Southerly by David Haywood

Read Post

Southerly: Nine Months of Baby Hell

103 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

  • Jake Pollock,

    Glad to help, even if I can't figure out the enigma of a New Zealand infant's obsession with American folk music.

    Unfortunately, banjo music lies a little outside of my range as a dilettante. Nevertheless, a search on archive.org reveals a small trove of banjo tunes recorded on 78s. You could probably follow those 'Old Time Appalachian' tags to find more in that vein.

    The other thing to do would be to have a look at the Smithsonian Folkways catalogue. You might find something he will like there, and a lot of it is available through emusic subscription.

    He might also like something like Woody Guthrie's Dust Bowl Ballads; no banjos, but the lyrics are suitably bleak. I listened to that one on a train going through the Appalachian foothills in Pennsylvania last weekend. Different parts of the country, but the themes of rural poverty and the cruelty of the winds of capitalism and big business were resonant. Although Bob probably won't be too concerned.

    Anyway, early country and folk music is a rich cultural tradition that I don't really know a lot about, like I said (did you notice the songs in French on the Anthology? Now that's something that has dropped out of the narrative of American ethnogenesis). But I know people who do, so I'll ask around next week and see what else I can come up with.

    **REPLY:** Thanks so much for those suggestions, Jake. That's given me a whole bunch of other good leads. I'm going to play Bob the sample tracks and get his opinion (although I might buy the Woody Guthrie for myself anyway). And yes, we certainly did notice the French -- but what dialect is it? Nothing like I learnt at school that's for sure. P.S. The archive.org tip has already been a lifesaver. I've just this moment halted a full-on screaming jag by playing the first banjo tune that came up on your search.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    (did you notice the songs in French on the Anthology? Now that's something that has dropped out of the narrative of American ethnogenesis).

    I’ve been working my way through French Cajun music like Zydeko recently after listening to the lovely Adieu False Heart album By Linda Ronstadt and Ann Savoy. Savoy’s first time recording in English.

    Years ago I had a crack at it through the Acadian Driftwood song from The Band on their Northern Lights - Southern Cross album. This tells the story of the ousting of the French Acadian settlers from the Canadian Maritime Provinces in the Eighteenth century, some of whom settled in Louisiana. It’s also celebrated in Longfellow’s poem 'Evangeline’ and has been taken up by the Cajun descendants as part of their folklore.

    The sound track from the Film ‘The Big Easy’ is a good way into it as well.

    I really enjoy the crossover styles like the duets with Ronstadt but can’t quite get too enthused about all the piano accordions in the traditional Cajun bands like Buckwheat Zydeco or Kings of Cajun.

    I’m still with little Bob though with the original ‘No Depression’ and its wonderful modern interpreters like Uncle Tupelo.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Very pleased to help, David. And still amazed that a baby could have such specific, and extremely obscure, taste. I guess it bodes well.

    And, as Bob (Munro, not the baby) says, the French stuff is from Louisiana. It didn't occur to me, but that would explain the dialect. From googling around a bit, it looks like almost all of it is by one family, the Breaux, who recorded the first Cajun music. One of the songs on that compilation is called Acadian One-Step, which I'm sure The Band knew, as the Anthology was very influential on the folk revival of the 50s and 60s that brought another Bob to New York (he recorded See That My Grave Is Kept Clean on his first album).

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Are you sure that Baby Bob couldn't be soothed by a bit of jazz? I defy anyone, including snippy babies, to resist a bit of Brubeck, or Getz....

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    And of course Bob (the Pulitzer Prize winning one) is a formidable anthologist himself now with his Theme Time Radio Hour.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Which, naturally, has been archived elsewhere.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    And yes, we certainly did notice the French -- but what dialect is it? Nothing like I learnt at school that's for sure.

    Cajun French was my grandmother's first language. It is seventeenth-century French, transplanted to the USA via les Acadiens - hence the wacky dialect and accent. (My parents had a really-French-from-France friend who said that to him, Cajun French sounded like his grandmother speaking with her false teeth removed!)

