Mudcat Café message #2601765 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #119547   Message #2601765
Posted By: John P
31-Mar-09 - 08:13 PM
Thread Name: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Subject: RE: 1954 and All That - defining folk music
Hi Don,
One of the reasons I keep playing at the Folklife Festival even though I'm sick of the crowds is because every year someone comes up after our set and says something like, "I've never heard anything like that before. I love it! Where can I find more music like that?" There is something about traditional music that compels certain people; I think they are responding to the melodies, rhythms, and words. I've never done a solo set in my life, and my music tends to be highly arranged (although my first rule of arranging involves making sure the arrangement supports the song rather than replacing it). I spent years playing in a duet with about a dozen instruments on stage with us, and now play in a five-person band with lots of instruments and harmonies.

I agree that there is something special, and in some ways more traditional, about the unaccompanied or minimally accompanied song (I credit Chris Roe with first turning me on to traditional music), but I also think that music in a more "normal" format sometimes sucks in folks who wouldn't pay any attention to a solo singer doing trad material.