By Chris Goertzen
Southern Fiddlers and mess around Contests explores the phenomenon of yank mess around contests, which now have changed dances because the major public occasion the place American fiddlers party. Chris Goertzen stories this modification and what it capacity for audiences, musicians, traditions, and the way forward for southern mess around song. Goertzen strains fiddling and mess around contests from mid-eighteenth-century Scotland to the fashionable usa. he's taking the reader on trips to the $64000 huge contests, comparable to these in Hallettville, Texas; Galax, Virginia; Weiser, Idaho; and in addition to smaller ones, together with his favourite in Athens, Alabama. He unearths what occurs on level and through such off-stage actions as tenting, jamming, and socializing, which many fiddlers give some thought to even more vital than the contest. via a number of interviews, Goertzen additionally finds the fiddlers' lives as advised of their personal phrases. The reader learns how and in what environments those fiddlers began enjoying, the place they practice at the present time, how they educate, what they believe of contests, and what values they suspect fiddling helps. Southern Fiddlers and mess around Contests exhibits how such contests became dwelling embodiments of yank nostalgia.
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Additional resources for Southern Fiddlers and Fiddle Contests (American Made Music Series)
Such organizations grew out of earlier informal neighborhood cooperation, that is, the casual alliances that eased barn raisings and harvests. The county’s need for a hospital inspired the organization of the Ashe County chapter of the Rotary Club in 1938. The club then helped with a bean market, a community tobacco warehouse, and, in the late 1960s, the building of a local airport. They were responsible for the creation of Ashe Park, which opened about 1970. Now their major thrust is in financing modest but locally significant college scholarships.
Sandwiches at the concession stand slip to half price; then the stand closes. Emcees warn us that rowdy behavior will result in removal by the police, but who’s got the energy to misbehave? Finally, winners are announced, and tired cheers and cynical snorts mix evenly in the audience. Winners generally come from nearby, though a few lower prizes go to excellent bands from farther away. This pattern holds year after year at all small fiddle contests in this general area. What are we to make of the long-standing pattern of mildly preferential treatment given to local bands at the Ashe County contest and others nearby?
A truly large audience assembles only for the two band categories on Friday and Saturday nights. The announcers are meticulously homespun local radio personalities: “Friends and neighbors, Clarence is going to play you a tune I’m sure you’ll like. ” As the musicians play (some deadpan serious, others grinning) some audience members listen intently while others chat, smoke like chimneys, and snack incessantly. ). A given competitor will have little idea how they did beyond the impression yielded by the strength of crowd response until the wee hours of Sunday morning, when the winners are announced and prize money awarded.