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DavRom

 

Posts: 310
Joined: Jul. 16 2015
From: De camino a Sevilla

What is flamenco today? 

to be sure, I don't mean what qualifies as flamenco today

in another thread I read, "flamenco is cante." if so, I wonder why cante aficionados don't proliferate around the world anywhere near as much as guitarra aficionados

why is it that outside Spain the big guitarristas are better known than the big cantaores (or is this true in Spain as well?). what cantaor has achieved international fame like Sabicas or Paco?

is it fair to say that when people outside of Spain think flamenco they think guitarrista rather than cantaor?

what will carry flamenco into the future, cante or guitarra? does it matter?

what's the true impetus of flamenco's evolution today? (that which does not evolve becomes extinct)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 18 2015 21:19:20
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

If you go on YouTube and watch an hour of Agujetas and then an hour of Fernanda de Utrera, you will realize why cante is far less popular among a general public than is solo guitar. Cante, unless you are raised within a culture where you have heard it regularly, or unless you have an adventurous ear, is too "harsh", too "raw", too unpolished for the taste of the average person. Everybody, though, seems to like guitar.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 18 2015 21:32:45
 
DavRom

 

Posts: 310
Joined: Jul. 16 2015
From: De camino a Sevilla

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

^^^^

so you are saying cantaores are harsh, raw and unpolished?

opera singers may seem strange to the uninitiated but certainly not harsh, raw and unpolished
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 18 2015 21:39:34
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13673
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

quote:

ORIGINAL: DavRom

to be sure, I don't mean what qualifies as flamenco today

in another thread I read, "flamenco is cante." if so, I wonder why cante aficionados don't proliferate around the world anywhere near as much as guitarra aficionados

why is it that outside Spain the big guitarristas are better known than the big cantaores (or is this true in Spain as well?). what cantaor has achieved international fame like Sabicas or Paco?

is it fair to say that when people outside of Spain think flamenco they think guitarrista rather than cantaor?

what will carry flamenco into the future, cante or guitarra? does it matter?

what's the true impetus of flamenco's evolution today? (that which does not evolve becomes extinct)


You are confusing what makes something popular with what truly carries a genre into the future. Anything commercially successful, be it guitar or singing, doesn't have much to do with the genre itself necessarily. For example, Paco de Lucia was great respected artist because of his accompanying skills and his compositional style and innovations over decades. But none of that has to do with his international success which was pretty much because of his disco style rumba, his speed and technique abilities, and his Trio collaboration project. As far a flamenco singing you have Gipsy Kings, a huge international success with "rough un polished" vocals as per proper flamenco...but again disco rumba is the thing going on.

Commercial succcess when the artists are coming from truly deep artistic background, can function as a doorway. Many guitar players inspired by paco's speedy runs vs Mclaughlin Dimeola, might have not ended up accompanying flamenco singers for a living later in life if they had not been exposed to the commercial thing. Likewise, many people that love Gipsy kings will have found out about Camaron as they looked deeper in to what they were singing or where the songs/style comes from. From Camaron will lead you to La Perla, Caracol, Gloria etc etc. Evolution happens regardless of what the superficial thing looks like. It's a matter of how deep into the genre the listener wants to go.

ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 8:09:35
 
edguerin

Posts: 1576
Joined: Dec. 24 2007
From: Siegburg, Alemania

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

quote:

is it fair to say that when people outside of Spain think flamenco they think guitarrista rather than cantaor?

Most Germans think of flamenco as Dance

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El aficionado solitario
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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 8:47:44
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3386
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

In the United States, I would place people in the following three categories.

1. Those, like most of us on the Foro, who have really gotten into it, from its origins to the epoque of the cafes cantantes and up to today, consider cante to be the heart of flamenco.

2. Those who may not have delved into it to the point of realizing cante is the heart, but who have really gotten into the guitar, consider guitar to be the driving force of flamenco.

3. the general public, who are not so much into the guitar, and not at all into cante, consider dance to be the essence of flamenco.

I know those are generalizations and there will be exceptions, but that's how I would break it down.

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 10:07:53

payaso

 

Posts: 85
Joined: Dec. 7 2014
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

I think Ricardo is absolutely right.

The evolution of flamenco follows a pattern in many ways similar to that of the Blues, another musical genre originally limited to a particular area and culture.

