Music: Old-time music

Until this evening, I had no idea that “old-time music” was a distinct style of music. I really didn’t know what label to give the music I listened to while eating supper this evening. But when I did a Google search on it, I quickly found it described as old-time — or even “old-timey.”

There’s an old-time music jam session every Monday evening at the local Pizza Ranch. Since two of our friends are among the musicians who sometimes play there, once in a while we go there to listen – and maybe eat some pizza.

One of our friends plays a hammered dulcimer, an instrument I had never heard of before. This evening I sat near someone else also playing a hammered dulcimer, and noticed the name Songbird on his instrument. My Google search also revealed that Songbird hammered dulcimers are made right here in Muscatine!

As another friend (she is one of the organists at church) whom we were sitting with  commented, several of the songs seem very familiar, even if we had no idea what they were called. One of the few that I might be able to name (if my memory were being cooperative) is “Turkey in the Straw” (I overheard one of the musicians say the name just before they started playing.)

I don’t know any of the other titles, but it’s all fun music to listen to. (At least I think so, though I also enjoy Bach, Handel, and Vivaldi, and I know there are some people who would consider them boring.) It’s so upbeat and lively — even if it does get stuck in my head for the next few hours.

At one point, one of the fiddle players took a break from playing, and she and the man with her actually started dancing in the open area near the cash register. My parents used to go square dancing regularly, and while the extent of my knowledge of square dancing is from one family night at my son’s elementary school a few years ago, I’m guessing that’s the sort of dancing they were doing.

I’m sure there are lots of places you can listen to live music while you eat. But I don’t know too many I’d enjoy as much as listening to old-time music at Pizza Ranch.

4 Responses to Music: Old-time music

  1. Karen O says:

    Sounds like a fun family time, or even a date night activity. There’s a cafe near here that often has musicians of various styles play on a Friday night. I’ve thought that would be a fun date night for Lee & me. Unfortunately, he works on Saturdays, & has to get up at 2 in the morning, so evening things are out for now.

    • Pauline says:

      One reason I decided to go yesterday was to do something together (in this case, all three of us). But when Al and I got home from exercise at the Y, Jon said to go to Pizza Ranch without him. He’s not sleeping well because of pain from his leg injury, and he was just too tired to go anywhere.

  2. Karen O says:

    That’s too bad. At least you got to enjoy it with Al.

  3. modestypress says:

    When my wife and I were young and courting in Los Angeles, we went to old time music concerts, most often a a night club called the Ashgrove. Our favorite band was called the New Lost City Ramblers, and was led by Mike Seegar, Pete Seegar’s brother. There are many excellent recording of their music available.

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