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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
bassen Mudcat (THE WORLD)Let us know where you are. (182* d) RE: Mudcat (THE WORLD)Let us know where you are. 19 Oct 98


Sorry this has acquired epic proportions, I'll never go on at such length again, I swear. Up here on the northwest shoulder of Norway, the low pressure centers have started marching in off the North Atlantic, a sure sign of ensuing winter. The last few days have seen sou'westerly gales slowly abating with the temperature dipping down to about +4 Celsius - the norwegian word for weather report "værvarsel" directly translated means "weather warning" which pretty much sums it all up. Actually I love it, having been raised in the bland weather pablum of sunny southern california.

I'm new to the Mudcat, only been hanging out for a month or two, but music has always been a part of my life. I was born in East LA , grew up various places in So.Cal. My parents sang - old songs and hymns from Norway, my mother played piano, my father played mandolin. Riding in the car (which we seemed to do every weekend, for hours) my sister and I would sing and sing and sing - when we ran out of songs we'd sing theme songs from TV series and then commercial jingles, anything with a melody - anyone else remember the jingle for Eastside Old Tap Lager Beer...?

My interest in folk music came via my sister, 5 years older than me. The Kingston Trio, yeah, but for me more than anything else, the Chad Mitchell Trio and Joan Baez. I got a mandolin for Christmas when I was 14 and learned Barbara Allen from a book. My sister had a 20$ Tijuana guitar, which I quickly took over. I never got into playing rock'n'roll, only folk music, old timey music, whatever. But I love all music, the first two albums I ever bought were the Beach Boys and Leadbelly, NOBODY else in my high school thought Huddie Leadbetter was cool in 1964, I guarantee. The real turning point came after hearing Flatt and Scruggs on the radio - that was music!

I moved to Norway in 1966. Another expat there taught me the fundamentals of ragtime guitar and introduced me to jugband music which has remained a favorite. I spent part of the 70's in France - during the big Celtic revival, Allan Stivell etc. Lots of Fest Noz and pancakes in Montparnasse. Bought a bombarde and learned the fundamentals, spent a summer hitching around the west coast of Ireland and learned a little tin whistle, acquired a reverential admiration for uillean pipes which has never abated.

A certain veneer of responsible adult attitude surfaced during the 80's, I acquired a degree in ethnology and eventually a family. I'm now director of the regional museum in Kristiansund, just south of Trondheim (NOT Kristiansand, another place altogether). I respect and enjoy norwegian folk and traditional music, but my soul does not respond the same way it does to "Rocky road to Dublin" "Reuben James" or "Boodle Am Rag". After about 10 years of dustgathering, I've dragged out guitar, banjo and mandolin and have started playing for my sons and anyone else who'll listen. I never stopped singing.

"Little girls have pretty curls but I like Oreo..."

bassen


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