Sunday, December 17, 2006

Folk Culture

At tonight's concert, the performers were Bridget Ball, Christopher Shaw, John Kirk, Kevin McKrell, and Brian Melick. In my world, they are all famous people, but I realize that most of the people outside of folk have never heard of them. They don't usually all play together, it was just for this show.

I was sitting there thinking there's something I don't like about Kevin McKrell. I decided maybe it was that he's part of the Irish music culture rather than part of the folk music culture. I like folk music for the sound of it of course, but I also like the culture. I like being around people who share my values. It's the same type of culture as the people who are Quakers or who go to food co-ops. Just as folk music is music to be sung by everyone rather than just by professional musicians, in Quakerism (at least the unprogrammed version), anyone can speak, rather than professional ministers. And in food co-ops, all the members share in owning the store.

It's not just the participatory nature that makes those things what they are. A group could be participatory but not share my culture and values in other ways.

This is not what this post was going to be about. I had three things to write about 1) musicians 2) values 3) the past year. This was going to be the post about musicians but it turned into the post about values instead. Before I get any farther astray with the values, let's get back to musicians. I was thinking that what bothered my about Kevin McKrell was that he was from a different culture or had different values. But it's not like being part of folk culture correlates exactly with me liking a musician. Bridget Ball, Christopher Shaw, and John Kirk epitomize folk culture. But of all the musicians performing, it was Brian Melick I'm the most excited about. For some reason, I don't think of Brian Melick as epitomizing folk culture as much as the others. He just doesn't have that crunchy granola vibe or something. However, it seems logically that I should think of him as folky, in that he does get people involved in making their own music. He teaches people to make drums.

Anyhow, the reason I like Brian Melick has a lot to do with the personality that he shows on stage.

So my conclusion is that my liking a musician has a lot to do with who they seem to be as a person. It's not necessarily about fitting my idea of the folk culture, it's just there has to be something that appeals to me.

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