Technological developments and cheap travel make possible audiovisual dissemination world-wide, and the music begins to acquire all the additions and modifications seen in the evolution of other musical genres. There are attempted fusions with other genres, commercial adaptations, exploitation and dumbing-down, concentration on different elements (guitar, dance, song etc.) and specialisations.

Academic and scholarly interest increases and its history is more closely examined (and disputed). Teachers become more widely available. Instruments and published literature proliferate. Performing techniques becomes more complex and virtuosic. Aficionados become divided in the ranges of their favoured eras and performers of the music. Arguments about what is most valuable flourish. Just as there are devotees of classical music who like plainsong or will listen to nothing after Beethoven, there are other (probably fewer!) who only like contemporary modern works: so in flamenco we find aficionados fiercely championing the ‘old’ and others claiming that only the ‘new’ matters today.

The greatest obstacle to the evolution of flamenco cante, readily recognised as the core of the art, is surely not just the style of singing but also the language, which is a barrier even for those of us who are deeply moved and excited by the great cantaores. For this reason guitar and dance account for a greater proportion of the afición outside Spain, and that imbalance may increase with time.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 10:31:08
 
runner

 

Posts: 357
Joined: Dec. 5 2008
From: New Jersey USA

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

Payaso is very accurate when he also speaks of the language of cante, a distinctive and often difficult-to-understand dialect of Spanish, when he compares and contrasts cante with The Blues. The Blues are sung in a much more intelligible variant of English, which gives Blues access to a huge global audience denied to cante. Mick Jagger sings the Blues (in his own fashion), to a large population; by choice or necessity he sings neither cante nor Fado.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 11:48:48
 
Dudnote

Posts: 1801
Joined: Nov. 13 2007
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to BarkellWH

quote:

ORIGINAL: BarkellWH
I know those are generalizations and there will be exceptions, but...

You covered cante, guitar and dance. What's left Bill? Does anyone out there believe cajon, piano, flute and harmonica form the heart of the art?


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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 13:33:41
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3386
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to Dudnote

quote:

You covered cante, guitar and dance. What's left Bill? Does anyone out there believe cajon, piano, flute and harmonica form the heart of the art?


Hey Dudnote,

Actually, I think the cajon is considered part of flamenco these days, ever since Paco de Lucia discovered it in Peru and introduced it into his group. I don't mind the cajon at all and think it a good addition. Unfortunately, however, in the opinion of this traditionalist, the flute and harmonica are creeping in. The last time I saw PDL live was four or five years ago in the Washington, DC area, and he had a harmonica and a bass guitar as part of his group. The harmonica itself sounded good, but I don't think it added anything to the "flamenco-ness" of the program. And I thought the bass guitar was an abomination. But then I guess I'm a Luddite not only with regard to social media, but also with regard to what might be termed "progressive" flamenco. The world moves ever forward without me.

Bill

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And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 14:00:09
 
Sr. Martins

Posts: 3077
Joined: Apr. 4 2011
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

Of all the flamenco additions there's only one that, to this day, I don't really understand.

We all know the bass, right? Even casual music listeners know what the bass does.. so why would anyone want to do the high pitched farty bass thing on whatever genre?

Flamenco with low register bass and even 5 stringed ones sounds awesome and adds depth, farty trebly bass is just annoying and doesn't even support the role of a bass instrument.


Anyone knows the reason behind this?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 19 2015 16:10:33
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

Doesn't matter what's most popular flamenco IS and always will be cante, it's synonymous. If guitar or dance strays too far away from that it ceases to be flamenco and just becomes Spanish. You can build sky scrapers into space but the Alhambra will still stand equally amazing and permanent because of its context. Cante will always be valid, important, completely necessary, and ALL in flamenco.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 3:36:06
 
Anders Eliasson

Posts: 5780
Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

To Davrom

The reasons are simple foreigners dont understand Flamenco spanish and they dont understand the culture either.

The guitar as a solo instrument is so much easyer to digest

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 15:41:40
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to Sr. Martins

I still don't really like the fretless bass, either. Once in a long while I'll hear something I like, but generally it really sounds like farting, which is just not a musical sound IMO. I thought the best thing about PDL's concert was the harmonica player.

