Sunday, August 30, 2015

Aphorism No. 75 (One of a series; collect 'em all!)

It's never too late to die.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

How To Pick "Edelweiss" On The Five-String Banjo, In the Ancient Three-Finger Earl Scruggs Style

"The folkies who discovered the banjo and bluegrass in the 1950s and '60s were sweeping up an instrument notable now for its all-white, pure white, lily white associations.  The high lonesome sound, echoing from mountain top to mountain top, more pure even than Julie Andrews singing "Edelweiss" on Broadway [yes, I knew....that was the point.... duh!], was most often a product of white guys who'd listened to race records, just as Jimmie Rodgers' yodels were a brilliant way for a white guy to sing a blues falsetto.  The folk revivalists, fed full of romantic notions about a pre-industrial purity of culture, hunted Scruggs-style Mastertone banjos, as gimmicky a piece of mass-produced Rube Goldberg-inspired farm-implement as anything Mark Twain ever invested in.  The only thing purer, whiter, more proper would have been a certified albino dulcimer twanger."
[Next paragraph commencing with "Dulcimer queen Jean Ritchie...." ]