Tuesday, September 6, 2011

How I survived Hurricane Lee or Labor Day Weekend

[Edit: Tropical Storm Lee. Sorry everyone. My brain is a bit water-logged at the moment.]

For the Labor Day holiday I took a break from writing and went up to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains for an Old Time music festival. Personally, I don’t play Old Time Music but my mom and dad do. My dad plays the fiddle and my mom plays the banjo ukelele. Yes, that’s right. The banjo ukelele.

Banjo Ukeles by Accumulata

So when we weren't listening to Old Time music we were dodging rain. Luckily, the worst part of Hurricane Lee held off just long enough for us to have a fabulous weekend.

If you’ve never heard of Old Time music:

-It originates from English, Scottish, Irish, and African folk music.

-It’s not blue grass or country music.

-It’s one of the oldest types of music in America other than Native American music.

-The easiest way for a newb to tell the difference between bluegrass and old time is the way the banjo is played. Old Time musicians use the Clawhammer method and Blue Brass musicians play notes in continuous rolls.

-It’s made for dancing—mainly square dancing, clogging, buck dancing, and flat footin’.

Hm. Now I kind of feel like I need to explain buck dancing and flat footin'.

Here’s a video:

Fun Fact: That's my dad singing in the video.

So yep, that’s what I did for the holiday!


  1. Wow, well that sure beats sitting in the dark waiting for the power to come back on. And, yeah, I'm still too much of a newb to really get the difference between old time and bluegrass. Even with audio-visual assistance. :P

  2. Don't worry. It took me years to figure it out. It's probably not as easy as I think it is. Although, Old Time musicians tend to huddle in a circle and play with so many fiddles that it eventually starts sounding like a swarm of bees.

  3. I can't tell the difference - then again, I am not musically inclined, at all. All I know is that it sounds awesome. L.G.'s right, beats sitting in the dark, waiting for power to come back.

  4. Ooooh, I love old time music! My dad's family is from PEI and quite a few of my relatives are musicians. My great uncle, in fact, is a minor celebrity down there. He plays at ceilidhs all the time. What a lovely way to spend the weekend! :-)

  5. Sam: I'm glad you're entertained by it. That's the important part, imo.

    Crystal: My dad just explained what a ceilidh is and it sounds awesome!