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Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?

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GUEST,999 28 Jul 10 - 06:25 PM
Smedley 28 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM
Richard Bridge 28 Jul 10 - 06:14 PM
Anne Lister 28 Jul 10 - 06:03 PM
Jim Dixon 28 Jul 10 - 06:00 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 28 Jul 10 - 05:29 PM
Amos 28 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM
Will Fly 28 Jul 10 - 05:24 PM
Big Ballad Singer 28 Jul 10 - 05:16 PM
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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:25 PM

No offence (offense) meant to anyone, but this kind of thread denigrates us as people and musicians.

Bruce


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Smedley
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:22 PM

Bruce Springsteen (if he has achieved legend status, which I fear he has, to some).


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:14 PM

Johnny Cash or Bob Dylan.

I like Robert Johnson, but can see the OP's point about Leadbelly.

Captain Beefheart is an acquired taste too. Was very underwhelming live.


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Anne Lister
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:03 PM

What is the point of this thread? We can all boast about our musical taste and how it's clearly better than other peoples' taste, but why do that?


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 06:00 PM

I agree with Crow Sister. I'd much rather hear you praise the 20 guitarists that were better than Leadbelly, than hear you denigrate Leadbelly.

That way, I might even learn something.


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 05:29 PM

There were better guitarists and better singers by the score in his time.

It might be interesting if you were to say who they were, and why you think they were superior?


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Amos
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM

SOrry to say it, but I am inclined in Will's direction here. I have a lot of respect for Leadbelly, as an example, and I believe that the description you proffer of him indicates you are suffering from a tin ear for the genre.


A


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Subject: RE: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Will Fly
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 05:24 PM

I think your post says more about you than Johnson or Leadbelly.


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Subject: Who's THE most over-rated 'legend'?
From: Big Ballad Singer
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 05:16 PM

For me, it HAS to be either Robert Johnson or Leadbelly.

I can understand Robert's success in the 20s as a 'race' artist with the one or two popular records he made. He borrowed some guitar and vocal stylings from other popular blues singers and got lucky.

I can even understand why a bunch of stiff white guys from the UK and US would get all bothered by Robert's music... it's by turns spooky, moody and ribald.

But a LEGEND? Seriously? There were better guitarists and better singers by the score in his time. I think the mythos of the selling-to-Satan bit and the mysterious murder made a lot more of a legend out of Robert than his musical abilities would ever have.

Leadbelly... where do I begin? It's kind of creepy that a small enclave of white Yankee folksingers all found this mediocre guitarist and whiny singer so enthralling... I think it's because he was "AN AUTHENTIC NEGRO FROM THE SOUTH WHO WAS IN PRISON" and basically sold himself to the people.

I mean, really... I have a recording of Leadbelly singing "Haul Away, Joe" that is downright laughable. The guitar is out of tune, the lyrics he makes up make no sense half the time, especially not in a seafaring context, and I am sure that anyone who tried to haul sail to his off-tempo wailings would still be adrift at sea today.

But you take the "authentic negro guitarist who went to prison" and give him to whites with money, and WHAM! He's the "king of the 12 string guitar."

King, my foot.

All of this is, of course, and with apologies to anyone I un-necessarily offend, my own humble opinion.

Who do YOU think is the MOST over-rated folk artist that is regarded as some sort of "legend"?

Regards,

BBS

P.S. I don't discount the idea that one's "story" makes for a good part of their ability to sell themselves to people... Woody, for instance. But compare Woody's writing, poetry, painting, drawing, activism and downright counter-cultural bent to ANYTHING that a Robert Johnson or a Leadbelly ever did, and there's just no comparison. Someone like Woody Guthrie is a legend because he influenced the way America thought, sang, acted as citizens and entertained themselves. Someone like Johnson or Ledbetter simply made ignorant whites go "ooohhh!" at something they thought was some unattainable mysterious "mojo" that they didn't have... until their record labels paid them good money to ape the blues guys and get rich.

Anyway, carry on...


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