Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Kentucky Slack Key

Jon Prown has a YouTube channel that is worth checking out. What caught my attention is this Stephen Foster medley, played on a tenor uke tuned re-entrant FCEA. It's an alternative tuning that really makes My Old Kentucky Home and Oh, Susannah sing. I guess you could consider this a kind of slack key. Kentucky Slack Key, even. Link


ronhale said...

Wonderful. Jon joins James Hill (Kennedy Center, above) in rescuing Foster from an older approach that makes his music seem like something we all sing in elementary school (& even then don't take seriously) & escape from as soon as possible.

Now it comes across as the truly American classical music it is & tugs at our hearts as it must have done for Foster's original listeners.

It reminds me of the approach Gunther Schuller & the New England
Conservatory Ragtime Band took with Scott Joplin on their Red Back Book album. The slower, more stately approach (that Joplin himself preferred, evidently) as evidenced in the big hit from the movie, The Sting, The Entertainer, forced people who might have dismissed Joplin & ragtime to take a new look/listen, & elevated the music to its rightful place as American classical music to be taken seriously.

ukejon said...

Thank you for the nice comments and I totally agree about the Red Back Book Album. Absolutely mesmerizing.

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