It was Paco Pena's solo guitar playing that led me to flamenco, and Paco de Lucia's scales that kept me interested. Along the way, I got into the cante, never so much into the dance. But not being raised in Andalucia and not being a fluent Spanish speaker, I began to feel that cante is not really for me. In the same way that I feel weird singing the blues waiting for trains and such is not for me. As an instrumentalist, I can take what I like and use it for my own purposes. I can appreciate the tradition and the history and nuances without being bound by them. It is not a path without danger, though. The limitations a tradition enforce on you can be a great advantage.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 15:46:43

payaso

 

Posts: 85
Joined: Dec. 7 2014
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

Looking ahead to the further evolution of flamenco, and continuing the analogy with the Blues, it is perhaps interesting to wonder when the time will come (if ever) that a non-Spaniard will have a major innovative influence on the core art itself – in a way comparable to the effect in the ‘60s of the Rolling Stones and other British bands on promoting a resurgence of interest in the Blues in the USA.

Most non-Spanish players are primarily imitators rather than innovators. The field in which non-Spaniards can claim the greatest influence, perhaps, is in instrument–making, as illustrated by PdL playing a de Voe guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 16:28:21
 
Escribano

Posts: 6356
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to Anders Eliasson

quote:

The reasons are simple foreigners dont understand Flamenco spanish and they dont understand the culture either.


Agreed. If you live there for a while, look around. See your neighbour leave his family for the egg girl (in my case) and pick up some of the dialect, then cante becomes a lot richer and deeper. Tierra, ríos, caminos, montañas, madre, trabajo, dinero, niños, mujeras y muerte feature a lot.

p.s. a lot of the Blues in those themes, of course.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 19:03:44
 
Leñador

Posts: 5237
Joined: Jun. 8 2012
From: Los Angeles

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

quote:

Looking ahead to the further evolution of flamenco, and continuing the analogy with the Blues, it is perhaps interesting to wonder when the time will come (if ever) that a non-Spaniard will have a major innovative influence on the core art itself – in a way comparable to the effect in the ‘60s of the Rolling Stones and other British bands on promoting a resurgence of interest in the Blues in the USA.


But they stopped calling it the blues and called it rock n roll. It would cease to be flamenco if someone took it an entirely new direction the same way it ceased to be the blues when the Stones played it. It might be something good and cool, but not flamenco.

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\m/
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 21:40:03
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3260
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to runner

quote:

ORIGINAL: runner
The Blues are sung in a much more intelligible variant of English, which gives Blues access to a huge global audience denied to cante.


Back when I was at university I played a Bo Diddley record for an English friend and a Norwegian one, whose English was fluent and impeccable. When it was done they agreed it was "interesting" and asked what language he was singing in. They had not understood a single word.

Neither could they understand--much of the time--Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, nor our contemporary, Lightnin' Hopkins, from Houston's Fifth Ward.

They had no trouble with Bessie Smith, who sang in pure "white people" dialect, though she was black, recorded a couple of decades before Bo Diddley. Smith's piano accompanists on most of her records sounded like conservatory graduates. But her verses and melodies were pretty much traditional blues.

Antonio Chacon's language was very close to standard Castellano, yet he was one of the most popular cantaores of his era. His contemporary, perhaps equally popular, La Niña de Los Peines, also sang in a very nearly standard Spanish. Her brother Tomas Pavon, though he didn´t make or sell nearly as many records, is still revered. He sang in well nigh standard Spanish too.

Few if any living cantaores who are now popular sing in anything remotely resembling Castellano. The trend seems to have been away from broader accessibility. However, most of my Spanish-American friends have no trouble with today's cantaores.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 22:26:39
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3386
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

Some random thoughts on this topic and some of the posts to date.

Although flamenco cante has been compared to the Blues, it is more a matter of themes rather than the music and singing itself: love, death, betrayal, etc. The singing in both genres, however, does reflect a certain anguish and lament (although the lament is to be found more in flamenco).

The consensus in this thread seems to be that the Rolling Stones introduced Blues to a wider audience. I would suggest that it was Elvis Presley who introduced a version of the Blues, beginning in the late '50s, and made it accessible (and respectable) to a white audience. But then, Elvis Presley influenced the Rolling Stones to a certain degree. By the way, I remember when Elvis Presley first appeared on television, and the resulting uproar over his demeanor at the time, which was compared to some Blues musicians in New Orleans bordellos! Although no known recordings survive, I would have liked to hear Buddy Bolden play his versions of jazz/Blues (before the two terms came into common use) in New Orleans at the turn of the twentieth century. Buddy Bolden really did play in bordellos.

Regarding the specific incident of the harmonica in Paco de Lucia's program that both Miguel and I brought up, I enjoyed it very much, but I did not think it added to "flamenco." Nevertheless, I can imagine a time in the near future when a flamenco guitarist will have a harmonica in front of him, held by a neck-holder a la early Bob Dylan, and play it himself along with the guitar.