    Most of my family no longer speaks it fluently - a byproduct of being beaten if you spoke it at school in mid-twentieth century, among other things - but they still insert Cajun French words and sentences into their conversations ('mais non!'), and their word pronounciations are definitely French in many ways, including their stresses on the last syllables of words or phrases. Their sentence formations in English also reflect French grammatical traditions. For example, the repetition of 'me, I' in sentences - 'me, I don't know!' - just as French people say 'Moi, je...' This dialect is now known as Cajun English, and there is a distinct difference between north Louisiana and Cajun country in this regard - you can actually drive from the New Orleans dialect to the Cajun dialect to a generic southern accent within three or four hours.

    Gosh, sorry to go on. I am a part of a rather unusual ethnic group (um, for New Zealand, anyway) and I think the language aspect of it is pretty neat. And the food kicks ass. :)

    (Oh, and Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio Hour is like my favourite thing ever - all the amazing songs the show finds are just a treasure trove. His voice is so soothing, too. And he's funny!)

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    This dialect is now known as Cajun English, and there is a distinct difference between north Louisiana and Cajun country in this regard - you can actually drive from the New Orleans dialect to the Cajun dialect to a generic southern accent within three or four hours.

    For some weird reason I’ve always loved the sounds of the place names in songs from this region, which I’ve never visited or have any connection with. Janis Joplin was ‘busted flat in Baton Rouge’. Lucinda Williams has her doomed character in ‘Lake Charles’ born in Nacogdoches, and taking the Louisiana highway to Lake Pontchartrain.

    Hard to make the exotic out of Darfield or Dunsundel. Now hang on wasn’t there something way back….?


    .

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Wow, I'm completely impressed by the erudition of the PAS people on such obscure subjects...

    Jake Pollock wrote:

    ... still amazed that a baby could have such specific, and extremely obscure, taste. I guess it bodes well.

    I'm completely unable to explain his taste in any way. I keep asking Jen: "Was there anything unusual you did when you were pregnant?" She can only think of playing the concertina a lot (which Bob doesn't especially enjoy) and listening to Lucinda Williams.

    Bob Munro wrote:

    And of course Bob (the Pulitzer Prize winning one) is a formidable anthologist himself...

    Thanks for the tip on the other Bob's show (and Jake for his pointer to the archives). I can see that we have lots of fun family listening to do...

    Jackie Clark wrote:

    Are you sure that Baby Bob couldn't be soothed by a bit of jazz? I defy anyone, including snippy babies, to resist a bit of Brubeck, or Getz...

    Bob defies you. And I wish he didn't. Jazz is right up my alley, but makes him scream like a stuck pig. Mind you, it's just occurred to me that we haven't tried him on really old jazz (1920s, etc).

    Danielle wrote:

    Cajun French was my grandmother's first language. It is seventeenth-century French, transplanted to the USA via les Acadiens - hence the wacky dialect and accent.

    Thanks for the fascinating info, Danielle. How exotic you are! Funny, but somehow I just knew that it would be the Canadian's fault. Typical behaviour for a syrup-eating nation, I'm sorry to say.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 993 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    David, my experience is not dissimilar from yours - a child that doesn't sleep and is particular about music.

    A couple of surprises included: Juice Newton's Queen of Hearts (it just came to me one day, god knows why) and the Dixie Chicks Landslide... YouTube's a great diversion... almost all the Muppets duets are pretty well regarded too, particularly Rita Moreno's Fever. In my/her defence however, she also loves John Clarke's Hide and Seeky Bird, Salmonella Dub (someone else earlier reported this success also) and Lyle Lovett.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2239 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    I just knew that it would be the Canadian's fault. Typical behaviour for a syrup-eating nation, I'm sorry to say.

    Don’t knock the Canucks. They whupped American ass in 1812
    where they’ve been cowering below the 49th parallell ever since.

