it almost killed roots music for a while) to woodshedding (he has small children and doesn't have enough time for it), B.B. King, Muddy Waters and Chicago. On Chicago:
Q: When you were listening to those classic Chicago blues records as a teenager, did you have a mental picture of what Chicago was like?

A: A certain amount of image was created by the guys themselves. It was well known there were these clubs called Smitty's and Pepper's Lounge and the South Side of Chicago was the hot place to be. Needless to say, where I came from, we didn't get the full picture, the harsher aspects of it. It seemed incredibly romantic, gangsterish and exciting. The first band I identified with from Chicago was the Muddy
He's in town for Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, to be held today in in south suburban Chicago.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Early jazz website

Wonderful source ... the Red Hot Jazz Archive with text and sound files ... including Jelly Roll Morton's version of Buddy Bolton's Blues and other musicians referenced -- and linked -- in its overview of jazz before 1930:
The first Jazz was played by African-American and Creole musicians in New Orleans. The cornet player, Buddy Bolden is generally considered to be the first real Jazz musician. Other early players included Freddie Keppard, Bunk Johnson and Clarence Williams. Although these musicians names are unknown to most people, then and now, their ideas are still being elaborated on to this day. Most of these men could not make a living with their music and were forced to work menial jobs to get by. The second wave of New Orleans Jazz musicians like Joe "King" Oliver, Kid Ory and Jelly Roll Morton formed small bands that took the music of these older men and increased the complexity and dynamic of their music, as well as gaining greater commercial success. This music became known as "Hot Jazz", because of the often breakneck speeds and amazing improvised polyphony that these bands produced. A young virtuoso cornet player named Louis Armstrong was discovered in New Orleans by King Oliver. Armstrong soon grew to become the greatest Jazz musician of his era and eventually one of the biggest stars in the world. The impact of Armstrong and other Jazz musicians altered the course of both popular and Classical music. African-American musical styles became the dominant force in 20th century music.
But not, of course, Bolden, whose career played out before the advent of sound recording.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I.D. Stamper interview

Better save this --

Googling around with different keywords on the Digital Library of Appalachia website I came up with this directory of I.D. Stamper's interview with a group of high school kids from Atlanta. Playing and talking about Uncle Ed Thomas, tunings, etc. Several hammered dulcimer tracks but mostly his unique style of playing the dulcimers he adapted from Thomas'. I want to save it because I don't know if I can duplicate the search.

One sound bite that didn't get into the search above has an all-too-brief sound bite about how Stamper got his sound and styled his dulcimers.

HUM 223 -- syllabus add on spirituals

African-American spirtuals. In the years after the Civil War, black spirituals were discovered by white musicians and became an important artistic form that combined the sound of African-American religious singing with the discipline of European classical music. Since we don't have a textbook for this part of the course, we'll read about it on the World Wide Web. Treat these readings as you would assigned readings in a textbook. The University of Denver's Sweet Chariot website is one of the best. Read the essay "Survival and Resistance" by Arthur C. Jones on the Sweet Chariot website. Note especially what he says about the song "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" and how 20th-century composer George Gershwin used its melodic structure -- and its emotional feeling -- in the classic song "Summertime." ... Read also "Music for Specific Times and Places: Evolving Cultural and Musical Contexts" by John J. Sheinbaum. It's long, and you'll have to click on four different links to get it all. If your computer lets you, listen to the sound bites, too. It's important stuff, and it will help you understand what what happens with jazz, blues, rock and hip hop later.