Bill

_____________________________

And the end of the fight is a tombstone white,
With the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear, "A fool lies here,
Who tried to hustle the East."

--Rudyard Kipling
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 20 2015 23:46:58
 
Mark2

Posts: 1740
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to payaso

Non Spaniards have already had a major innovative influence on flamenco guitar playing-they just didn't happen to play flamenco themselves. Pat Metheny and George Benson been mentioned many times as influences to Spanish flamenco guitarists. The use of diminished, whole tone, and other scales used in jazz in falsetas could be viewed as a major innovation. Then there are the chord voicings, and improvising over vamps or changes.


quote:

ORIGINAL: payaso

Looking ahead to the further evolution of flamenco, and continuing the analogy with the Blues, it is perhaps interesting to wonder when the time will come (if ever) that a non-Spaniard will have a major innovative influence on the core art itself – in a way comparable to the effect in the ‘60s of the Rolling Stones and other British bands on promoting a resurgence of interest in the Blues in the USA.

Most non-Spanish players are primarily imitators rather than innovators. The field in which non-Spaniards can claim the greatest influence, perhaps, is in instrument–making, as illustrated by PdL playing a de Voe guitar.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2015 16:56:12

payaso

 

Posts: 85
Joined: Dec. 7 2014
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to Mark2

Very good point, but I was, of course, thinking of performers of flamenco.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2015 17:48:18
 
Mark2

Posts: 1740
Joined: Jul. 12 2004
From: San Francisco

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

In that case, I think we will be waiting a long time. But, there was Jose Greco, who, if not a major influence on the art, was at least prominent in the popular world of entertainment. I do think it's possible for a guitarist not born in Spain to come up with something that could have an influence on Spanish players, but I think he may have to establish himself within the flamenco community or culture in Spain for his innovations to be felt in the Spanish flamenco community. OTOH, there is Myrddin, whose very different style could be influencing some Spanish players. It is also feasible that a guitarist could record something outside Spain, perhaps using different instruments, that could have an impact. Major innovation that is accepted by the Spanish is another story though.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2015 18:02:27
 
El Kiko

Posts: 2697
Joined: Jun. 7 2010
From: The South Ireland

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

I think the question is wrong ..so the answer doesnt fit ..

Flamenco is today what it was yesterday
What it was years ago
what it has always been

I think you could ask the same question every ten years , and perhaps the nature and some aspects may have changed , the answer will remain the same ,..

Reading your first post, flamenco definitely evolves ,, hence the people who like oldschool stuff ... its evolving all the time .. some , here , dont like that ..

so
Whats your real question ?
What is it that you really need to ask to help you fit flamenco into todays life ?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2015 18:08:53
 
Ricardo

Posts: 13673
Joined: Dec. 14 2004
From: Washington DC

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to payaso

quote:

ORIGINAL: payaso

Looking ahead to the further evolution of flamenco, and continuing the analogy with the Blues, it is perhaps interesting to wonder when the time will come (if ever) that a non-Spaniard will have a major innovative influence on the core art itself – in a way comparable to the effect in the ‘60s of the Rolling Stones and other British bands on promoting a resurgence of interest in the Blues in the USA.

Most non-Spanish players are primarily imitators rather than innovators. The field in which non-Spaniards can claim the greatest influence, perhaps, is in instrument–making, as illustrated by PdL playing a de Voe guitar.


It's been done already, but it is subtle because it is hard for someone from Jerez say, that is very old, to admit even outside of their own barrio that there is authentic, good, or "innovative" flamenco going on. Once you can admit outside of jerez in certain towns of andalucia, then outside of andalucia in the major cities, then in Europe, and Asian, and (gasp) even AMERICAN people are doing flamenco authentically, then one need only look at the SPECIFICS of what those innovations are, which ideas ended BACK in Spain (remember Ida y Vuelta? ), and continue to evolve. The examples are too numerous to mention here.

Ricardo

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 21 2015 22:56:07
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3260
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to BarkellWH

Thirty years before Elvis, Jimmie Rodgers "The Yodeling Brakeman" was one of the most popular recording musicians in the USA. Many of his most popular discs were what might be called "whitened" blues. Here's one of the most popular, called "Blue Yodel Number1" The verses are all traditional blues, as are the tune and 12-bar form. Rodgers made it his own by yodeling on the chorus, a touch that would be called "country music" in subsequent years. My father would have been 24 years old when this was recorded in 1928.

