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ragtime

Welcome to our blog

Greetings folks!
 

Thanks for checking out our blog page. We'll be keeping up with all the places we go and the things we see and do along the way here. Also, we get asked a lot of questions about our instruments, songs, the artists we draw from, and the songs we write ourselves. We'll be sure to keep you not only informed about us, but we'll talk about our music and the things we use to make it. If you have a question you'd like to see answered shoot us an email or talk to us at a show and you just might see it pop up here.

As for today, I'd like to talk about the term "Roots music". Namely, what does that mean and imply to us and what do we hope it says to our listeners when we use that term. It gets said a lot that American music has a complex and mixed history when it comes to our musical heritage, it's long considered the birthplace of the blues, jazz, and certain kinds of pop and rock styles as well. It has also given us the banjo, and arguably the autoharp, mountain dulcimer, and others. Suffice it to say, whether we invented the instrument or not, the rich heritages and cultures that crossed paths in our old American cities swapped techniques, songs, rhythms, and stories together that soon made the music we have today. When I think of American roots, I don't think about blues or jazz as they are now, I think about Scott Joplin penning the now famous "Maple Leaf Rag" or Stephen Foster writing "Oh! Susanna" even before that. There were others before them, but many more after them. Their long shadow over American music casts down upon the songs of Woody Guthrie, the trickling notes of Duke Ellington, and in between those men the bouncing and busy guitars of Blind Blake, Mississippi John Hurt, and Robert Johnson to name a few.  When I think roots, I think of these times. To me, the 19th century composers turned songsters are kind of like our musical seeds with the recording artists of the 20's 30's and 40's reaching into the Americana soil and adding to that sound the nutrients of our core values and issues at the time, racial tensions, economic disparity, bank robbers, train hoppers, steam boats, and highways.  It is my wish to not stay firmly planted in this era of music but to let it permeate the fabric of my songs, I know Rocky feels this way too. Preservation is important of course, and I always hope that more people look into our roots and find the common musical heritage that's a part of all of us. Music has changed a lot from the days of peddling songs on staff paper from minstrel show to pub trying to get published but I believe our core values have never changed. Maybe you have a different image in your head wen you hear "roots music" and I'd love to hear it! Whatever the case may be, musicians are often self-defined and that's a large part of our definition. 

Thanks for readin!

-Jeff