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Ted Lehmann
Apr-04-2018, 10:54am
With spring on the way and Merlefest just around the corner, I thought I'd take a look at some of the big summer mixed music festivals that have received so much attention in recent years. I've included the some of the fesitvals' own promo videos as examples of the vibe they wish to create and foster. Enjoy, and I look forward to your comments. - Ted

http://nodepression.com/article/when-bluegrass-goes-big

DataNick
Apr-04-2018, 11:15am
Ted,

No disrespect, but out of curiosity, are these threads you're posting related to some type of post graduate work in psychology or the social sciences?

Ted Lehmann
Apr-04-2018, 2:56pm
Ted,

No disrespect, but out of curiosity, are these threads you're posting related to some type of post graduate work in psychology or the social sciences?

I'll choose to take that question seriously. I write the way I write. I don't view my writing as scholarly, but I think there are both psychological, sociological, and cultural elements involved in the bluegrass that are worth exploring at a level which I think is both clear and understandable. I've been a member of the bluegrass community for more than twenty years now, with most of the way I enjoy the music bound together by live performances and reading about music and its musicians. Some of the most satisfying events of my life are bound up in the friendships we've made and experiences we've had during that period.

catmandu2
Apr-04-2018, 3:22pm
Enjoyed your article Ted.

No idea how this could be viewed as an academic style or orientation..:confused:

jaycat
Apr-04-2018, 4:55pm
Don't know what it has to do with bluegrass, but it takes a lot of cojones to cover Son House... nicely done.

DataNick
Apr-04-2018, 6:37pm
...No idea how this could be viewed as an academic style or orientation..:confused:

The eliciting of opinions that could be could be classified, ranked, and then put into a statistical model to support a hypothesis re: Bluegrass attitudes and changing values, etc.

JH Murray
Apr-05-2018, 7:06am
If bluegrass is a living musical form it will evolve. All musical innovations grow out of jam sessions. If it remains static and insular then it will die. Look at how the other musical forms that developed in the 20th century in the USA have all evolved. Jazz today is not what Louis Armstrong played in the 1920's. The blues today is not what Robert Johnson played in the 1930's. Country & Western music is not the same as what Hank Williams played in the 1940's. Rock & Roll today is not what Buddy Holly played in the 1950's. Hip Hop today is not what Grandmaster Flash laid down in the 1980s. All of these sounds are foundational touchstones, but each of these genres continues to evolve. Viva la evolution!

Timbofood
Apr-05-2018, 1:28pm
Interesting, it only took 7 posts to get to an “evolution” comment and, it didn’t come from me!
As far as I know Bluegrass will probably never go “Big”, medium at best. And not to burst your balloon Ted, but I’ve been breathing this music for over 40 years so, keep writing, keep learning, I’m sure you will have as good a time as I have for another 20+.

catmandu2
Apr-07-2018, 4:51pm
The eliciting of opinions that could be could be classified, ranked, and then put into a statistical model to support a hypothesis re: Bluegrass attitudes and changing values, etc.

Yes, I suppose one could form a hypothesis to test in examining various aspects of music. I just didn't see anything like that here (in the OP's article).

DataNick
Apr-07-2018, 6:49pm
Yes, I suppose one could form a hypothesis to test in examining various aspects of music. I just didn't see anything like that here (in the OP's article).

Well that's why I'm called "DataNick"...LOL! I've worked over 13 years as an IT Data Analyst, worked in Healthcare IT as a Quality Mgt Coordinator, took Behavioral Stats in college, have used SPSS and SAS professionally, so I tend to look at things thru those glasses often. The common (to me) theme of at least 2 of the threads seemed to be, Bluegrass is changing, trad crowd doesn't like it, new younger crowd does, what do you think? Answers posted in the threads could easily be subjected to statistical significance testing to support that hypothesis, and if I was authoring a paper/study for post graduate purposes, I'd sure use this medium as an easy way to accomplish it without hitting the streets with a clipboard doing a more "traditional" type of survey. I meant no ill will towards the OP, I was genuinely curious...

