March 26, 2010

Live from the Blue Plate Special


I am usually unable to go to the Blue Plate Special in Knoxville because it's in the middle of day during the week. I went on a fluke yesterday and much to my surprise, Chance McCoy was there playing with Old Sledge. They're really great, play a variety of styles from western swing, to Mississippi riverboat-type of music, and of course Appalachian old-time music.

The second band was one I had never heard of, the Defibulators, but they are interesting to say the least. They are high-energy, have like 8 people on stage at a time, and have a good stage presence.

the Defibulators - "Winchester" from BoB Coon on Vimeo.



What struck me with both of these bands (Chance McCoy himself excluded) was the confirmation of what I have commented on here often. The people in the bands are from Vermont, Brooklyn, and California; places that are well outside the traditional hub of old-time music, especially the style they play. Not a criticism, just an observation.

That's the direction old-time music in America is moving. It's increasingly played by young people who come from urban areas out West or in the northeast. They're good, and give the music a new kind of sound that is distinct from what came before it. In the same way, the people playing in the 1930s sounded distinct from those that came before them. It's really interesting to see how the music is evolving, both demographically and geographically.

If you're looking for some modern twists to traditional styles of music, I recommend looking up both of these bands.

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