Mudcat Café message #2984234 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #131826   Message #2984234
Posted By: Goose Gander
10-Sep-10 - 07:11 PM
Thread Name: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
Subject: RE: Child Ballads survived in oral trad.
Sorry you feel insulted, Cap'n. I did not say that only traditional singers have "absorbed the tradition" only that there is a distinction between those who grew up with a specific tradition in specific time and place and those (like myself) who have come to traditional music from a very different direction, as one of many varieties of music that we enjoy.

Here's an example of what I mean: My extended family were "Okies" who came to California during the Depression. They worked agricultural jobs, stayed in FSA camps, benefited from New Deal programs and eventually achieved middle-class prosperity. I vaguely remember music and snippets of songs from when I was very young, but I never learned any songs from any one of that social group. After an apprenticeship in DIY punk rock, I discovered Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and others. I learned a few songs and thought I was a 'folk singer'. As time went on, I dug deeper into traditional American music in all its myriad forms. One day I stumbled upon Voices From the Dust Bowl at American Memory, and I decided to dig work my way through it track by track, learning some songs and absorbing idiom, style, etc. I must have done something right (or something very wrong) because occasionally when playing and singing someone will remark that I must have learned these songs from my family, etc. "No," I tell them. "From recordings." Sorry, but I just can't flatter myself that I'm equivalent to a traditional singer. What I do is not the same thing.

And please don't quote that fanatic mass murderer at me, that's just bad taste.