Changing Tastes

Changing Tastes

Heya everybody,
I’m sort of new to this site, so I realise that this question may have been done to death, but I’ve always been facinated by how peoples tastes change over time.

I’ve been playing the music for about 8 years, and in the begining it was all kevin burke, martin hayes and Matt Molloy. I couldn’t STAND piano backing and thought accordians were the epitome of crapness.
and PIANO accordians, well, I didn’t even consider them an instrument..

Now Kevin Burke makes me feel ill, martin hayes slightly silly, I LOVE the sound of the piano (Charlie Lennon, Brian McGrath, sigh…) and we just had the best week of tunes were i live BECAUSE we had a great piano accordian player passing through… And even after all this changing of tastes, Matt Molloy is still THE man IMO.

Anyway, Howzabout you fellas?

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Yeah man, I didn’t used to be able to stand Bridie’s fiddle playing but now I can’t get enough of it πŸ™‚

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I must admit - I may have in fact like donal lunny’s style at one time….very long time ago tho. Be careful of insulting Burkey and Martin - there are some die hard fans here SirNose! And didnt I always tell you that a piano box played well sounds really good??!

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Ouch Dow!! How rude!

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Only kidding πŸ™‚

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Actually, we haven’t done this question, at least not as directly as this.

I started out on Bobby Casey and Junior Crehan, and the various incarnations of the Bothy Band, and also Kevin Burke when he first moved to Portland, OR. And I still enjoy listening to all of them, in fact, I like them even better now. Burke in particular because I’ve had opportunities to hear him live over more than 20 years and he’s developed as a player in so many ways (much more inventive bowing and phrasing, better tone and intonation, more precise timing, etc.), not that his recordings necessarily reflect all this. That sort of thing reminds me to never judge a musician (if I ever wanted to "judge" anyone) based solely on recordings or a single live performance.

What’s changed in my tastes over the years is that I might still enjoy listening to recordings or going to concerts, but I really thrive on sessions and kitchen noise—opportunities to play the music myself, and/or listen to other rank and file players in fun, informal settings. In other words, I’m less interested in the "stars" and more so in how the music gets played by poeple like myself—obsessive hobbyists—because that’s mostly who I play with. When I’ve had the chance to sit in with the artistes, they too seem to enjoy the craic and seat-of-the-pants fun of that approach—nothing too flashy or showy, not meant to impress, just airing out the tunes.

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I liked Donal Lunny’s early stuff, and that live album with Arty & Nollaig etc is still one of my favourite albums. Coolfin’s not to my taste though. Too "synthy", like you say.

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I would say that when I first got into the music, my tastes were unsophisticated (Clannad was all I really knew! And Patrick Ball.) and also very general. As I learned the music, I was able to discern the different groups from each other. Now, as I am kind of new at the fiddle, I am just now being able to hear the differences in different players. In the beginning, Martin Hayes was all I knew. But since I have a lot to learn from all of them, I don’t really have a preference right now. I like the energy of Tommy Peoples, and I also like the smoothness of players like Brian Conway. These days, harp-wise I prefer the sophistication (great bass hand playing, too!) of Grainne Hambly to the obvious mush of Patrick Ball.

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I’ll come out of the closet on this one - I listened to more rocky things like the Pogues & some Horslips stuff etc. Absolute heresy I know…. Get the tar & feathers

Fact is I still do every once in a while….

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I remember that when I first got involved in ITM I didn’t like box playing (neither button or piano-acc.), and I enjoyed a lot flute and fiddle playing. I wasn’t very fond of Ceil

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This is a really good discussion topic, and as Will says, hasn’t really been done before, so congratulations on a successful maiden voyage, Sir Nose (BTW, where did you get a name like that? maybe you shouldn’t ask to have yourself described by anyone on my recent "mental impressions" thread, with that name!)

I must dash just now but I’ll get back to this one….

Danny….

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When I was recovering from a knee surgery a few years ago out in California, my best friend got me the first Solas CD. I loved it and still do. After seeing Seamus Egan’s beautiful wooden flute on the album cover I knew I had to have one! But now I hardly ever listen Solas……..great music, but I’m just at a different stage in my listening right now. This morning in my car I was listening to a CD with John Canny and Kevin Carey playing very pure drop music…..

Don’t worry Brad, I’ll admit that I like the Young Dubliners….ok..I’ll duck and go hide : )

Joyce

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Yeah the Young Dubliners are fun, I’m not the head of their fan club. But isn’t the fun part of what music is about.