Timbofood
Apr-07-2018, 7:39pm
Wise outlook, Nick!
It would indeed save shoeleather!

catmandu2
Apr-07-2018, 8:19pm
Well that's why I'm called "DataNick"...LOL! I've worked over 13 years as an IT Data Analyst, worked in Healthcare IT as a Quality Mgt Coordinator, took Behavioral Stats in college, have used SPSS and SAS professionally, so I tend to look at things thru those glasses often. The common (to me) theme of at least 2 of the threads seemed to be, Bluegrass is changing, trad crowd doesn't like it, new younger crowd does, what do you think? Answers posted in the threads could easily be subjected to statistical significance testing to support that hypothesis, and if I was authoring a paper/study for post graduate purposes, I'd sure use this medium as an easy way to accomplish it without hitting the streets with a clipboard doing a more "traditional" type of survey. I meant no ill will towards the OP, I was genuinely curious...

We need all that? - to ascertain that things are changing; young folks like something different from older folks, yada yada...? :popcorn:

JL277z
Apr-08-2018, 5:25am
Well that's why I'm called "DataNick"...LOL! I've worked over 13 years as an IT Data Analyst, ...

Cool! :mandosmiley: You IT folk have my genuine respect, anyone that can figure out any of that IT stuff is pretty awesome in my view. :)

I dabble in tech (it fascinates me) but I seldom manage to get very far beyond the "knows enough to be dangerous" point... :)) and yeah just a couple weeks ago I *again* (second time in 10 years) plugged a power-strip into itself :redface: :disbelief: :)) and then spent about five minutes pawing through cables trying to figure out why it didn't work. :whistling: :)) And yeah I'd thought that was just a "tech-support nightmare story" thing until I found myself doing that! Twice! Lol!

Although I didn't have to call tech support that time, haven't talked with any computer tech support since 1997 despite daily use of Mac, then Linux for a few years (erm well there wasn't any Linux tech support option anyway heh), then Windows. But that 1997 incident was when I called Apple (my first modern computer was a Mac, I'd previously only toyed with a Commodore 64 for a few days) and the tech guy told me to "click the Apple menu", I was like "Click the what??" He patiently explained to me that the pretty rainbow-colored Apple logo in the upper left corner of the screen, contained a menu (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_menu#System_7.0%E2%80%939.2.2) that would appear if you clicked on the little apple. I was like, "Whoa! I did *not* know that would do that! How cool is that!" I'd previously thought it was just a decorative brand/logo they put there to remind the customer which brand of computer they had. :whistling: Ha! I had no reason to suspect it might also have functionality, who would've guessed that? That was my 'wake-up call' henceforth in all apps and OS's ever since then, to go actively *searching* for non-obvious stuff to click on :grin: (gets me in trouble sometimes! I got pretty good at reinstalling System software after deleting things that I didn't think were necessary) to make sure I'm not missing out on important preferences settings and system info etc. I mean it's not like these darn tech thingies come with proper Owner's Manuals. As it turned out, my 1997 tech-support person determined that that particular computer had a bad "logic board" (Mac jargon for "motherboard") and wasn't my fault (nothing I could have done would have damaged it thusly), and they sent me a whole new replacement computer via 2nd-day freight, which was pretty cool of them. :mandosmiley: Anyway!


... The common (to me) theme of at least 2 of the threads seemed to be, Bluegrass is changing, trad crowd doesn't like it, new younger crowd does, what do you think? Answers posted in the threads could easily be subjected to statistical significance testing to support that hypothesis, and if I was authoring a paper/study for post graduate purposes, I'd sure use this medium as an easy way to accomplish it without hitting the streets with a clipboard doing a more "traditional" type of survey. I meant no ill will towards the OP, I was genuinely curious...

One of the projects that our high school sociology teacher had everyone in the class do, was to spend a week approaching random strangers (long before there was an internet) with a particular personal question, and then see what the person's response and reaction would be.

We were instructed to write down and keep track of all the different reactions we got from all the different people, and turn in that data at the end of the week.

Whereupon the teacher and all the class members "compared notes" to see if there were any consistent patterns in the responses, and to discuss the findings.

There have been a number of threads here at this forum in recent years, that make me wonder if *we* aren't unknowingly part of someone's sociology study or experiment, to see how far someone can go with proposing certain ideas before meeting with objections. Or just to test the general level of internet forum politeness etc in different types of forums.

