Sunday, November 13, 2005

Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

I'm going to write about Thursday Nights because Saturday Nights are not where it's at in Spring Hill. For instance last night... Oh God I forgot! I'm sworn to secrecy. All I can say is that it involved a late evening dash to the pharmacist, Swisser being silly and Ian being stoical.

But Thursday nights - they're much better for Thursday nights are music nights. At the moment the group consists of stalwarts Bert and Glen, usually Ploppy Pants, Billy and Johnny . Then there's Hannah and whichever of her chaps she brings along. Very occasionally Joe comes and things get serious when he's around. But Ian has moved on to a band that actually gets gigs. And that would be Banjo Man's band.

Now the Thursday night thing has been mainly bluegrass from the start although people have brought different things to it. Joe, for instance, can play anything. He used to be the saxaphonist in a showband many years ago. He is really into teaching music and currently coaches an Orange band and another class that is being funded by some of that cultural money that is floating around. He and his wife also teach ballroom dancing but there's none of that (yet) on Thursday evenings.

Bert's not so crazy about the bluegrass stuff. He likes traditional Irish as he finds it more intricate and challenging. Glen likes anything with a folky tinge. Well he does play the mandolin. Ploppy Pants, another banjo man, is a bluegrass fan. The rest of them (the guitarists) just seem to be happy to play anything thats going on. Just to get the practice in y'know.

Hannah doll told me on Thursday that she had asked one of her mates along. I says fine but kidded her a bit that if she keeps bringing mates along the next thing everybody will be sitting around learning Nirvana songs. She pooh-poohed this.

Several hours later I entered the room to a chorus of 'in the pines' in the pines' as they were going over the good old Leadbelly song (in Nirvanesque mode) and how I chuckled. Especially at the sight of Ploppy Pants (a hillbilly to his very soul) sitting there clutching his banjo and glowering. Fruitlessly I tried to explain to him that the songs Leadbelly performed formed part of the roots of the music that became bluegrass etc. but he was unmollified.

Maybe this from Bliss will cheer him up. I had a lot of trouble sorting out those links. There are other good ones that are aimed specifically at banjo players but unfortunately I may have to 'phone in stupid' today as inspired by Marc and some others.

If y'all do manage to get to the amusements on The Strait of Messia remember that a lot, an awful lot, of hillbillies came from around these Norn Iron and Scotland parts. That's your cousin you might be chortling at.


Ronni said...

Husband likes American Civil War songs. It is true that many of them have their roots in Irish and Scots music.

Nelly said...

I'll guess he favours the Confederate ones? Well they did have the better tunes ;)