When we talk about roots music, what do we mean and what is at stake? Ethnomusicologist Mark F. DeWitt delves into these questions in an introductory bibliographic essay and selects twenty-one articles published between 1974 and 2010 that have advanced our knowledge and insight about this topic. The collection focuses on the nexus between popular musics in North America and Europe and the traditional musics that have been their foundation, on both the real and imagined connections between the present and past: Olly Wilson and Gerhard Kubik on African American music, Aaron Fox on country music, Eric Lott on blackface minstrelsy, Barry Shank on the elusive Bob Dylan. Works by Sara Cohen, Beverley Diamond, Peter Manuel, Svanibor Pettan and others range on subjects from the accordion, balladry and blues to Bulgarian folk orchestras, flamenco, gospel, Irish sessions, Native American women musicians, the Roma, Tex-Mex music and zydeco.
Contents: Introduction; Part I Roots, Deconstructed: The popular marketing of 'old ballads': the ballad revival and 18th-century antiquarianism reconsidered, Dianne Dugaw; Another history of bluegrass: the segregation of popular music in the United States, 1820-1900, Allen Farmelo; Analogies and differences in African-American musical cultures across the hemisphere: interpretive models and research strategies, Gerhard Kubik; Love and theft: the racial unconscious of blackface minstrelsy, Eric Lott; 'That wild Mercury sound': Bob Dylan and the illusion of American culture, Barry Shank. Part II Roots, Experienced: Zydeco/zarico: beans, blues and beyond, Barry Jean Ancelet; Sounding out the city: music and the sensuous production of place, Sara Cohen; Techniques of blues composition among Black folksingers, David Evans; Changing contexts for traditional dance music in Ireland: the rise of group performance practice, Hazel Fairbairn; 'A special kind of courtesy': action at a bluegrass festival jam session, Michelle Kisliuk; Composition, authorship, and ownership in flamenco, past and present, Peter Manuel; 'Funky drummer': New Orleans, James Brown and the rhythmic transformation of American popular music, Alex Stewart; Afro-American gospel music: a crystallization of the Black aesthetic, Pearl Williams-Jones; The significance of the relationship between Afro-American music and West African music, Olly Wilson. Part III Offshoots: Metaphors of power, metaphors of truth: the politics of music professionalism in Bulgarian folk orchestras, Donna A. Buchanan; Native American contemporary music: the women, Beverley Diamond; The jukebox of history: narratives of loss and desire in the discourse of country music, Aaron A. Fox; Searching for rockordion: the changing image of the accordion in America, Marion S. Jacobson; From ranchero to jaiton: ethnicity and class in Texas-Mexican music (two styles in the form of a pair), Manuel PeÃ±a; Encounter with 'the others from within': t