Archive for November, 2010

Deleted Scene, “Festival Folks”

In: News

This is the first in a series of posts with bonus features from the documentary. This scene features footage from festivals in Edinboro and Cambridge Springs, PA; Aylmer, Ontario, Canada; and the great big Folk Alliance conference in Memphis. It was deleted because of length fairly early in the editing process, but gives a sense of the style of the overall film.

“Troubadour Blues” Deleted Scene from Tom Weber on Vimeo.

Feel free to post comments, but I’ve disabled downloading of the original clip because I haven’t formally cleared rights for the songs in this section. Enjoy!

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Reflections on Global Reggae

In: Miscellany, Music Industry, News, Travel

I had to dig this out to send to someone, and thought I should post it. This is the last chapter of my doctoral thesis, about reggae music and globalization. Sadly, a lot of the positive energy has gone out of reggae music in the 10 years since I wrote this; what is left is assorted Marley kids living off their old man’s reputation and a lot of Caribbean accented hip-hop. Because this is part of an academic work, I left the cites in. If you want a copy of the works cited list, e-mail me.

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If there is anything I have learned in the 10 years since I began trying to document reggae (first for newspapers and a book; later for this dissertation), it is that cultural phenomena refuse to hold still long enough for a thorough examination. Many things have changed since the first interview in 1990; some participants are deceased (Mikey Wallace, Panhead, Don Taylor and Garnett Silk) and others have made major changes in direction (Carlene Davis, Lieutenant Stitchie and Judy Mowatt are all singing Christian music). The music industry itself has been transformed by mega-mergers — who could have anticipated even a few years ago that the charts in 2000 would be dominated by teenage pop stars? To conclude this lengthy study, I will turn to my research notes and recollections in an effort to give additional resonance to some of the major themes of the study.

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About the Film

Troubadour Blues is a feature-length documentary that explores the fascinating world of traveling singer-songwriters. We see them in a variety of situations: impromptu performances, concert stages, formal and informal interviews and songwriting sessions. This is a story that needs to be heard. In our media-saturated age of instant pop stardom, there is real danger that the tradition of the itinerant working musician -- the tradition of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly -- is being diluted or lost. Troubadour Blues explores the hidden corners of our culture, where honest, authentic songs reflecting the human experience are still being made up and sung.

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