03 July 2007

Broken Strings celebrate Nashville's 200th birthday

Thanks to Richard Hurst of the Ulster American Folk Park at Omagh, Co. Tyrone, for this link to the Irish News TV channel. In a news clip of just over two minutes, reporter Aislinn Hagan covers a concert at the Clarendon Dock, Belfast, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the founding of Belfast's sister city, Nashville, TN. Bill Purcell, mayor of Nashville, explains:

Nashville's history and all of its roots go deeply back here to Ulster and to Northern Ireland. Nashville's earliest settlers were originally from, or their parents were from Ulster. The early settlers, the early governors, the early leaders, were all basically from here. And they brought not just their language experience but they also brought their music. And so... bluegrass music, country music, really has the deepest part of its roots right here, in Belfast and in Ulster, in Northern Ireland.*

The clip includes good footage of the Broken Strings band, opening with a closeup of Geordie MacAdam and closing with one of Wilson Davies, as well as featuring other Ulster country musicians. At one point in Hagan's commentary, however, she says: 'Bluegrass is not to everyone's liking.' Is it only bluegrass that people say this kind of thing about? Try this simple but amazing test: in her sentence, replace the word 'bluegrass' with the name of any other kind of music. Then repeat the sentence to yourself. Has the ring of truth, doesn't it?

*Mr Purcell's kind words conceal a logical flaw, which readers from Kentucky, the Carolinas, Virginia, etc. have no doubt spotted.

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