I'm not worried nor offended by such possibilities, I suppose in a broader sense maybe we're all just guinea pigs in someone else's various experiments, but a person can't help but wonder sometimes.

DataNick
Apr-08-2018, 11:52am
We need all that? - to ascertain that things are changing; young folks like something different from older folks, yada yada...? :popcorn:

Lord Kelvin (Wlilliam Thomson) aptly stated:" When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. It may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarecely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science."

That statement hangs on the wall of my office! The OP's articles could have been used as a hypothesis to scientifically ascertain a population's beliefs about Bluegrass. The medium of the Mandolin Cafe could then have been used for data collection. This is not uncommon for doing a study/writing a paper. Academia is not interested in opinions, for they are like armpits:they stink and everyone has a couple.
Obviously this wasn't the OP's intent, I just questioned whether it was, that's all.

ralph johansson
Apr-08-2018, 12:15pm
If bluegrass is a living musical form it will evolve. All musical innovations grow out of jam sessions. If it remains static and insular then it will die. Look at how the other musical forms that developed in the 20th century in the USA have all evolved. Jazz today is not what Louis Armstrong played in the 1920's. The blues today is not what Robert Johnson played in the 1930's. Country & Western music is not the same as what Hank Williams played in the 1940's. Rock & Roll today is not what Buddy Holly played in the 1950's. Hip Hop today is not what Grandmaster Flash laid down in the 1980s. All of these sounds are foundational touchstones, but each of these genres continues to evolve. Viva la evolution!


Seems to me there are two kinds of labels: stylistic and genetic ones. "Jazz" and "country" are examples of the latter, bebop" and "Bluegrass" of the former, at least that's the way it turned out. Frankly I don't care much about labels. Bluegrass is just an example of American string band music.

When I was more deeply into that genre, during the folk boom of the 60's, some of us were influenced by a lot of music available on labels like Vanguard and Folkways, The New Lost City Ramblers (esp. stuff from Charlie Poole's N C Ramblers), Dr Souchon's 6 7/8 String Band from New Orleans, the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Dave Van Ronk's Ragtime Jug Band and Doc Watson's Good Deal album. For instance, my band worked up arrangements of Sister Kate and Peach Picking Time in Georgia, inspired by the latter two albums.

catmandu2
Apr-08-2018, 1:25pm
Lord Kelvin (Wlilliam Thomson) aptly stated:" When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind. It may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarecely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science."

That statement hangs on the wall of my office! The OP's articles could have been used as a hypothesis to scientifically ascertain a population's beliefs about Bluegrass. The medium of the Mandolin Cafe could then have been used for data collection. This is not uncommon for doing a study/writing a paper. Academia is not interested in opinions, for they are like armpits:they stink and everyone has a couple.
Obviously this wasn't the OP's intent, I just questioned whether it was, that's all.

What question - concerning a given population's beliefs about BG - would you like science to answer?

DataNick
Apr-08-2018, 3:15pm
What question - concerning a given population's beliefs about BG - would you like science to answer?

Respectfully you're missing the boat: not science to answer but to take a populations responses and scientifically qualify them, instead of relying on conjecture, impressions and the like. So given a hypothesis like: a given population (Mandolin Cafe respondents) believes that what is being called bluegrass today is still legitimately bluegrass. Qualify the responses, rank them, run the numbers, and you'll be able to say that based on statistical significance testing, for that population, the hyposthesis stands or it doesn't.

catmandu2
Apr-08-2018, 3:34pm
Respectfully you're missing the boat: not science to answer but to take a populations responses and scientifically qualify them, instead of relying on conjecture, impressions and the like. So given a hypothesis like: a given population (Mandolin Cafe respondents) believes that what is being called bluegrass today is still legitimately bluegrass. Qualify the responses, rank them, run the numbers, and you'll be able to say that based on statistical significance testing, for that population, the hyposthesis stands or it doesn't.

So, the question is: "What is being called bluegrass today is still legitimately bluegrass"?

I think you'll have challenges with a myriad of variables, and validity. The "data" will have utility only as effectual as its design.

catmandu2
Apr-08-2018, 4:16pm
But if it's numeric data you want, why not just start a query/poll? Do your best to operationalize "bluegrass" and "legitimate" and tally up the responses. Then you could play with the numbers all you want.

