Day: September 27, 2008

Thank God for the Mariners

Well, last evening our hapless Washington Nationals lost their 100th game of the season…an easy-to-understand measure of futility in a 162-game season.  While the Phillies and Brewers are hoping to finish off the Mets and snare the last two spots in the NL playoffs, and the Twins and White Sox battle down to the wire in the AL Central, our Nats are fighting with the Seattle Mariners for worst record in baseball.  Going into the last two games, the Mariners have lost 101 and the Nationals 100.  That rainout for the Nats on Thursday evening, which won’t be replayed, may keep us out of the cellar! Wait ’til next year. DJB

John Work, III: Recording Black Culture

My father recently sent along a copy of a new CD from Spring Fed Records entitled John Work, III:  Recording Black Culture.  This is a recording of great interest for anyone who cares about African American culture in the South in the mid-20th century.  A Fisk University professor, Work helped the better-known folklorist Alan Lomax collect songs in the African American community, but he also collected songs on his own.  Late last year, the New York Times published a terrific article on this CD and Work’s efforts to record African-Americans. Where Mr. Lomax tended to treat black vernacular music as an artifact in need of preservation, Mr. Work sought to document it as it was unfolding.  Thus on “Recording Black Culture,” instead of spirituals harking back to the 19th century, we hear febrile gospel shouting set to the cadences of what soon would become rhythm and blues and rock ’n’ roll. Bruce Nemerov, who won a Grammy Award for the liner notes to Recording Black Culture, spoke at the Rutherford County Historical Society, which was …

Two Months of Great Acoustic Music Coming Up

For all lovers of traditional and acoustic music in the Washington, DC area, there are some terrific concerts coming up over the next two months. Monday, September 29 – The Carolina Chocolate Drops at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage (Free!).  A terrific band playing in the African American string band tradition of the Southern mountains.  Check out the video below. Monday, September 29 – Kevin Burke and Cal Scott for the Institute of Musical Traditions.  Yes, this day brings an embarrassment of riches, as just about the best Irish fiddler on the planet plays at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church on Old Georgetown Road in Rockville. Monday, October 6 – Nightingale, a great contra band, for IMT at St. Mark’s in Rockville. Saturday, November 1 – The Infamous Stringdusters play for the DC Bluegrass Union’s fall concert in Falls Church.  Catch one of the hot young bands in bluegrass. Monday, November 24 – David Grier, one of the great guitar flatpickers of his generation, plays for the Monday night IMT concert at St. Mark’s. Use the comments …