Mudcat Café message #1573543 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #84959   Message #1573543
Posted By: Don Firth
01-Oct-05 - 02:27 PM
Thread Name: DylanOnTube-PBS/ScorseseDocumentary
Subject: RE: DylanOnTube-PBS/ScorseseDocumentary
Van Lingle, the inimitable John Jacob Niles made most of his own instruments. They were essentially Appalachian dulcimers and were played pretty much the same way, but he tried different body styles and sizes and added a lot more strings than the standard dulcimer has, I've been told that once or twice he tried to get away with passing one of his instruments off as a lute, but when this was met with a great rolling of eyes, he backed off a bit.

I think GUEST 01 Oct 05 - 10:14 AM makes an interesting point about the self-invention of both Dylan and Niles. I doubt, however, that Dylan thought of Niles at all, or perhaps at first even knew who he was, but even though their styles were miles apart, the mind-set seems to be pretty similar. Sometimes people who create their own image actually come to believe it themselves.

Here's some info about Niles. Be careful when you click on this, because the audio starts right away, and if you're not prepared for it, it can give you the hiccups and a nervous tic. Steady now . . . CLICKY!

Actually, if I have a couple of stiff drinks ahead of time and fasten my seat-belt, I kind of enjoy ol' J. J. Niles. Probably the sweetest sounding falsetto around and a real way with a song, and you've gotta admit, the guy's got chutzpah!

Don Firth