Jack’s Wednesday post is on time for a change –
I suppose everyone, when they reach my advanced age, looks back and is surprised (even amazed) at where their life has taken them.
Here I am in southern Appalachia, in the midst of a glorious and so important region in the history of American traditional music.
When I first got interested in folk music when I was in my late teens and early twenties back in Scotland, I was singing mostly American songs and it wasn’t until a few years later that I discovered my Scottish musical roots.
But I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would end up living here, where many of the songs I was singing back then originated.
Yesterday was pretty crazy in many ways. It was election day here and I was standing for county supervisor (regional councillor in Scotland) and then it finished with Wendy and I performing at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum in Bristol Tennessee. Of course, I was roundly defeated in the election, but that gig – – –
I actually thought that appearing on a CD along with Pete Seeger, Doc Watson and Dolly Parton might be the highlight of my musical journey, but perhaps last night might just equal that.
The concert was well attended by a very enthusiastic crowd and I got to sing The Carter Family’s song ‘The Storms are on the Ocean’ which was recorded close by in 1927 and has fascinated me for years, not least because it contains two verses straight from an ancient Scottish ballad and another that has a strong similarity to one by Robert Burns in ‘Red, Red Rose’.
But, really – the idea of a guy from Dunfermline playing that venue – whodathunkit!!
Wendy and I were very worried beforehand how the audience would react to a program of Scottish songs and ballads, particularly as the promoters were a local arts organization more usually concerned with chamber music, opera and the like. But, we needn’t have been concerned – they were engaged and enthusiastic from start to finish and (not surprisingly) the sound system was really excellent.