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Help: stories

Dan Keding 25 Jun 01 - 02:07 PM
Kim C 25 Jun 01 - 03:14 PM
Joe Offer 25 Jun 01 - 03:34 PM
sophocleese 25 Jun 01 - 05:09 PM
kendall 25 Jun 01 - 08:14 PM
Bluegrass Girl 25 Jun 01 - 09:07 PM
kendall 26 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM
pavane 26 Jun 01 - 11:42 AM
pavane 26 Jun 01 - 11:49 AM
Tig 26 Jun 01 - 12:06 PM
GUEST,SharonA 26 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM
Lonesome EJ 26 Jun 01 - 12:26 PM
Uncle_DaveO 26 Jun 01 - 12:34 PM
Dan Keding 26 Jun 01 - 04:59 PM
Joe Offer 26 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM
Chicken Charlie 26 Jun 01 - 05:20 PM
Amos 26 Jun 01 - 05:22 PM
GUEST 26 Jun 01 - 05:32 PM
kendall 26 Jun 01 - 07:55 PM
Bluegrass Girl 27 Jun 01 - 09:49 AM
kendall 27 Jun 01 - 11:17 AM
wysiwyg 27 Jun 01 - 11:48 AM
MAG (inactive) 27 Jun 01 - 08:18 PM
MAG (inactive) 27 Jun 01 - 08:20 PM
kendall 27 Jun 01 - 08:39 PM
kendall 27 Jun 01 - 10:20 PM
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Subject: stories
From: Dan Keding
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 02:07 PM

Neighbors, I was wondering how many of you use stories in your performances? I'm not talking about anecdotes or jokes, but real stories or folk tales. I write the storytelling column for Sing Out! and would like to do a piece on how folk musicians use stories in their performances. Any ideas and/or comments you have would be welcome. Thanks Dan


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Kim C
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 03:14 PM

I haven't yet but this is something we've talked about doing. Haven't had time to do the research. *sigh*


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 03:34 PM

Well, the real pro at this is John McCutcheon. John usually starts his concerts with a rousing banjo song, and then keeps playing his banjo while he tells a story. Great way to start a concert.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: sophocleese
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 05:09 PM

Hmm. I just spent the afternoon with a friend. We're both sometime storytellers as well as occasional performers of folk music. We're putting music behind some stories. And we're looking at longer ballads and figuring out ways to combine singing and telling. What is interesting is that it seems that those parts of a story where we have music playing are the parts that people remember better. My friend also plays in a local band and occasionally throws a story into the performance, when the rest of the group lets her.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: kendall
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 08:14 PM

I usually use stories in performances, there is a "Jack tale" which mesmerizes children, and, a long one full of outrageous asides for adults.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Bluegrass Girl
Date: 25 Jun 01 - 09:07 PM

Playing bluegrass festivals, I find that one problem is that many (dare I say most) performers just want to stand up on stage and do their songs -- no contact with the audience.

So, I like to tell a quick story here and there -- and follow with a song that fits the story. I guess it's the break in cadence for their ears -- but the crowd seems to really come to us and "listen up" when they hear something other than banjo, banjo, banjo!


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 11:30 AM

right on bluegrass girl! Most bluegrass bands remind me of the "Darlin's" on the old Andy Griffith show, All talent, no personality.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 11:42 AM

Many performers tell stories. Examples that come to mind: Mike Absalom, at least when I saw him in the 1970's used to tell stories of a 'blonde, brunette or redhead' between songs. I remember Alistair Anderson telling the tale of 'Netty Roll Morton, the famous ragtime concertina player' before playing 'The entertainer'.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 11:49 AM

Dan, I just noticed you must be in USA. You may be puzzled by reference to Netty - it is a dialect word for the shed at the bottom of the garden...the toilet... And I don't suppose Mike Absalom is well known in USA either.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Tig
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:06 PM

I still don't do performances as such ie for money, but those naughty Mudcats wouldn't go to bed without THREE stories on the Sunday of the Yorkshire Mudlarks!!!

Shame you're not at The Edge this year. They told me they would try and get you there. Next year maybe?
Chris Rincewynd xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: GUEST,SharonA
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:13 PM

Most any performer I've heard that tells a story does so as an introduction to a song that tells that same story, as a way to clarify or "flesh out" the song.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:26 PM

Mudcatter Art Theime is a master at the between-song story and joke. Perhaps he'll weigh in here. If not, give a listen to his classic The Older I Get the Better I Was CD available from Folk Legacy.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 12:34 PM

Most of my songs are story songs. I think of myself as a song-teller, or maybe a story-singer. They're not all technically ballads, but they all have that sort of communication, and I'm sometimes not sure whether I would call a certain song I sing a ballad or not.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Dan Keding
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 04:59 PM

Chris, I've already signed the contract for The Edge in 2002 - I'll look forward to seeing you there.

Lonesome, Art is an old friend of mine and you're right he is one of the best.

Dave, I think that ballads fall in the catergory of story and that ballad singers should be getting more recognition from the storytelling community.

Thanks, Dan


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Joe Offer
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:13 PM

Mudcatters Kendall Morse (click for CD info) and Art Thieme (click for CD info) are absolute masters at telling stories between songs. You may want to arrange to call them for more information, if you can't drag it out of them here in the Forum.

Oh, and one more I forgot is U. Utah Phillips.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:20 PM

My group's alto singer doubles as a storyteller, a thing she got into while teaching and still does very occasionally for churches, libraries, etc. Being tradists, we tend to get into so much background on the songs that we hesitate to add stories as well, but every once in a while one sneaks in. It's also hard to find a venue where 30-second-sound-bite generation listeners will sit still for the fourth verse of anything, let alone a story. Still, I have found some interesting anecdotes re. "Dixie" and "Marching thru GA" that I use as intros, essentially killing two birds w/1 rock.

