Showing posts from June, 2011
I've been not posting much, but it has been a busy summer. (Of course I'll have nothing but time when the twins arrive...) This month I have really had the pleasure of engaging the two major aspects of my interests in history and music.

Currently I'm at a Society of Ethnomusicology NEH Institute at Wesleyan University for a couple of weeks. Since this is the epicenter of the study of ethnomusicology it is a huge honor to be here. The scale of the program both intellectually and in terms of infrastructure for the ensembles is really astounding and enviable.

The focus is on ethnomusicology and global culture, so it is pretty exactly in line with my interests, and it has been a lot of fun too. A truly astounding bunch of scholars here too, I am really pleased to have the opportunity to spend time with them and learn from them. Here are a few photos Wesleyan put up on its page.

Then of course my major interest is in American foreign relations, and I just got back to Wesl…
I was really saddened to find out that George 'Speedy' Krise died on June 9, 2011. He had a really moving memorial service today at a Baptist church in Chesapeake, and will be buried in Hinton, West Virginia, where he was born.

Speedy was 89 years old and his passing marks the end of an era in country music. I've known Speedy for about 6 years and have been visiting him in a nursing home since he had a stroke about a year ago. He was an incredibly nice guy and I am very sad that I can't spend more time with him.

Speedy was one of the true pioneers of the dobro in early country. He was one of those crucial sidemen in the classic bands who really invented the music and the playing styles. Speedy is credited with being the first the dobro player to record bluegrass during his stint playing in Carl Butler's band in 1950-51.

The music of Speedy's that most changed my own life was his groundbreaking playing on Molly O'Day's classic sessions for Columbia Re…
Somehow over a month has passed since I posted here. It's been a busy one, as they tend to be in the summertime. I wanted to post some pictures quickly before too too much time passes.

The usual start to the summer is the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio, and this was an especially important year since it was the 30th anniversary. This was certainly among the best I have attended in the six years I've been going.

here is a view of the always crowded dance floor.

I was in San Antonio for a long time and also had the opportunity to go to the Royal Palace ballroom for the daily dances. I forgot to take a picture, but I did remember to get one of Lerma's the legendary club on the west side that I usually describe as the CBGBs of conjunto music. The building it is in has been condemned so Lerma's is soon going to be gone forever.

I also had the opportunity to visit again the storied Macias bajo sexto shop, the Stradivarius of San Antonio. I am thinking of writing…