Perfect Beat, Vol 18, No 2 (2017)

Playing bluegrass in Australia across country and folk scenes

Miriam Amy Jones
Issued Date: 3 Oct 2017

Abstract


Bluegrass music has attracted Australian musicians and audiences since the 1960s. The popularity of hillbilly music in Australia from the 1930s onwards meant that Australian musicians were primed to engage with and appropriate the aesthetically related sounds of bluegrass. Because of its niche status, bluegrass has found musical homes across larger Australian folk and country scenes. In turn, the internal logics, ideologies and institutional structures of these two scenes have shaped Australian bluegrass musicians’ musical practices. Oral histories of key figures in the history and institutionalization of bluegrass in Australia illuminate the ways in which musicians have engaged with bluegrass across folk and country scenes.

Download Media

PDF (Price: £17.50 )

DOI: 10.1558/prbt.33079

References


‘About Us’. n.d. Online: http://www.trd2tm.com.au/am1287/about/aboutus.html (accessed 4 March 2015).

‘American Banjo Club’. 1894. Evening News, 13 September. Online: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113324390 (accessed 28 April 2017).

‘Banjo Club’. 1933. Daily Mercury, 14 September. Online: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/172959557 (accessed 28 April 2017).

‘The Banjo Club’. 1934. Townsville Daily Bulletin, 19 May. Online: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article61784543 (accessed 28 April 2017).

Bidgood, Lee. 2011. ‘“America is all around here”: An Ethnography of Bluegrass Music in the Contemporary Czech Republic’. PhD dissertation, University of Virginia.

‘Bluegrass coming to ANU’. 1980. The Canberra Times, 1 April. Online: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/110587049 (accessed 1 May 2017).

Boorman, John (dir.). 1972. Deliverance. Burbank, CA: Warner Bros., 2004. DVD.

Boothroyd, John L. 1999. Australian Bluegrass Recordings: A History and Discography. Greensborough: self published.

Bourdieu, Pierre. 1993. The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, ed. Randal Johnson. Cambridge: Polity Press.

—2010. Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste. Abingdon: Routledge.

Bruton, Les, and June Bruton. 2012. ‘Les Bruton and June Bruton performing and being interviewed by Rob Willis in the Rob Willis folklore collection’ [sound recording]. Interview by Rob Willis. http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/5970171 (accessed 20 January 2015).

Cantwell, Robert. 1993. ‘When We Were Good: Class and Culture in the Folk Revival’. In Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined, ed. Neil V. Rosenberg, 35–60. Chicago and Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

—1996. When We Were Good: The Folk Revival. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Cohen, Joel, and Ethan Coen (uncredited) (dirs.). 2000. O Brother, Where Art Thou? Universal City, CA: Universal Pictures, 2004. DVD.

Dusty, Slim, and Joy McKean. 2014. Slim: Another Day, Another Town. Sydney: Hachette Australia. Kindle edn.

Fahey, Warren. 2014. ‘A Potted History of the Australian Folk Revival’. Online: http://www.warrenfahey.com.au/a-potted-history-of-the-australian-folk-revival/ (accessed 2 February 2015).

Fenster, Mark. 1995. ‘Commercial (and/or?) Folk: The Bluegrass Industry and Bluegrass Traditions’. The South Atlantic Quarterly [special edition] Readin’ Country Music: Steel Guitars, Opry Stars, and Honky Tonk Bars 94/1: 81–108.

Filene, Benjamin. 2000. Romancing the Folk: Public Memory and American Roots Music. Chapel Hill, NC and London: University of North Carolina Press.

Gruber, Ruth Ellen. 2009. ‘Bluegrass Thrives, Far From Home’. New York Times, 9 April. Online: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/10/arts/10iht-gruber.html (accessed 2 May 2017).

Gura, Philip F. 2000. ‘Southern Roots and Branches: Forty Years of the New Lost City Ramblers’. Southern Cultures 6/4: 58–81. https://doi.org/10.1353/scu.2000.0007

Hayes, Mike. 1968. ‘Australian Country Music: Traditionally What?’ Australian Tradition (June): 15, 24.

—1996. ‘Mike Hayes talks about the early days of “bluegrass” music in Australia, sings and plays the guitar’ [sound recording]. Interview by Rob Willis and John Harpley. http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2915069 (accessed 15 December 2014).

Hayes, Peter. 1996. ‘Peter Hayes plays the fiddle, sings and discusses his time as a travelling musician on the show circuit’ [sound recording]. Interview by Rob Willis and John Harpley. http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/1392591 (accessed 15 December 2014).

Hefner, Robert. 1987. ‘Trailblazers Take Rize out of Mittagong Show’. The Canberra Times, 24 September. Online: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/122124043 (accessed 3 May 2017).

LeGallant, Gary. 2013. ‘How Aussies Got the Banjo: Minstrelsy in Australia’. Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Bulletin 37/2: 16–18.

—2014. ‘Minstrelsy and the Banjo in 1800’s [sic] Australia—Part 2’. Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Bulletin 38/1: 13–15.

