Mudcat Café message #1067916 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #64982   Message #1067916
Posted By: Mark Clark
08-Dec-03 - 02:27 PM
Thread Name: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
Subject: RE: The Evolution of Country Fingerpicking
I still remember being a kid of 20 and meeting Ray Tate for the first time at the Old Town School of Folk Music. Ray asked what I played and I said—parroting the current folkie kid vocabulary—I played Travis style. So Ray asked to hear something and I probably played some Elizabeth Cotten tune and Ray just looked at me in wonder, explained that I wasn't playing Travis style at all and proceeded to give me a demonstration of real Travis picking. The OTSFM was still in Old Town then, at the top of a long dark narrow flight of stairs on North Ave. I was lucky he didn't just throw me down the stairs. <g>

Justa Picker had a previous thread called Travis Picking - Misconceptions in which he tried to lay out the things that make Travis Picking (Kentucky Thumbpicking) different from other fingerpicking styles and why the others can't appropriately be called Travis Picking.

Except for Arnold Schulz, who no one living today remembers, there really is no direct line of antecedents leading to Rager-Everly-Travis-Atkins style picking. The Piedmont and Delta styles can be traced back but the Kentucky Thumbpicking style seem to be much like bluegrass music in that it just sprang forth fully formed.

M.Ted, I tend to think of Piedmont and Delta styles as folk styles but of course they aren't the only folk styles. I suppose an academic might classify flemenco as a folk style.

      - Mark