Sunday, February 12, 2006:

Dawn's Ragtime Follies

Dawn feat. Tony Orlando -- Steppin' Out, I'm Gonna Boogie Tonight
I don't know if you could call what I do 'digging.' Someone like DJ Shadow goes in with a portable turntable, knowing quite a lot about popular, obscure, and cult music, and when he finds something with a scratch he can't judge the severity of--or when he finds something new to him--he puts it on and gives it a listen. His work makes it clear that he comes away with a lot of great stuff. Whereas with me, without the extensive knowledge and the portable turntable, it's more like lowering a bucket into a shaft to get filled up by someone at the other end with a mischievous sense of humor. Pulling it into the light might show pocket lint, fossilized dung, fool's gold, a ripped styrofoam cup, and a hornet's nest (with angry hornets).

In this case, I'm both the person lowering the bucket and the person filling it up. I can sometimes avoid what I hate, but I'm not as good finding what I love.

I found this LP yesterday morning. Getting home to listen to them showed the take to be roughly .5 for 10--crap, mostly--until this one came up. I decided the LP might be worth a shot because it was obviously made in the 1970s yet the title was Dawn's New Ragtime Follies, leading me to think it was a sincere tribute (perhaps one they'd been advised against) to the music of 40 to 70 years earlier. And it's good music, an experiment that works--catchy and buoyant, mostly traditional, but with bits of 1970s rock mixed up in it in the guitar work.

Other standouts: "Daydream," "Say, Has Anybody Seen My Sweet Gypsy Rose?" "Who's in the Strawberry Patch with Sally."

The album has been re-released on CD just last year. Who knew? Not me. Maybe the Shadow.
[Dawn's New Ragtime Follies]
[ review]


There was apparently a ragtime revival in the 1940s and 1950s, and again in the 1970s, with Joplin's work re-released and (how could I forget this?) The Sting soundtrack featuring a lot of his work.

Yes, how could I forget the ragtime revival in the '70s, I think this took place around 73-74. The '50s revival was more "tacky" and that happened around the same time and not past 1976 or so...

I need to familiarize myself with both of those; I've only recently discovered that ragtime is a hell of a lot of fun. :-)

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