I have a personal favorite from Mexican Rancho days in California which is a three-in-one sort of Decameron deal. Too long for a post, but the gist is that a one-eyed man and his one-legged companion seek shelter at a hacienda, where the only empty room is the one in which the late lamented Don Pepe, who fell from his horse that morning, has been laid out. The two tell each other outrageous stories about how they lost the eye and the leg, whereupon Don Pepe sits up and says, "Boys, if you keep telling lies like that, I'm going somewhere else." I used that at a "Cowboy Poetry" venue where there was as much emphasis on reciting stories and poems as on singing.

There are tapes/CDs of Appalachian folk tales out there, if anybody is minded to give this genre a try.

CC


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Amos
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:22 PM

And for stories collected from Mudcatters, click here!.

Regards,

Amos


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 05:32 PM

An overlooked master of weaving song and story is Randy Wilson of Big Creek, Ky. I first heard him on the "Heritage" tape produced by Appalshop, on which his songs alternate with the late James Still's readings of his poetry and Wilson orates, quite authentically, Brother Sim Moberly's sermon from Still's "River of Earth." Since then have heard him tell: The story of Daniel (a character similar to Gregg Brown's "Billy From the Hills," but without Brown's dark portrayal), with which he interspersed a series of hymns that he accompanied with autoharp. A story about one of Daniel Boone's long hunts, woven around a few appropriate songs. The story of pioneer woman Lily Cornett, given a treatment similar to Boone's. Most recently, I heard him open a show with a story about the instrument he was playing (a primitive two-string fretless gourd banjo; its African name escapes me), telling about its first makers' migration, enslavement and subsequent sorrowful travels. His performances are well worth seeing. I understand he'll be in the Chicago area later this year.
Cheryl Wheeler and Rosalie Sorrels are wonderful raconteurs whose stories are major parts of their acts.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: kendall
Date: 26 Jun 01 - 07:55 PM

Thanks Joe, I appreciate your comment very much.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: Bluegrass Girl
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 09:49 AM

As mentioned before, I "flesh out" songs with stories. Also may need a story to tell while dual purpose sidemen change from guitar to dobro, or banjo player tunes (banjo players always tune! - and frankly, who but they would notice???!!!)

An absolute master story teller is Ron Thomason of Dry Branch Fire Squad. Perhaps a bit too intellectual for the average bluegrasser, but the rest of use really enjoy his humor.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:17 AM

Because I cant decide what I want to be when I grow up, I tell stories, and, I sing folk and traditional songs. They are in two different categories, but, with a bit of thought, I'm able to go from one to the other without too much of a gap. Entertainers can do that, but, performers seem to have a problem with it.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: wysiwyg
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 11:48 AM

A past storyteller thread had some, too....

Dan, I had not thought of this from this angle, but I seriously think you have to count our weekly Saturday night music ministry. It is primarily a church service, as opposed to a "gig," but it IS a gig.... oh dear. I'll try to make sense but all kinds of thoughts are flying around in and around my head all of a sudden. Dang.... Well this will not be my best writing, but you asked....

The blend between the music, the gospel reading, and the homily is getting finer and finer as we go on. Of course the gospel reading is itelf a story.... There's more tho.... For instance, the Sat. night homily tends to be story-based, as Hardi delivers a laid-back version of the Sunday AM homily...

Also the music and the lesson and the homily often feed into one another. Sometimes the music is chosen specifically for the gospel reading due for the week (we use a lectionary to cycle through the gospels), and sometimes not, but the blend is always there. It isn't that the music is preachy... it's joy-filled acoustic gospel from a variety of genres, including old-timey, country blues gospel, spirituals, Shaker hymns, southern gospel, bluegrass, camp-ground music, etc.... a lot of it is not what you would usually find done in the context of a service... if you think of the gospel material included in a bluegrass concert, for example, what we have done is take that humble and personal outpouring from the concert hall into the church, to do church in a different way.

Your question makes me think that I need to sit down and really write a piece about this for church folks.

Dang.

I gotta think about this some more. If you think a Sing Out! piece should include much in this vein, please be in touch further.

Dang. I see a project here, and I thought I knew what my summer plans were.

Dang.

Smacked right upside the head with a holy two by four. I been talking about this in threads for months and didn't see it till you bumped me into it.

I guess you'd have to look at the "Experience of singing Gosepl Music" thread too, or I would.

~Susan (AKA Praise)

motormice@hotmail.com

Dang.


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 08:18 PM

Well, Dan, (as you can guess) I am more of a storyteller than a folk singer, tho' I just about always include music both in my weekly storytimes at my library. My next "outside" job is at Whitman Mission National Park in a couple of weeks, telling Western stories, and I am trying to learn the (French) words to La Bastringue, as the early trappers working here for Hudsons Bay Company were all French Voyageurs -- I know the tune from playing in the contra band, and the DT thoughtfully provided the lyrics. I also do Utah's Goodnight Loving Trail, and others.

MAG (Mary Ann Gilpatrick)


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: MAG (inactive)
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 08:20 PM

Oh, and Rosalie Sorrels, of course. Her stage bits between songs are so good she got invited to Jonesborough. -- MA


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 08:39 PM

The national storytellers convention in Jonesboro Tenn. is a great way to get aquainted with storytellers of all kinds. The year I was there, Marshall Dodge, Brother Blue, Maggie Peirce,Doc McConnell to name a few. I have a few pictures of that event which were printed in the Country Journal, October 1981. I dont know how to do the blue clicky, so, I'll send them to Pene, and maybe he will post them?


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Subject: RE: Help: stories
From: kendall
Date: 27 Jun 01 - 10:20 PM

Jeff informs me that he is posting them to my photo site. There will be more if I take the time to send them.


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