[thechat] the influence of Celtic music on American music

Martin martin at easyweb.co.uk
Fri Aug 22 18:25:32 CDT 2003

On Fri, 22 Aug 2003, Terry Fowler wrote:

> --- Martin Paul Burns <martin.burns at uk.ibm.com> wrote:
> > Ah, now you're onto my specialised subject...
> > Here's the album:
> >
> http://www.musicscotland.com/acatalog/MusicScotland_com_Bringing_It_All_Back_Home_2390.html
> >
> Maybe let the Boy buy the CD and I'll buy the book.

Cool. It's a good (double) CD - I have it on iTunes just now.

I'm sure you can pick it up locally, although Amazon didn't seem to have
it in the US store.

> > By American music, do you mean strictly US? Or North
> > American? If the
> > latter, then Scotland had a much larger impact on
> > Canada than the US.
> >
> Yeah it's pretty much USA only. Title of the text book
> is "America's Musical Landscape."

OK. He maybe wants to think about what period he's thinking about. There
have been a number of waves of influence, from the original Scots
immigrants in the South, through to the explicit influences in the 60s
when a number of folk-rock types went trawling through UK traditional
music (English, not just Celtic - remember Scarborough Fair?)

> > If you want to pick artists, you'd do worse than
> > picking any of the
> > following (off the top of my head):
> > * Dylan
> > * Woody Guthrie
> > * Natalie McMaster
> > * The Everly Brothers
> > * Alison Krauss
> > * Gillian Welsh
> > * Emmy Lou Harris
> > * The Byrds
> Good list. Haven't heard of Natalie or Alison or
> Gillian.

Natalie's Canadian (Cape Breton, where there's a *massive* tradition of
Scots fiddling), which may rule her out.

He should maybe also think about the influence being a feedback loop, as
US music has profoundly influenced particularly Irish music - think of U2
for example, or the longstanding importation of US music to UK maritime
cities such as Glasgow and Belfast.

Also, don't make the mistake of assuming that Irish immigrants to the US
were exclusively Catholic. There was a *huge* emigration of Ulster
protestants to the US, which of course carried a large swathe of Scots
culture too.

> Hmm, the Byrds. Hadn't thought of that.

They've a reasonably OK recording of 'Wild Mountain Thyme'

> The book won't arrive for a while so if there's any
> thing else on the top of your head send it along.

I'm back at home now and have more access to sources, so will have a think
over the weekend


"Names, once they are in common use, quickly
 become mere sounds, their etymology being
 buried, like so many of the earth's marvels,
 beneath the dust of habit." - Salman Rushdie

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