I was not originally a fan of old-time string bands, but I've since changed
About five years ago I moved to a mid-western area where old-time was the
predominant sound. While some of the individual bands sound like the
stereotype of things not to like about the style -- whiney tone, too much of
the same key, no differentiation between A and B parts, or even between
tunes in a medley -- other bands firmly put those stereotypes to rest. Very
creative arrangements, a strong sense of fun, strong sense of phrasing. I've
met some wonderful musicians who play old time.
In addition, I learned that calling with old-time bands called for different
skills from me. I also began to appreciate that a tune that might sound too
much the same for a contra could really cook up a great square dance.
So, I believe it's the combination of music, caller and dancers that make
the fun, and given the right circumstances (and a good fit between caller
and band), your dance might do well with some old-time music in the mix.
My two cents,
On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 8:30 AM, Merle Mceldowney <
I have never made it to the Ralph Page dance weekend. There is an issue
that I have been stuck with that their web site provoked.
We will be discussing this at our semi annual meeting:
Old time string bands
To get more people (and young people)at our dances we need to have good
music that drives dances. Old time string bands do not do that.
So do we continue to hire them, the occasional dissatisfaction of our
dancers (who look foreword to the weekly dance) to preserve that part of
On Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 7:53 AM, Chris Weiler (SW)
Once again, it's time for the annual Ralph Page Dance Legacy Weekend.
again, everyone from the SharedWeight lists is
invited to join us for
on Saturday and Sunday. We push a bunch of tables
together and talk about
whatever we want. Calling, communities, music. There are always people
bring food to share, so feel free to join the
The RPDL weekend is a special and unique weekend. There you can meet the
key movers and shakers of the contra dance revival. Network with and
from people who have made the dance community
their passion for decades.
Plus have a lot of fun with some really excellent dancers.
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For the good are always the merry,
Save by an evil chance,
And the merry love the fiddle
And the merry love to dance. ~ William Butler Yeats