    “A final attempt in 1812 by American General Henry Dearborn to advance north from Lake Champlain failed when his militia refused to advance beyond American territory. In contrast to the American militia, the Canadian militia performed well. French-Canadians, who found the anti-Catholic stance of most of the United States troublesome, and United Empire Loyalists, who had fought for the Crown during the American Revolutionary War, strongly opposed the American invasion.”

    **REPLY:** Believe me, I've heard all about this from my Canadian ex-girlfriend. "And we burnt down Washington DC. And we showed up that US president who said: "taking Canada would be just a matter of marching". And we conquered Maine (but we gave it back). And Canada invented Thanksgiving. And Canada celebrates it on the proper day. With proper maple syrup." Incidentally, try getting a Canadian and American together on the subject of the 1812 war -- they learn totally different historical 'facts' at school, and during the ensuing discussion both sides will generally call for hostilities to be resumed.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    How exotic you are!

    The exoticism thing gets scaled back a tad after I tell people that my mum is from Invercargill. Southland reprazent!

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Janis Joplin was ‘busted flat in Baton Rouge’. Lucinda Williams has her doomed character in ‘Lake Charles’ born in Nacogdoches, and taking the Louisiana highway to Lake Pontchartrain.

    I forgot to say, Bob: being busted flat in Baton Rouge is a grimly depressing prospect: it's all chain restaurants and fratboys. And Lake Charles holds the dubious distinction of being the first big town across the border from Texas on Interstate 10, so it's wall to wall casinos and gambling Houstonians.

    Lake Ponchartrain is, however, rather awe-inspiring. Especially driving for miles and miles across it on that immensely long bridge.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3669 posts Report Reply

  • Bob Munro,

    Thanks Danielle. I guess it says a lot for the songwriter’s skill that they make such depressing places sound exotic. Has anyone done anything with Southland? I seem to remember the 'Invercargill March'.

    Christchurch • Since Aug 2007 • 418 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The War of 1812. This is a favourite for family car trips.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4379 posts Report Reply

  • daleaway,

    Southland... hmmm....

    "I'm proud to be a scourer from Mataura".

    Since Jul 2007 • 181 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Emma Hart wrote:

    The War of 1812. This is a favourite for family car trips.

    Wow, that takes gloating to a whole new level. I'm sending the link to all my American friends right away.

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 993 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Wow, that takes gloating to a whole new level. I'm sending the link to all my American friends right away.

    As an antedote, you may wish to consider The Toronto Song. It even has banjos. Though possibly not enough for Bob.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4379 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Further research (asking a guy at a pub) has turned up the Carolina Chocolate Drops, an African-American group that is reviving the traditions of the 20s and 30s, right down to the name. So, it's new music, but it sounds pretty old. There are some links on the site to downloadable tracks. If nothing else, it will be a good test of Bob's ear for the authentic.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    In light of another thread, I should qualify 'the pub' with 'a sportsbar'. It's the only place in town you can watch the Champions League, and besides, there are no pubs in Pittsburgh.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • Jake Pollock,

    Reviving a dead thread to say Bob may have a soul mate.

    Raumati South • Since Nov 2006 • 489 posts Report Reply

  • David Haywood,

    Absolutely uncanny!

    Bob also loves this tune, and indeed gets it most nights (on the guitar, not banjo).

    In the eternal one-up-manship that is parenthood, I can reveal that Bob is not only a music listener, but also a talented ukuleleist. The song is Malvina Reynolds "We Hate to See them Go" (in case you don't recognize it).

    Thanks also for the tip RE: the Carolina Chocolate Drops. I shall run them past Bob and see how he likes them.

    P.S. We've actually successfully moved him onto tolerating 'They Might Be Giants'. Thank youse God!

    Dunsandel • Since Nov 2006 • 993 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Oh, David. That is seriously lovely stuff. Tears in the eyes and all that. Bless.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Awwww. Srsly, that's the noise my family just made.

    Also, Dude, Beard. Hmmm.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4379 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 4 5 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.