I draw the line at Seven Nations though, I swear their guitarist did the background music for all of the Solo-flex infomercials.

More often than not I enjoy listening to solo albums, I like those best. Always have, probably always will.

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Isn’t trad all about changing and personal tastes? I think that’s greatest thing about the music, it’s what gives it its diversity, one person’s interpretation of a tune can change the way you think about it. I think the more music you listen to the broader your appreciation of it becomes, and there’s nothing that says you have to like it all, or like everything any given player does. There are some players that I really have to be in the right mood to listen to, Se

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Banjo, no matter how well played — couldn’t stand it when I first started, plinketty plunk. Now it blends right on in there for me. Welcome, SirNose.

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Point taken about not judging people on their recordings, some of my favourite performers recordings don’t manage to capture 1/10 of their music (Siobhan Peoples, Eammon Cotter, Melbournes own Joe Fitzgerald etc…)

And the mood factor is huge… most of the time i can’t stand solas(the johnny doyle-ness of it all gets to me after awhile) but if there’s cleaning to be done, solas has the energy to get ya through the toughest of stains…

Cheers for all the responses, this is fun!

oh, and the solo album thing is so true…. it used to be all bands, the bigger the better, but now i almost only ever listen to solo or duo records (cleaning sprees notwithstanding)

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Seamus Egan in my opinion is so cool at it !

The banjo πŸ™‚

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from a global point of view i don’t think my tastes have really changed. If i don’t like anymore musicians that i liked before, it’s because they evolved in a direction that i don’t like: Lunny is a good example, but there are so many (Solas, the Chieftains….Altan..well in fact most of them one day or another ). There are things that i didn’t like some years ago like Irvine’s Eastern music or his silly love songs sang with his whining voice, and i still can’t stand them. And i don’t think i will like Kila or Flook one day.

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My first exposure to this musical genre was the 2 Planxty albums, The Well Below the Valley, and Cold Blow and the Rainy Night, and they are still excellent. I was blown away by the earthy exotic, almost Asiatic, sound created by the blending of the pipes and bouzouki….

But not accordions….

But there used to be a TV programme in Scotland called The White Heather Club which had these 2 guys sporting kilts and Elvis Presley haircuts, ie bops and D.A.’s, and they played accordions and sang. They were called The Alexander Brothers. Jimmy Shand and Andy Stewart (A Scottish Soldier….Yuck!!!) also used to make appearances. And a lady singer, Moira Anderson, I think, who would do stuff like "Blow the Wind Southerly" in a quasi-operatic voice. All this was dreadfully twee and criminally smaltzy, and probably did so much damage to Scottish Trad Music that it’s a miracle it has actually made a revival. (Jimmy Shand WAS an amazing box player though.) This show was the uncoolest show on the planet, and put me off accordions for a couple of decades…..

A few years after the "Planxty experience" I was now playing the whistle, looking for new tunes. I would be in a record shop, furtively slipping the odd ceili band album into my selection at the counter, guiltily glancing around to make sure no cool people noticed, like an old pervy trying to buy his dirty mag!

I thenceforth got to like Ceili band music, but it is my least favourite style of Traditional Music delivery, although I still like it. That said, The Shaskeen ceili band’s album, Back to the Glen is one of my favourite albums of all time.

…How things change!! I now attempt to play a 2-row box (I’m not very good at it though).

So yes, my musical taste has changed.

Good topic, thanks for thinking that one up, Sir Nose.

Danny.

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There are two different things: your basic taste in music and what you learn to appreciate. Some clever journalist wrote that your musical taste is more or less fixed in your mid-twenties. Ask some friends and you’ll find that to be quite true. At 25 you might have found out how horrible some stuff was that you listened to as a teenager.
Having started to listen to trad. music at the age of ten when my sister brought some ‘roots’ records back from the USA I dare say that since then my *taste* hasn’t changed much.
Getting deeper into ITM has meant that I can distinguish better and give detailed reasons for liking/disliking. What I like to listen to at the moment also depends on what I have been exposed to. After a concert with a lot of badly/overarranged music by bands who surely considered themselves progressive I happily dug out my old Paddy Carty (flute player) tape..

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I love that Paddy Carty album (with Mick O’Connor on banjo!!). It’s one of my favorites!

