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@ Ben,

I like a bit of Bluegrass too.. although it seems that the supposed 'originator' Bill Monro was a bit of a musical fascist and a misogynist.

 

I especially like the true Appallachian mountain stuff, which I'm sure pre-dates Monro and Co.  There's a brief shot in deliverance of a band playing outside a building.. don't recall what sort of building. What I especially like is they are using a 'Hammered Dulcimer'. which is sort of like a zither. but with the strings struck with little hammers. Different to the other type of Dulcimer which is a three stringed instrment usually laid across the knee and plucked.  The lovely Joni Mitchell plays one on her classic album 'Blue'.

 

I'll see what I can find.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8nnPrGSUBs

 

Start the above from about 2m30s.

 

Bill Monroe, playing the classic Gibson F4 Mandolin.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeZPAQRl7TA

 

For some reason Youtube isn't cooperating today.

 

 

 

 

 

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Last time I heard the bagpipes was at the highland games in Atlanta.  More Scotsmen there than you might think.  They all come out of the woodwork each fall to toss poles around and dance on swords etc.  There are at least two good pipe bands as far as I know.

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The very first time I went to Scotland was to an audit client back in the early 60's. I caught the overnight sleeper train to Edinburgh at around 11pm. from Victoria Station. Just as I managed to get to sleep they shunted it around in York. It then stopped in Galashiels at around 6am. where I looked out of the window to see a man in a kilt, so I knew we'd crossed the border. Breakfast consisted of a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit. The next stop was Edinburgh where I changed trains for the onward journey to Perth. It arrived at a civilised breakfast hour and I checked in at the North British hotel and  had a full Scottish breakfast. I was collected by someone from the client's factory and did a day's work after meeting the company secretary who was in his office steaming the unfranked stamps off the envelopes from the day's post. This was Scotland remember! In the evening, after I had eaten at the hotel, I met up with a member of the firm's staff for a drink. He proceeded to try and drink me under the table so I had to keep my end up for England. Fortunately back then the bars closed dead on 10pm and a shutter was brought down. The evening drinking sessions went on for the rest of the week; beers with whisky chasers! I was glad when Friday came round so I could get home to recover. I arrived at Victoria station at some dreadfully early hour on Saturday morning and whilst I was waiting for a taxi to arrive a member of the station staff asked me where I wanted to go. When I told him Bleasby he said he would take me there for a quid so I accepted his offer.

I've been to Scotland many times since. When I worked for East Coast Finance they made me the regional accountant for Scotland and I used to catch an early morning plane from EMA to Glasow and stay overnight. One morning in the office I was asked where I'd been the previous evening. I told them I went to a couple of pubs in the Gorbals. They were horrified and I was told in no uncertain terms that was an unsafe thing to do! I quite enjoyed chatting to the locals and had no problems.

We still go to west coast of Scotland for holidays where we rent a cottage by the sea. We would be there now if it wasn't for the virus restrictions. I love Scotland and can't wait to get back. I would like to live there but my wife dislikes the Scots!

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An interesting tale Phil. I too have enjoyed Scotland when we went on steam weekend. Took in the Waverley, the Sir Walter Scott on Lake Katrine and a trip on the West Highland railway. Thing was, my wife couldn't get porridge  anywhere, until the last morning, she resigned herself to Weetabix and partial Scottish breakfast. When finished, a young harrased waitress rushed over with a steaming bowl of porridge, so I said " you'd better eat it now they've been out to get some oats". Won't repeat what she said. Would love to go back. B.

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My late wife and I had a driving holiday in Scotland in 1967.  Mostly B&B so we felt like we got to know the locals a bit in each place.  We were treated really well and generously, even being invited to join with them for supper if we arrived a bit early.  No extra charge.  I can't say I've ever met a mean Scotsman.

We often wondered if they thought we were honeymooners.  I was 22 and she was 21.  Folks were too polite to ask directly.  We'd actually been married almost two years.

If I ever moved back to the UK  (doubtful now) I think I'd like to live up in the highlands somewhere far from a city.

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Ben....I live just an hour or so south of the Appalachians.  Mrs L is from that neck of the woods in Tennessee.  I often call her a Hillbilly.  She uses sayings like, "I'm fixin' to..."  Uses quite a lot of English sayings that you would know too.  Likes Cornbread and Grits and quite a few foods I'd never heard of until I came here.  

I think it's because a lot of her ancestors came from the Norfolk area.  Seems to be more folks of UK descent here than there was in Canada.   There's a lot of Scots and Irish descendants up there too. When I listen to Bluegrass and some of their other folk music I detect a lot of similarities to Scottish and Irish country music.

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10 hours ago, annswabey said:

Col.  I was so pleased to listen to Gigli singing Vesti la Giubbia.  My Dad's favourite -a normal working class bloke with a desperately poor background, who loved operatic arias. 

 

That brought back memories for me because my grandad - who lived in Radford and worked at Players - had a thing about Italian opera. They never had a television set but did have a record player, and one of my memories of visiting them is hearing my grandad play records (including 78s).

 

At the time I didn't really understand what I was hearing (and I didn't particularly like it) but in retrospect I now know it was Italian opera. I'm still not very fond of it, but whenever I hear it, it brings back memories of visiting that house in the 1960s.

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I don't mind operas. Never understood them but nice to listen to. Now I find they are more interesting when listening to them. When I saw the video of Gigli I thought what a strange title as I'd never heard of it and translated seemed an unlikely title for opera.Then listening to it, one phrase is "laugh, clown" and I would have said that was something in the title.

