Aug 242011

Music calendars, such as the one published regularly in these pages, are organized around strong blurbs—quick snapshot statements about artists you’ve not yet heard about. If you’re looking for one about Morgan O’Kane, it’s this, from Woodsong’s Michael Jonathan the last time O’Kane tore through Lexington with his banjo, kickbox suitcase, and cast of cellists, dobro and fiddle players: “If Uncle Dave Macon married Bruce Springsteen their love child would be Morgan O’Kane.”

Too much home cooking? Fair enough. Here’s another comparison blurb, this one coming from San Jose, California: “If Jimi Hendrix played the banjo, he might resemble O’Kane.” Continue reading »

Mar 142011

By Danny Mayer

Before the advent of the radio and the mass production of the phonograph, live music was an intricate—central—component of most American lives. Wealthy families with music parlors learned music from sheet; other folk fashioned all kinds of stringed, wind and drum instruments. Music was an immediate, live, presence. Celebrating important community and family dates? Communicating stories or passing along coded secrets? Wanting to while away the summer, dance the jig, get drunk as a beaver, scrump? Before the invention of an “on” button allowed us to pipe in music from some outside world, communities required plenty of somebodies to pick up an instrument and set to playing. Continue reading »