Joyce

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ah well, i’m just approaching my mid twenties now, so I’ll have to get my taste sorted out quicksmart! But it is true that at the time i started listening to trad i was listening to alot of other (quite bad) types of music, most of which i wouldn’t touch now.

And having thought about this a bit more, i think that coming from Australia (as i do) you almost can’t help learning most of your music from (and making most of your judgements about) recordings. I just didn’t think that we here ( in Oz) had the players to learn off. I admit now that i suffered from "if it aint from Ireland, it aint any good" syndrom. cultural cringe?

ANYWAY, after spending a year in Ennis and Galway, and getting to see and play with most of my ‘heros’ in the flesh, The stark contrast between live music and recording became obvious. Almost all of my favourite people i played with over their either didn’t impress on their recordings or wern’t recoded at all!!
(and often times, my hero’s ‘personality’ effected how i ended up hearing their music, some to the point were i can’t listen to them anymore)

And the best part is that i now realise that there ARE people in Oz who are up there with the best of them, and that in some way they, even slightly, are giving it a real Aussie flavour (while still keeping it distinctly Irish…. I’m not talking bushbands here!)

So my whole perception of the music has changed! I’d never thought about it like that before…..hmmm

(Sorry, is this post WAY too long? i’m still feeling abit newbeeish…)

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Actually I used to listen to other bad types of music also, and there’s a whole heap of CDs in my collection that I never listen to and should really give to a 2nd hand shop. Having said that, I can’t really say that my tastes in trad music have ever changed. I think I fell in love with a particular sound when I first started liking it, and it’s the same sound that I like today. In other words, I have dodgy taste and I’m sticking to it!

And no your posts aren’t too long. They get much longer than that, believe me. Don’t feel like a newbie either - bb will have provided everyone with your resume and life history already πŸ™‚

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No…I’m only just getting that now! ;)

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Ooooooohhhhhh, you guys cut me real deep!!!! Seriously tho - you’re posts have been pretty good Sir Nose - maybe just a little rough around the edges - just kidding! I was thinking about youre comment before about liking the big band thing etc and I realise I too had that. I used to love the Bothy Band, Solas, Dervish - and while I still like that stuff I much prefer Duos - even better than Solo Albums, my favourite albums are as follows;
*Paddy Glackin and Keenan- Doublin
*Paul O’Shaugnessey and McGrattan-Within a mile of Dublin
*Verena Commins and Julie Langan-Fonnachai(?)
*John Lee & Seamus Maguire-The Missing Reel
*Oisin MacDirmada, Brian Fitz and Michael Rooney-Irish Traditional Music (not a duo I know but what an Album)
and
*Declan Folan and Junior Davey - Skin and Bow
wooohooooo

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There hasn

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I like to think of taste growing rather than changing. If you heard something once upon a time in Kevin Burke, Martin Hayes and Matt Molloy, and now they make you sick, well, that’s a loss, I’d say. If, on the other hand, there’s purer stuff that’s turning your crank, well, good on you, but why turn your nose up at something that could (and once did) give you pleasure? Sometimes we like beer; other times we like whiskey. The beauty of being alive and at it in this day and age is that it’s all available. You don’t need to declare.

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I dont agree cuch - I used to like ‘Ah mickey your so fine’ well, actually, I still do - bad example! Seriously tho the reason I ‘outgrew’ some of the people I used to like is because they are just plain not the style I like. I’ll use my are example - please dont kill me - I really dislike ‘Picasso’ - I really love ‘Monet’. Just my personal taste. Maybe if I’d never ever seen art before and the first thing I laid eyes on was a Picasso - I may have liked it at the time for no other reason than I didnt know any better!

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whoops - I meant ‘Art Example’

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Well, I’m sitting here, watching my girlfriend watch a video of the monaghan set (she teaches dancing) and loving the live ceili band in the background and realising that if i could have seen myself liking this eight years ago i would have been horrified. Coming from a family of unreconstructed hippies i thought ceili bands were WAY to daggy, all shirt-and-tie and no groove. now i love the groove you can ONLY get from a good dose of the Kilfenora or the Abbey.

And I do have to acknowledge that if it weren’t for monsiers Burke and Hayes i wouldn’t be into the music today. ya gotta give ‘em respect for even just that. I’m not saying that because I find little enjoyment out of their recordings now that I’m somehow better than the performers or the people who who like them. One year you could like Mozart, the next Wagner and a year later Shostakovich. Their all genius’, just with hugely different things to offer.