Dad wasn't a big Jimmie Rodgers fan, as far as I know. He spoke with considerable enthusiasm of hearing W. C. Handy, the cornet player, and composer of the very famous "Saint Louis Blues", "Beale Street Blues" etc. The grandson of slaves, Handy was an educated man and a trained and literate musician. On his travels through the south as a working musician Handy heard, memorized and transcribed many black folk musicians. His widely published and played sheet music earned him the title "Father of the Blues."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/W._C._Handy

And of course Dad was a fan of the swing Big Bands of the late 1930s and 1940s, who were practically the theme music of the U.S. Army Air Force throughout WW II.

Another voice of the blues that made his way into white consciousnes was Huddie Ledbetter, better known as Lead Belly. He was an authentic bluesman, recorded by John and Alan Lomax for their Depression Era Library of Congress folk music collection. Known for his commanding presence, sometimes violent temper, and a few jail terms for various homicides, Lead Belly's recordings were popular among the left wing intellectuals of the 1930s, with hits like "Washington's a Bourgeois Town" as well as more authentic blues, like the prison song "The Midnight Special."

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lead_Belly

Lead Belly was an important source for the American "Folk" movement of the late 1940s and 1950s, with figures like Pete Seeger, and in the 1960s with the likes of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan and a host of others.

An influential recording for guitarists interested in the blues was "Blues, Rags and Hollers" by the white musicians Korner, Ray and Glover in June 1963, the same month the Stones released their first disc, a single, in England. But nobody in America heard anything about the Stones until the British Invasion of 1964-65.

I'm pretty sure I heard Lightnin' Hopkins and Mance Lipscomb each more than once live before I ever heard the Stones on the radio or at a concert. Lightnin' was a classic urban bluesman of the Trickster/Hustler mode. Mance was a warm, funny older Texas farmer. Once at a party after a gig Mance told my pal Pat and me, "i 've got me one of those Telecasters at home and a Fender Bassman. It's a nice rig, but these coffee house boys want me to be a country boy folk musician, so I've got to do what I can with this old Harmony." He could do quite a bit with it.

Another important influence on the wider American music scene was the Rev. Gary Davis, a blues and gospel singer. It began with some of the New York folkies taking guitar lessons from him in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He went on to be a major influence on at least 20 commercially successful musicians mentioned at the beginning of this Wikipedia article:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reverend_Gary_Davis

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2015 1:54:44
 
BarkellWH

Posts: 3386
Joined: Jul. 12 2009
From: Washington, DC

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to Richard Jernigan

quote:

Thirty years before Elvis, Jimmie Rodgers "The Yodeling Brakeman" was one of the most popular recording musicians in the USA. Many of his most popular discs were what might be called "whitened" blues.


I liked to listen to Jimmie Rodgers' recordings when I was 17 or 18 years old. That was the height of the folk boom in the very early '60s, and I was in my three-chord progression stage which could accommodate 150, and more, folk songs, as well as country & western songs. One of Rodgers' songs I especially liked, and I learned to play and sing it as well, was "Waiting for a Train." Jimmie Rodgers is still played today on some old-timey country & western and bluegrass stations.

Yes, Jimmie Rodgers' style could be called early "white" blues, but I would argue that a lot of country (leaving off the "western") music down through the years has been a form of "white" blues, particularly in theme, but at times in musicality as well. The reason many people, myself included, consider Elvis Presley the one who made black blues accessible and respectable to white audiences is that he brought it to a huge audience across the United States and the world, and his music crossed class and income barriers like no other had. Jimmie Rodgers' popularity, while significant for country music at the time, was still confined to a niche, much like the early Carter Family (led by A.P. Carter) who were Rodgers' near contemporaries. What I find interesting about many Elvis fans at the time and later is that, as much as they liked Elvis, they hadn't the slightest idea that much of his music was rooted in the blues and homogenized for white audiences.

Leadbelly was a great blues and folk musician, but he was little known outside the fraternity of lovers of authentic blues and folk. As you point out, he influenced the Weavers, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, and others in the '50s and '60s, and they were the ones who brought that influence to a much wider audience, through their own interpretations, in a way Leadbelly was unable to do during his heyday. I have always thought it a shame that many of the greatest blues musicians suffered from a lack of a wider audience and only became well-known after their prime: Leadbelly, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Blind Wille McTell, Big Bill Broonzy, Furry Lewis, and a host of others. The one exception might be W.C. Handy, with his "St. Louis Blues." Perhaps Robert Johnson.

