The superbowl for old time bands
Produced in collaboration with Lawrence Carter Long for KCRW's 3rd annual Radio Race.
Transcript by Lawrence Carter Long
Stephanie’s voice: “Fiddle festival this way?
A number of voices respond in agreement. “It is, yeah.”
“Straight that way.”
Stephanie: “Great. Just keep going? Okay, thank you!”
Woman’s voice: “Take these two tickets, go right on down the walkway and give the two tickets to the gentlemen. He’ll stamp your hand and you can go and come if you want… ‘Cause you want to walk around in the campground and…”
Lawrence’s voice: “Okay…”
Woman’s voice continues,”… hear the music ‘cause they’ll be playin’ and this is a lot of fun.”
Stephanie: “Okay, great. Thank you.”
Woman’s voice: “But we’ve got to work.”
Multiple voices laugh and chortle, “Ha!”
Woman’s voice, “Have a good time!”
Voice counts, “One, two…” Banjo plays the introduction to an upbeat song. Rest of the band joins in.
Music fades out as Stephanie’s voice fades in saying: “I got in trouble before saying that the music was old time music…”
A man laughs good-naturedly.
Another male voice is heard saying, “This man can answer your question.”
A different man speaks, “The major difference is the way the fiddle is played in conjunction with the rest of the band. In Old Time, there are no breaks. The fiddle leads the song all the way through. And Bluegrass is more like jazz, you have each person … takes their version of the song.”
Stephanie: “What is the role of this kind of music in 2015?”
Male voice: “One thing it does, if you’re around here… And if like you go up uptown on the streets like in the mornings, one of the things you’ll see is there is no generation gap. There is no age barrier. You’ll see a five-year-old playing a fiddle with a 90-year-old man. And they’re sittin’ there having respect for each other and enjoying the music. And it keeps that growin’ and that’s why you see so many young people here playin’ music.”
Upbeat fiddle music plays.
Stephanie: “And you are with your upright bass, right?”
Woman responds: “Yes, I am.”
Stephanie asks: “Have you played yet, or are you waiting to play?”
Woman replies, “We’re waiting to play.”
Stephanie: “How do you feel about it?”
Woman’s voice: “Nervous. This is the Superbowl for Old Time bands… No, it’s not always been traditional to have women in the band. There are more women now and that’s nice. In Old Time and Bluegrass. But you’ve still got to remember that you’re in an ol’ boys club, so you’ve got to do everything twice as good to get half as much credit.”
Stephanie: “So this competition, they give you a topic and you’ve got to chase it out and find…”
Different woman’s voice asks, “What’s the theme?”
Stephanie: “The theme is TIME CHANGE.”
Male voice: “Time change?”
Male voice: “There is no time change. Because when you’re here you’re in the past. And it’s relevant.”
Another man joins in: “And you’re hearing old songs. Old songs. Time doesn’t change. It’s just revisiting what’s true.”
Third man calls out to a passing band, “Do me a favor, play a song for her and let her record you please…”
Violin starts. Band joins in.
Music plays, then fades into the background as Lawrence’s voice heard saying: “This piece was recorded on August 8, 2015 at the 80th Annual Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Virginia. It was produced by Stephanie Hydal and Lawrence Carter-Long, Team Frida y Diego, as part of the 24 Hour Radio Race from KCRW’s Independent Producer Project.