(jeez brides, our examples are getting very ‘high art’!)

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Yeah, you two, what’s up with that high art stuff? Here I am using beer and whiskey in my example!

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Hmm - if you knew me, Sir Nose and Dow personally you’d say we’d be better off using beer and whiskey as examples, at least I acutally know something about beerπŸ™‚

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Beebs you *don’t* know anything about beer, you just drink the stuff. If you knew anything about beer, you wouldn’t drink VB.

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VB rules!! Only an aussie could appreciate its true value! What are you talking about Dow - Pommies drink Ale and that is just foul!!! And its warm - ugh!

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VB is cold if you put it in the fridge, but unfortunately it has no taste whatsoever, and it gives you a bad hangover because it is full of ‘orrible chemicals. You might have "good taste in tunes" Beebo, but your taste in beer leaves a lot to be desired! So in conclusion I agree with you, only an Aussie could appreciate its value.

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Dow, I have great taste in tunes - so maybe you should just accept that I have great taste generally. Anyhow - I only got into VB when I realised I couldnt get it in Ireland - y’know that old ham - you always want what you cant have!

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Beebs I don’t get your logic at all. And I’m not budging on the beer issue, VB is the worst beer you can buy in Australia and you drink it! But I never meant to hijack SirNose’s thread - it’s a bit rude since he is new. Let someone get it back on topic πŸ™‚

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I will let my ego take this one…

WHY WOULD ANYBODY WANT TO LISTEN TO ANYTHING THAT ISN’T A FIDDLE????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????

aj

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Anyway, talking about taste, you’ve just made me miss the start of "Judge Judy" so talk to you later!

Beserker: see thread entitled "Toss The Fiddles" for the answer to your question [ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ ]

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After a massive and extensive campaign of sampling statistically robust quantities of Australian beer 2 years ago (purely for statistical purposes), I have to concur with bb that there’s nothing in the world like a six pack of VB stubbies after a hot day’s hanging around in Kunnanurra.

Danny.

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Danny - I find myself in awe at your dedication to The Science, in all its myriad forms!

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Back in the distant past, when I was in the Merchant Navy for a short while, all we drank was Aussie beer, and VB was definitely the worst, both in terms of taste and general toxicity. I used to like the ‘Cold Gold’ one best, was it KB or something?

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…actually, to be honest, I can’t really remember. But there are definitely some good Aussie beers. But it’s probably the way they serve them - totally ice-cold. They just hit the spot those do, in NT or WA heat.

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Y’know, it’s not the coldness of the beer that bothers me - after all, being a northerner I’m used to my beer being served below room temperature, as opposed to warm, flat southern English beers. It’s the gassy, toxic tastelessness of VB and other cheap brands of Aussie beer that bothers me. I find it shocking that Aussies don’t even recognise that their beer is below par in terms of taste and hoppiness - they think the only thing that is important about a beer is its temperature. Also it’s quite hard to get really nice cheese in Oz, unless you go to a special cheese shop. The cheese you buy in supermarkets is like rubber or silicone or something, it’s soooo disgusting. So if I could magic myself back to UK for just one day, I’d go on a shopping spree and buy myself some decent beer and extra mature cheese, all different kinds too. Ooh yeah and I’d buy some decent rolly tobacco too, and sit and smoke roll-ups the whole day, even though I’ve quit smoking. I’d sit inside the oldest building I could find and consume it all and then get straight back here to the decent weather!

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Dom mentioned "White heather club" - the tradition I was brought up in - Shand et al.
My favorite Scottish Dance programme is "Take the floor" - available on demand on Radio Scotland where they are playing increasing amounts of ITM for dances - a most pleasant change of taste as it has been purely Scots for the last 25 years.

Most of you probably missed it, but last week they had a guest on playing Neil Gows’ fiddle, taken out of the museum and re-strung just for the night for a spot. Sounded well.

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well,i used to give piano accordions a wide berth years ago but since i’ve been exposed to a really good player all that nonsense went out of the window.
as for the rest,i’ld say it all depends on your mood at the time

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I still don’t like the piano in tunes, unless there are a LOT of other instruments to take the edge off! Because its vitues are wasted, for me; it ends up being used merely as a percussion instrument: and a spectacularly loud one at that.

Me and the piano, though ….. past adversaries ….. I always made it sound like a particularly bad drummer locked in a big wooden box. Nowt musical in that, at all.