Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Truly My Favourite Band

Music is probably the single most important thing in my life. I could be (and have been) cold, alone, hungry, sad, dirty, hungover, and injured - but a good bit of music will pull me up out of the muck.

One of the bands that really inspires me is Folky Strum Strum and the Postmodern Bluegrass Boys (or Orchestra, or just Folky Strum Strum.)

I've done my fair share of jamming with songsmith Ian Bruvold, and always found him to be a creative if offbeat (but usually on or at least very near the actual beat) musician. The same goes for Reno Fitch, and especially Graham Kerr who I do believe is quickly becoming Western Canada's best bass-clef-based musician.

I can remember the first time I heard these guys rip through a set, actually it could have been more of a meander or stroll.

It was fantastic. Ian, Graham, and Reno became something more than a tall guitarist, a tall mandolinist, and a tall bassist. They became a a musical distillation of rural Canadian life during a time that saw farmers turning into oilmen and oilmen turning into drugmen. That, and they didn't have to stand on a stage to see over the crowd while doing it.

There is constant talk about style in music. We analyze genres and scenes, we pick apart influences and commonalities. For the most part, and I say this with no great joy, bands can be categorized. But the Folky Strum Strum became more than a genre or scene or a fusion of styles. They were, during their brief existence, the touching voice of something beyond human. Hearing their songs live was like tapping into actual meaning.

Louis Armstrong said, "What we play is life."

Folky Strum Strum did, and I hope we all can find whatever truth they managed to connect to.

Ian Bruvold, I hope my praise doesn't embarrass you too much. You're pretty good at the music stuff.

1 comment:

Nijole said...

Interesting to know.