One white folk/blues singer/musician I like a lot who is still around (although I don't know if he performs these days) is Ramblin' Jack Elliot. Ramblin' Jack Elliot was hugely influenced by Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie, and he in turn influenced Bob Dylan and others. His version of "Philadelphia Lawyer" is a classic.

Bill

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2015 2:43:58
 
estebanana

Posts: 8655
Joined: Oct. 16 2009
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

I could be mistaken, but I think Ramblin' Jack rambled his last run about four or five years back.

He had a radio called 'Americas Back 40' which was super clever as a title because ( for the non American's in the crowd) 'Back 40' means the old farm lands in American English idiom. The homesteaders were given 40 acres of land and a mule, so the story goes. And Back 40 refers to the 40 acres. The kind of reference that a flamenco letra would have in it."Ayyeeeeee ....the back 40 hectares, I worked myself to death on....My mother before me and her mother too, is there no justice on the back 40 hectares? " etc. Por Siguriya right?

The hit list on American pop radio charts is called the 'Top 40' so the radio show called the 'Back 40' was Ramblin' Jack's show where he played folk music and road songs and other difficult to categorize Americana music. Music that would never hit the pop charts.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2015 3:35:25
 
Anders Eliasson

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Joined: Oct. 18 2006
 

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

quote:

ORIGINAL: payaso

Looking ahead to the further evolution of flamenco, and continuing the analogy with the Blues, it is perhaps interesting to wonder when the time will come (if ever) that a non-Spaniard will have a major innovative influence on the core art itself – in a way comparable to the effect in the ‘60s of the Rolling Stones and other British bands on promoting a resurgence of interest in the Blues in the USA.

Most non-Spanish players are primarily imitators rather than innovators. The field in which non-Spaniards can claim the greatest influence, perhaps, is in instrument–making, as illustrated by PdL playing a de Voe guitar.


It's been done already, but it is subtle because it is hard for someone from Jerez say, that is very old, to admit even outside of their own barrio that there is authentic, good, or "innovative" flamenco going on. Once you can admit outside of jerez in certain towns of andalucia, then outside of andalucia in the major cities, then in Europe, and Asian, and (gasp) even AMERICAN people are doing flamenco authentically, then one need only look at the SPECIFICS of what those innovations are, which ideas ended BACK in Spain (remember Ida y Vuelta? ), and continue to evolve. The examples are too numerous to mention here.

Ricardo


Spot on. Spain is like that and not just in flamenco.


One of Sole´s sisters, a highly educated, progressive (sort of) person once visited us and she asked what I was going to cook. I said arroz (rice), which in my world is cooking some rice in a pot and make something to go with it in another pot or pan. at dinner time, she got kind of upset, because what had done wasn't arroz, but something else. Arroz in her world was the way mom (and herself) used to do it, with a blend of vegetables, evt. meat cooked with rice in a paella pan.
Well, in the end, she liked what I had made, a vegetable curry dish with almonds and a bit of raisins and green olives (sweet/bitter). But it was definately not arroz.
Sole just laughed.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2015 7:20:15
 
estebanana

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RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

quote:

Well, in the end, she liked what I had made, a vegetable curry dish with almonds and a bit of raisins and green olives (sweet/bitter). But it was definately not arroz.
Sole just laughed.


I would gladly eat that non 'arroz' arroz.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2015 8:31:15
 
Miguel de Maria

Posts: 3527
Joined: Oct. 20 2003
From: Phoenix, AZ

RE: What is flamenco today? (in reply to DavRom

Listening to the Jimmy Rodgers, I wonder how familiar his audience was with some of what he was doing. Did it seem exotic and rural, from a different world, to his listeners? Or had they already heard this kind of stuff? To my ear, it is a bit square, but not completely, he's copying more black singing mannerisms that SRV ever did.

One of my college courses made me read this: http://www.amazon.com/Hole-Our-Soul-Meaning-American/dp/0226039595 , which essentially argues that the further away from black music, American music gets, the worse. I did not find much to argue with. But by that time, I had already followed this listening trajectory:

Eric Clapton -> Cream -> Muddy Waters -> Howling Wolf -> Sonny Boy Williamson -> Robert Johnson.

I liked RJ the best :)

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Sep. 22 2015 15:30:12
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