The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #18331 Message #181158
Posted By: Pinetop Slim
19-Feb-00 - 07:56 AM
Thread Name: Is there a future for traditional music
Subject: RE: Is there a future for traditional music
Gillian Welch could be the reincarnation of Corinna, last name forgotten, but remembered as Darlin' Corey. Decades after they dug a hole in the meadow and laid her down, she lives again and tells us to raze the old still house.
For me, there are two comfortable ways to deal with the issues Sourdough raises. One is to ignore the issue and just listen to what I like without concern for categorizing it -- it doesn't matter if I call it folk, trad., roots etc., as long as the song rings my bell. The other way is to accept that there are two tiers of folk music: traditional folk, which has been handed down through the oral tradition, and contemporary folk, which could be passed along through the oral tradition and we hope would be.
At 51 I'm old enough to have heard a few songs evolve from contemporary to traditional. My mother knew "We Shall Overcome," I know it, my kids know it. Ditto for "If I Had A Hammer." I sang "Blowing In the Wind" at summer camp; my daughter has sung it at summer camp.
At least a few contemporary songs and tunes are sure things to clear the hurdle into the traditional realm -- "Ashokan Farewell" comes to mind as the author has already has had to spend a lot of time proving it wasn't written 130 years ago. I'd bet a nickel my grandchildren will sing "The Great Storm is Over." Some of Welch's stuff is a pretty good bet. I won't be surprised if I hear "Tear My Stillhouse Down" introduced at a coffeehouse as a traditional song, author unknown.