The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152354   Message #3570458
Posted By: GUEST,Big Al Whittle
27-Oct-13 - 08:11 AM
Thread Name: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
Subject: RE: Traditional Music: Where are we going wrong?
What's going wrong with traditional music is that your link to soundcloud doesn't seem to be working Jack. I confess i only know June tabor's version of the song - never been keen to mess with it.

I DO however hate and despise the practice of capital punishment. Have hated it with a passion all my life, and recently I found a song which expressed my utter loathing. Blind Lemon's Electric Chair Blues. A recording which until it got cleaned up a little was almost inaccessible.

What can I say I tried with this piece. It was SO great. It told the story from a thousand assats all at once. Like Turpin Hero - sommetimes the gallows bird is first person - sometimes third. We hear the voice of the fiend who sat alongside his wife in the electrocution chamber. His family who receve the electgrocuted body for burial.

So I took a toot at it. And rushed at it, and gotit wrong as per usual. My version lacked the hatred and intensity of Blind lemon. he was perhaps someone who had seen a friend's child electrocuted for some Jim Crow reason.

Having no one except a few lusty sailors and pretty ploughboys and the occasional sleeping gamekeeper with which to discuss it. I asked Bobert for his reaction. Bobert reckoned I had made it too technical, but on reflection I'm not sure. The real trouble is though BLJ's guitar style is similar to mine - I've learned tenth hand from Stefan Grossman, Wizz, Bert, Derek and others. There bits of Blind Blake in my version, Dave Van Ronk and others. Distances as far away from Texas as we from Spain. Whereas Blind Lemon plays a very pure and localised version of blues guitar.

What I'm saying is maybe we sound like navel gazers and pseudo yanks to you - but we are part of the warp and weft of traditional music amd care quite as intensely about our perceived traditions as you do.

Try and grasp this and you will make the tradition more unified and stronger.