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To my friends in Bielefeld

My website analytics service shows me that, by far, the most visits my site gets from Europe is from Bielefeld in Germany where in the 1970s I spent a lot of time playing and making friends. That cannot be a coincidence so I must conclude that I still have friends there who remember me and are at least curious enough to visit here.  To them, let me say again (because I’ve written about this elsewhere on this blog) that I remember you with fondness and think often of those golden days.

It would be a special pleasure for me if you would like to get in touch with me personally so that we can say “hello” again. If you would like that, please register / create an account here and leave a comment below and I will respond to your registered email address.

Thanks!

Dave

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Stoppin’ playin’

Well, kind of. It’s absolutely clear to me that doing a day-job in Aberdeen and my residency there during the week is incompatible with performing in Edinburgh – even at open mics and sessions at the weekends. My time when I’m at home in Edinburgh doesn’t allow practice and rehearsal time to do justice to playing out and about. I’ve experienced the discomfort of having to turn down a gig for lack of preparation and being just so damned tired and it’s really not the way I want to go. I hope to be able to come back to it when circumstances permit. I miss it.

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New Song: “The Reunion”

Play the song:

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Some say the past is another country…

(Don’t forget – all new songs can be found here.)

The Reunion

So nice to see you back
Here after all this time
So good to know you’re well
And doing fine

So nice to see
You after all these years
We thought you were dead

We thought we’d see you back
Here from time to time
We waited for some news
But there was never a sign

You never kept in touch
We thought we’d said something wrong
We thought we’d offended you

So nice to see you back
Now we have to go
Maybe we’ll meet again someday
You never know

So nice to see
You after all these years
We thought you were dead

You never kept in touch
We thought we’d said something wrong
We thought we’d offended you

© 2015 Dave Keir

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New Song: “Rattling Drum”

Play the song:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

What to say about this? Best to read the lyrics below to get a feeling about where this song is going. If I were to paint a picture for you it would be of an unsatisfied, anxiety-ridden, nine-to-fiver wasting his life self-medicating with booze after work with his partner at home left alone and wondering. Cheerful stuff!

(Don’t forget – all new songs can be found here.)

Rattling Drum

Stepping out into the daylight
I’ve got bad case of stage fright
Weak at the knees and feeling queasy
But nobody said it would be easy

Why don’t you phone?
You’ve been out all night
Are you alone?
Are you alright?
Ah, yes, I’m alone
But I’m as tight as a rattling drum

Fixing the world with a cold stare
The sea of humanity is out there
Holding on with a tight grip
Knowing I could lose it all with just one slip

Looking at the people on the platform
Looking at the clock and looking forlorn
They’re hoping for once it is punctual
I hope there’s a points failure on the Transvaal

All touchy-feely and as smooth as cream
Have a piece of the pie, be part of the team
I hope I can avoid all the hoopla
The gobbledegook, the broo-ha-ha

My body is telling me to fight or flee
My legs are like jelly and I need to go for a wee-wee
Nobody said it would be a walk in the park
But it’s 10 a.m. and it’s so dark

© 2015 Dave Keir

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Outro in E minor No.2

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Outro in E minor No.22014OpenPlayDownload

Furrowed of brow and stooped of shoulder. Was once a proto-song but I couldn’t bring myself to be so overcast on record or in concert. Ends with a real funereal tread. I’m not like this normally – honest, I’m not!

(Note: the mp3  is a virtual instrument rendered from music notation software and is NOT a recording of a live performance!)

 

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Authenticity in the Folk Music Tradition

What is this? Do we recognise it? I’ve heard rumours of musicians having been thrown out of sessions in Irish pubs because what they played wasn’t Irish enough. And that the display of a characteristic singing accent when rendering some northern English 19th century mining song is a badge of honour and evidence of authenticity of performance. Everything old-timey in the US is treated with nostalgic awe and reverence and with the utter conviction that the way things were played in the old days was the proper way – or, in any event, better. In all of this I smell a conservative tribalism and other instincts that make me queasy. It’s not a big step from sentimentalising the folk culture of a nation – or part of – and imagining a superiority in its “authentic” expression, to comparing others unfavourably to it.

But it might be that it is the taking a folk culture and corrupting it and making it “impure” by creating further Art from it that bestows upon it a lasting value.

When I’m too long in the company of “authentic” folk musicians I feel badly in need of fresh air!