Aug 15, 2010

Bluegrass Miscellany

Photo: Valerie Smith and Liberty Pike band

Say what you will about bluegrass music as the theme for roadkill, incest, and judge-your-neighbor honky gospel, you won’t see scenes like these at the symphony or the mosh pit.

Pickathon 2010 |

Pickathon 2010 |

If you're interested, here's the site to copy and paste for more photos where those two came from:

Or have a listen to one of these, at least for a few seconds. The first reveals something of a pro, something of the myth:

YouTube - Still Fiddling In the Ozarks

The second is a young pair trying to get in touch with the bluegrass classic, "Cripple Creek." It's usually played as an instrumental, maybe because Chester Burnam's lyrics can get a little racy:

I got a gal at the head of the creek
Goin' up to see her 'bout the middle of the week.
Kiss her on the mouth just as sweet as any wine,
She wraps herself around me like a sweet potater vine.

Goin' up to Cripple Creek, goin' in a whirl.
Goin' up to Cripple Creek to see my girl.

YouTube - Cripple Creek

Happy Monday.



PJ said...

I played piano and guitar growing up but one day I had to admit, I had gone as far I could and it wasn't much. I would love to get the deep satisfaction these players get from their music.

Anonymous said...

I liked Violet. My cousin plays the Hardanger fiddle.

Banjo52 said...

Paula, I'll take your word for it-- sort of. I wouldn't be surprised if you're being too modest. Also, I could write a long, boring piece on the pleasure I get from BANGING along on guitar or banjo with certain CDs. But in either case, I do envy the good players. Also, however, I'm tardy in realizing how much work goes into it, even after the mastery. Another long piece on that . . . ?

Banjo52 said...

AH, you know I'm gonna ask what a hardanger fiddle is. Hard Anger? Some music sounds like hard anger, even in bluegrass.

And for sure, if all we have to go on is that video, how can we not like Violet?

When you said Bandit instead of Banjo, I thought you meant Barbaro. LOL, but truly.

Also, I'll erase if anyone asks, but I don't think I'm able to edit in other ways, am I? And now I can't find where your correction went, but I did hit "publish."

It's Monday, right?

Hey, thanks for weighing in, you two. I didn't think anyone would, on this subject/these subjects.

Brenda's Arizona said...

Enjoyed this!
Bluegrass like this brings an image to mind (just like poetry) - prairie dresses on women, wrangler jeans on the guys - and finger picks for any of the players.

This is a nice respite, Banjomyn!

Ken Mac said...

when I used to drive south to NC, the AM radio would change from news to bluegrass around Richmond...loved that.

Anonymous said...

It's an acquired taste:

Banjo52 said...

Ken, I've had that experience on I-77 around Mt. Airy. I'm surprised but pleased that you found it east of the mountains. AND that you liked it!

Brenda, on that site, one of the photos shows a banjo with a fair amount of blood on it from the picker's fingers. Could be staged, of course, but who knows?

AH, thanks. Yeah, it would be an acquired taste for me. Sometimes the bluegrass fiddle strikes me as deliberately sour, and I still haven't acquired that taste. To me, the hardanger feels vaguely Middle Eastern and/or Scandinavian. (I played a couple more clips at Ytube). Are you hearing your ancestry?

One friend of mine played in folk bands back in the day, but says banjos give him a headache. I still do breakfast with him. I am nothing if not long-suffering.

Am I the only one charmed by "wraps herself around me like a sweet potater vine"??? (Of course, I have no idea what such a vine looks like).

Brenda's Arizona said...

Yes, saw the blood. Totally YUCK.
I always knew Hardanger as a type of embroidery - like tatting. Fun to learn the other version!

As for sweet potato vine - we have one in the back yard. In its case, the grape vines have wrapped themselves around the 'tater vines.
Which caused me to wonder, does 'sweet' in this case modify 'potato' or 'vine'? Ours is certainly a sweet looking vine, but it has never ever produced taters.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

A potato vine will wrap around a fence but not your gal, and it won't give you potatoes and it might not even smell sweet

I noticed in Violets kitchen that she had switched out her floors sometime after Kerault's visit to a very popular 70's pattern linoleum. She also added a second refrigerator.

Never took a music lesson but I did try to learn clog. I quit. Yup, I'm a quitter

PJ said...

Ah, the Norvegian fiddle.

Lovers' Lane