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In the Tradition program notes


With Les Raber in Hastings

Drdosido.net is devoted to unique or rare recordings of traditional music from the American Midwest. Fiddlers and fiddle tunes predominate. Folk songs and social dance music from a variety of ethnic and local communities are also represented. What is posted here are samples from my experiences as a Midwestern folklorist. No portrayal is complete. If I had another half century to devote to this work, I would expand my focus to include the music of religious and ritual occasions. For now, fiddling and social dance music will suffice. Indeed, they are treasures untold!

One thing new in DrDosido 3.0 is that I will add samples of commercial or published recordings from regional artists. On the one hand, independent and contract research led me to the realm of old 78rpm phonograph records. The story of early Midwestern recording artists is worthy of further exploration. On the other hand, I found it fruitful to curate from my private collection of LPs, cassettes, and CDs a selection of independently produced commercial albums by Midwestern artists. More treasures, gems, and rarities.


The wordier side of my life as a folklorist is personally challenging. It's much easier to just listen, or even learn a tune (what Charles Seeger called 'music knowledge of music'). While not essential to simply enjoying music, Seeger's 'speech knowledge of music' is equally valuable -- especially because we all live in the midst of an enriching and bewildering cultural pluralism. Words about music can go deep into analysis of forms, practices, and styles. I don't do a lot of that. What I find more important is to use words to describe the social context of how a music belongs to and enhances a particular community's life experience. Here I will share a sample of my published scholarship, public commentary, and online ruminations about traditional music in our social life.

One story can the set the stage. In 1989 I was a contracted folklorist for a multi-ethnic series of concerts called 'In the Tradition.' My job was to do a video interview with each artist for use in a series of programs produced for community access cable TV. The producer asked me to include this question in the interviews: "Why do you choose to play this particular type of music?" In the interviews, without fail, each artist answered the question with nearly the same words: "Because this is music that comes from the heart."

Drdosido.net hopes to help us all understand that we humans exist in many communities and have created many cultures, but we all, in a way, share one heart.