[Marxism] Leon Botstein (the banjo)

sabocat59 at mac.com sabocat59 at mac.com
Sun Mar 29 14:30:49 MDT 2009

Jeremiah wrote:

while i'm happy reading about bela fleck on marxism list, i just have to point out the obviousness of what you are saying. The banjo is actuallyfrom Africa, (i.e. the instrument itself is descended from a traditional african instrument). So, yes 'even bluegrass' is influenced by african music.

Isn't that what Bela Fleck said?

Although it may be obvious to you and those of us raised in the foothills of appalachia, it is not so obvious to quite a few bluegrass aficionados that African music has had an influence on what is prosaically viewed as white people music.   

As I write this I have two images in mind. One is the cover of a Screamin' Jay Hawkins album titled "Black Music for White People", and the other is the musical scene from "Matewan", illustrating the musical interplay between scotch-irish, african, and italian musicians as a mode of empathetic communication and as a precursor to the successful  unionization of the mining camp.  

Don't ask about the Hawkins' cover.  It is a play on taboo subject matter. 

Greg McD
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