Just found this thread. Thanks, Alice for the kind words.
To Stage Manager, etc.
There is also a note in Highland Settler by Charles Dunn which Sandy didn't quote. He mentions that some emigrants to the states wrote back to Scotland that when they arrived in New Orleans that it was terribly hot. The sun had obviously burnt the skin of some of the people black as they arrived to hear Gaelic being spoken by some of the Southern Blacks working on the docks.
Here in Halifax, about 15 or 16 years back, a local Blues musician, Bill Stephenson, made a comment I keep recalling. Much of the Blues and Jazz owes as much to the Scottish and Irish traditional music as it does to African rhythms. They are an amalgam of the two cultures intertwined.
My own take on it is :
Country and Western music is a direct descendant of the laments of the Scottish and Irish. Their musical themes and dances form a great part of the Hill-billy music that spawned the C&W music as well as the Rock and Roll music which followed it. Add the rhythms of the African-American and you get the other half of the equation forming the Rock and Roll tradition. When you combine them in other proportions, you get Jazz or Blues. The Africans and Irish and Scottish people all worked together at the menial jobs. They suffered together, forming bonds that affected the music they would make. Into the twentieth century, those groupings would re-join again and give us the music we know as Bluegrass.
To me, all of those are related music forms. They're all great!