Category Archives: Music

when your shoulders start shaking

What I remember from National Geographic videos  or from what I have seen of the “african style” numbers performed by dance companies – African dancing seems to involve moving whole bodies, especially the mid-section, to drum-heavy music.  I am no dumby – I know that I can’t generalize all of the African cultures’ dance styles into one category or image.  But I was definitely not expecting to find the kind of dance that is prevalent in this culture.  The first cultural celebration I attended a year and a half ago surprised me when I saw how this African culture moves their bodies – by popping their shoulders and necks in and out.  Way, way more intense then the chicken-style dance you are probably thinking about. For the most part, people never move their lower bodies at all, except to maybe “sway” around with the music.  All the energy is focused in the chest and upper back. People will face each other and try and match the others movements.  A very intense back and forth of varying pulses and patterns – all within the beat of the music.

Now, if you go to a special performance with dancers and music, you will see more full-body movement.  Last year, we went to see a showcase of the different regions’ take on the dance. Every few songs, the dancers would change clothes into the appropriate attire for that specific region. It was a load of fun.  The dancers would come into the audience and get the crowd dancing too.  Even with my many years of dance training, I cannot manage to get the hang of it.  I may fair better than some foreigners, but man I sure do look silly.  The nationals enjoy it though.

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Backstage Music

I am so very glad that I grew up around all of this.

I am so very glad that music = family.

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The Ghost of Bill Monroe

On a particular long and winding road, aptly named “The Blue Moon Of Kentucky Highway,” one can often hear the faint tremolo of a far off  mandolin while driving under the glow of a thousand stars.  If you follow that melody, its timbre will grow and you will begin to make out other instruments – the pluck of a banjo, the slow screech of a fiddle, the harmony of southern voices.  This road will take you through memories of rich history and deep-rooted musicality.  It will take you to where it’s hero rests and his legend still lives on.

 

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hardest part of dreamin’ is waitin’ on the body

Fundraising is definitely not the greatest, most fun, or easiest thing to do.  But one thing that I have found that I do like to do is give people a good time…and if they donate some money because of that said “fun” time, then, it is just extra-positive.

The Reneaus exemplified this idea of having a great time while bringing in some dough for a good cause.  They traveled up here from Bowling Green to play a set at The Bard’s Town in my honor. A girl couldn’t ask for better friends (or talented ones).  Louisville got a taste of some exceptional alt-country and rock’n roll tunes.  Hear some for yourself on The Reneaus Facebook Page.

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a gentlemenly-good time

Sometimes I get frustrated at Louisville for not having good music shows.  What if I want to go out, pay 5-8 dollars, hear a good band and have a quality time?  For a city who has fathered some talented acts, it sure doesn’t have many good small venues to attract really good traveling musicians.  I hope that this is changing and continues to for the better.  Last week I visited Gerstle’s Place and was pleasantly surprised.

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