I enjoy listening and watching the young men called Volo. I watched them grow on tv and now they travel the world doing concerts, opera as well as other serious music. Three very disciplined and pleasant young men.

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I am not a lover of opera, the sooner the fat lady sings the better as far as I am concerned. It may be due to the fact that it was pushed down our throats at school. It sounds like someone scraping their nails down an old glass blackboard to me with a lot of people shouting and screaming.

It would not be good for us all to like and dislike the same thing, each to their own musical pleasure

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I am not an opera fan, either, although I do like choral music and have sung in several choirs.  While I'm not a Verdi fan, I do like the Requiem. Mainly, my interest in music is greatest up to the late 1700s and is mainly concentrated around early music and plainchant.  That said, I love Vaughan-Williams, Butterworth, Finzi and some other, later, composers.  Stockhausen, John Cage and Einaudi you can keep!

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Way back when I was an adolescent.. I was, as I am still.. mad about music.  Thing is, due to terminal lack of funds and not even a decent radio in our house, I grabbed my music wherever I could.

 

One such vehicle was a film called 'It's Trad Dad'.  At the time, my pop sensibilities were added to by a love of 'Trad', as represented at the time by the likes of Acker Bilk, Chris Barber, Kenny Ball, Bob Wallis, Monty Sunshine, Mike Cotton, Ken Colyer, Humphrey Lyttleton and Co.

 

This film.. like almost all of the genre, was total rubbish from the point of view of the plot...  There wasn't one.. other than  a sort of 'Let's Do The Show Right Here! combined with 'Teenagers take on The Establishment', in similar fashion to 'The Young Ones'.  But that's not the point.  It was the music which made the film for me and for years I've looked for it in vain.

 

So.. fast forward to yesterday when I decided, more in hope than expectation.. to watch a film from Talking Pictures, called 'Ring A Ding Rhythm'.

I soon realised that the film was very familiar and discovered that it was in fact 'It's Trad Dad!', under the guise of its alternative American title.

So.. I enjoyed an hour or so of all those Trad bands listed above.  Yet.. I also saw people like Del Shannon, Gene Vincent, the Paris Sisters and.. memorably.. Gene McDaniels.  McDaniels performing 'Another Tear Falls'.. yet another of the originals later covered by the Walker Bros. I didn't recall any of those from the original film. Was I just not tuned into them at the time? Or were they added in for the American Audience and just not in the film I saw?

 

Whatever...

 

 

 

I absolutely loved the Temperance Seven.  ( There were nine of them)

They played the fool.. but were all excellent musicians.  I was always worried that the singer 'Whispering' Paul Mc Dowell..wouldn't make it to the microphone in time.. but he always did...

Paul Mc Dowell continued to appear as an actor on TV for many years and left us in 2016.

 

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'Live it up' 1963 is an interesting watch that was on Talking Picture's, about a year ago, if I remember, David Hemmings, features Steve Marriott and Mitch Mitchell, possibly also Blackmore but could be confusing two films here.

 

Payed 125 quid in 1981 for Zeppelin at Knebworth on VHS..how times change!

 

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I saw Live It Up recently.  I did enjoy it.  I also saw the Billy Fury vehicle 'Play It Cool.'  They are all little gems in their own way,

 

I still rate Zep as the most overrated band of the modern era.. with the possible exception of  U2.

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Today I have started listening to the Joni Mitchell Archives which I purchased recently.  I decided to buy both the 5CD box set, the vinyl album of her early demo recording in 1963, and the triple vinyl of her performance in 1967 at Canterbury House.  Well.. it's not as if I'm spending much on holidays.. or down the pub.  At this time almost nobody here had heard of her.

 

 

Part of the way through the first disc, which is 9 songs recorded for Joni at CFQC AM in 1963, to use as a Demo. Plus a live set at somewhere called the Half Beat... and other stuff.


It's wonderful. I've always had a special affection for 'historic' recordings..and even more so if they are of musical heroes/heroines. Joni's voice is clear as a bell and she is bang on pitch. I'm still staggered that such stuff has seemingly been hidden, and in some cases I think 'lost' for more than half a century.

In the same way that early Ray Charles recordings from the late 1940s on the Downbeat and Swingtime labels betray his attempts to emulate Nat 'King' Cole.. Joni's voice and phrasing here owes much to Joan Baez. But... there's enough of Joni's own voice, self-accompaniment etc... to point to her future. All she had to do.. like Charles.. was to learn to trust her own vocals, and unlike Ray, to begin to write the phenomenal stuff of her own which soon followed.

 

Joni is a World Treasure.

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And a couple of years later she was producing some of the greatest music of all time:

 

 

And of course she painted the cover art too.

 

 

Peerless.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

A haunting piece of music linked to some harrowing footage of the absolute stupidity of war. Below are some Australian songs about the same subject from an Australian perspective.  The first written by Eric Bogle in 1971, born in Scotland, now living near Adelaide

 

This one from 1983, a song that explores the impact of the war on young Australians fighting in Vietnam sung by John Schumann and Redgum

 

Another from the Vietnam era the hard rocking anthem Khe Sahn by Jimmy Barnes lead singer of Cold Chisel again about the aftermath of the Vietnam war (Turn your speakers and the bass way up for this one)

 

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Oz, that first video really got to me - it really shows the horrors of war on a personal level.... and the second one, particularly because of the youth of the soldiers.   Wars are disgusting and I feel so, so sad and angry that negotiations sometimes fail and war become necessary.

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