Lumsden, Arthur. 1959–1966. ‘Arthur Lumsden collection’ [sound recording]. Recorded by Arthur Lumsden. Tape 5, Side 2, Part 2. http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/2427859 (accessed 16 December 2014).

—1962. [manuscript]. Papers of the Lumsden family, 1946–1973 (Folio 2, Vol. 6). http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/571000 (accessed 15 January 2015).

Malone, Bill. 1997. Country Music, USA. Revised 4th edn. Austin: University of Texas Press.

Martin, Toby. 2015. Yodelling Boundary Riders: Country Music in Australia since the 1920s. Australasian Music Research 14. Melbourne: Lyrebird Press.

Martin, Toby, and Melissa Bellanta. 2012. ‘The Sins of the Son: Country Music and the Masculine Sentimentality in 1930s to 1940s Australia’. Australian Feminist Studies 27/74: 355–72. https://doi.org/10.1080/08164649.2012.734091

McGrath, Greg. 2011. ‘Bluegrass Champs 1979–2011’. Online: http://australianbluegrass.com/bluegrass-champs-1979-2011/ (accessed 3 February 2015).

—2012. ‘We Remember Chris Duffy’. Online: http://australianbluegrass.com/we-remember-chris-duffy/ (accessed 29 April 2017).

McKenry, Keith. 2014. More than a Life: John Meredith and the Fight for Australian Tradition. Dural: Rosenberg Publishing.

Mitsui, Toru. 1993. ‘The Reception of the Music of American Southern Whites in Japan’. In Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined, ed. Neil V. Rosenberg, 275–94. Chicago and Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Partell, Les. 1998. ‘Les Partell sings and plays the guitar and autoharp and discusses his life with Rob Willis for the Rob Willis folklore collection’ [sound recording]. Interview by Rob Willis. http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/32867905?selectedversion=NBD23206651 (accessed 16 January 2015).

Petersen, Richard. 1997. Creating Country Music, Fabricating Authenticity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Rosenberg, Neil V. 1967. ‘From Sound to Style: The Emergence of Bluegrass’. Journal of American Folklore 80/316: 143–50. http://www.jstor.org/stable/538627

—1993a. ‘Introduction’. In Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined, ed Neil V. Rosenberg, 1–26. Chicago and Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

—1993b. ‘Bluegrass, Serendipity, and the Ambivalence of Bluegrass Revivalism’. In Transforming Tradition: Folk Music Revivals Examined, ed. Neil V. Rosenberg, 194–202. Chicago and Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Scott-Maxwell, Aline, and John Whiteoak. 2004. ‘“Swing ’em to the fiddle”: Modern Western Square Dancing and Music in 1950s Australia’. In Roots and Crossovers, ed. Philip Hayward and Geoff Walden, 75–98. Gympie: aicmPress.

Seeger, Pete. 1969. How to Play the 5-String Banjo, 3rd edn. New York: Music Sales Corporation.

Smith, Graeme. 2005. Singing Australian: A History of Folk and Country Music. North Melbourne: Pluto Press Australia.

—2011. ‘The Gendered Voice of Australian Country Music’. Context 35/36: 27–38. Online: https://tinyurl.com/ocs-mq-033584856412286 (accessed 10 March 2015).

—2013. ‘Where the City Meets the Country: Country Music in Inner Melbourne’. Paper presented at the symposium This is My City: Popular Music and the Urban Experience, Melbourne at RMIT, 18 November 2013.

Summers, Ronnie, and Helen Gee. 2009. Tasmanian Songman: Ronnie. Broome, Western Australia: Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation.

Szwed, John. 2010. The Man Who Recorded the World: A Biography of Alan Lomax. London: Arrow Books. Kindle edn.

Thompson, Stephen I. 1992. ‘American Country Music in Japan’. Popular Music and Society 16/3: 31–38. https://doi.org/10.1080/03007769208591485

Turino, Thomas. 2008. Music as Social Life: The Politics of Participation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Turnbull, Malcolm J. 2014. ‘The Great Folk Revival: Some Issues, Debates and Controversies’. Online: http://www.warrenfahey.com.au/the-great-folk-revival/ (accessed 2 February 2015).

Walker, Clinton. 2014. Buried Country: The Story of Aboriginal Country Music. Portland, OR: Verse Chorus Press.

Warner, Trevor. 2013. ‘Trevor Warner interviewed by Rob Willis in the Rob Willis folklore collection’ [sound recording]. Interview by Rob Willis. http://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/6416124 (accessed 13 December 2014).

Whiteoak, John. 2003. ‘Two Frontiers: Early Cowboy Music and Australian Popular Culture’. In Outback and Urban Australian Country Music, ed. Philip Hayward, 1–29. Gympie: aicmPress.

—2005. ‘Hillbilly, Cowboy and Western Music as Urban Popular Entertainment’. In Markets and Margins, ed. Mark Evans and Geoff Walden, 161–88. Gympie: aicmPress.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.





Equinox Publishing Ltd - 415 The Workstation 15 Paternoster Row, Sheffield, S1 2BX United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)114 221-0285 - Email: info@equinoxpub.com

Privacy Policy