(Operationalizing "BG" and "legit" will be the hard part :whistling: )

DataNick
Apr-08-2018, 4:18pm
So, the question is: "What is being called bluegrass today is still legitimately bluegrass"?

I think you'll have challenges with a myriad of variables, and validity. The "data" will have utility only as effectual as its design.

That is true, and you would have to sub-classify your population (musicians vs non-musicians, musicians who play bluegrass vs those who don't, age ranges, etc.)

My question to the OP was only if he was using this as a way to do such a study/paper...didn't mean to open up a can of worms.

It amazes me that in our society today that people are put off and offended by 2 words: why and no.

catmandu2
Apr-08-2018, 4:46pm
People are funny

Timbofood
Apr-09-2018, 8:47am
Nick, it s always a can(or flipping barrel) of worms on this subject of what “is or is not” ant anymore, it rather wearies me. Time to go clean the kitchen floor while listening to Bill!

Ivan Kelsall
Apr-14-2018, 3:23am
IMHO - It's easier these days to pick out the 'non-trad' bands using ''Bluegrass instrumentation'' to play diverse forms of acoustic music ie. Greensky Bluegrass / The Infamous Stringdusters & others. I think that there are maybe still more bands playing Bluegrass music of the 'trad.' style than the new guys. I put these newer bands in the same category as ''Newgrass Revival'',who, when they emerged were widely accepted amongst the trad. Bluegrassers like myself. I simply loved the 'new sound' & the non-trad. instrumental breaks. For me,it was a change that i just accepted & it was darned good music.

Why we can't just accept the fact that not every banjo / mandolin / guitar / fiddle player wants to play 'trad.' Bluegrass. We accepted 'Newgrass Revival' without predicting the 'end of Bluegrass',so why not accept the new guys the same way.

As long as there are still plenty of the trad. bands around,i'm personally ok with the situation,as well as the fact that i must have a couple of 100 recordings of trad. Bluegrass to listen to if i really get desperate,
Ivan;)

Ted Lehmann
Apr-14-2018, 7:18am
As long as there are still plenty of the trad. bands around,i'm personally ok with the situation,as well as the fact that i must have a couple of 100 recordings of trad. Bluegrass to listen to if i really get desperate,
Ivan;)[/QUOTE]

Thanks for this, Ivan. I'm convinced that anyone serious about roots music, no matter where they enter, will eventually find their way back not only to the founders, but to the pre-cursors of this music. They should hear the words, "big bang of country music" or see the date December 8, 1945 and know precisely what they stand for. - Ted

Ivan Kelsall
Apr-15-2018, 3:36am
Ted - I totally agree, & said as much in another thread re.Bluegrass music. Sooner or later,the 'origins of the music' begin to look very attractive to folks who've maybe neglected to explore them in the beginining. That was one of the reasons that i found 'Old Timey' music so appealing. Not simply because it was good music in it's own right,but it was what my beloved Bluegrass music had as it's foundation. I have a few of the Smithsonian 'Folkways' recordings of Old Timey music & they're gems !,
Ivan

Willie Poole
Apr-15-2018, 3:13pm
I have to disagree that The New Grass Revival was accepted by traditionalist...I went to see them at the Red Fox Inn in Bethesda Md. one of their first shows and close to half of the audience left after they turned up the electric bass guitar...Sure all of them were great pickers and I guess they played what they liked which is fine but the show was stated as "Bluegrass" and at that time it meant just what we expected, "Traditional Bluegrass" like we were used to at The Red Fox Inn...I will admit that it did open the doors for some more of the progressive bluegrass bands to get booked there, Cliff Waldron was a regular there and he played quite a mixture of songs that weren`t originally bluegrass but his band played them in a traditional bluegrass manner....

Another thing that I believe is that it is what caused the Red Fox Inn to stop having bands playing there because they lost a lot of their regular customers when NGR and other such bands were playing...Red Fox Inn was one of the most popular bluegrass places on the east coast but they sure lost a lot of fans when they let the progressive bands play, it may not have been really all about the music but the fans that followed them just didn`t spend much money when listening to the bands, they would nurse a drink for hours....

Willie