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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Jim Krause What is your Musical Heritage? (68* d) RE: What is your Musical Heritage? 27 Nov 07


My mother sang all her life, usually as part of singing groups; at school, with extended family, and friends too, probably. When I was growing up, she, her sister, and their two cousins who were sisters, formed a women's gospel quartet called The Friesen Sisters. Their inspiration for vocal arrangements came from the Andrews Sisters.

Dad also came from a musical family. He had six brothers. Once he told me that as long as there were four of the boys at home, they always had a men's quartet.

I don't remember a time when I didn't sing. I sang in school programs, at church in youth choirs, and later in the adult choir. At age 16 I got a guitar for Christmas. Now I could accompany my own singing. I sang in the college choir, and ended up majoring in voice.

Somewhere in there, I heard of the New Lost City Ramblers, Pete Seeger; Peter, Paul, and Mary; John Denver, Tom Paxton, Phil Ochs, Bob Dylan, and I suppose a few others. Fell in love with folk music, but kept listening to rock'n'roll. The Beatles were my all time favorite British group. And then there was The Byrds, blending folk & rock.

Time passed, and I had a whole backlog of songs that I wanted to perform in public, but couldn't make them go, so to speak. And I heard this guy at a folk music gathering play claw hammer style banjo. And I thought if ever I learn to play another instrument, that's going to be it; the banjo. By and by, I did just that, too.

Formed an old-timey string band with two friends, and did a few gigs.    Started playing fiddle thinking that I may as well play the instrument that all those tunes we played in the string band were written for.

More time passed, joined another string band, and they needed a jack of all trades guy. So I learned to play mandolin. Been playing old-time music for the best part of 30 years, I guess.

And now, I'm thinking I want to plug in, too. I remember Roger McGuinn and the Byrds' recording of "The Bells of Rhymney," "Mr. Tambourine Man," and Pete Seeger's "Turn! Turn! Turn!"


I guess I have sort of a musical multiple personality disorder, of sorts.

Jim Krause


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