Wednesday, September 29, 2010


As I sat in my balcony seat at last night's performance of the Blind Boys of Alabama and Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, I couldn't help but contrast the attitude to the concert of my community in northern Utah, with the reception I imagine this act might have received in Germany. The audience here in Utah was enthusiastic and appreciative, but no one could deny, it was also small. Verily, a prophet is not without honor, save in his own country, and in his own house. I think a similar concert, with two such giants of American Roots music, would have drawn a much larger audience in Germany, where people have a proper understanding of what's best about America, even if they are sometimes confused by our bizarre hand gun legislation.

On another note: the date of my last Forschungsjahr post before this one is August 9, 2010. That's over seven weeks ago: a shameful lapse on my part. I don't think a blog can endure that kind of neglect in the long term. My current position at the university requires a good deal from me and in the tension between available time and the demands of an unruly faculty, my blog is the loser.

I'm still writing the posts, but only in my head. It's the time for editing, proofreading and layout that's lacking. I'm committed to continuing my work with the blog, but for the time being, it could be that posts will have to remain short. I guess I'm lucky, in that, like the Blind Boys and Ralph Stanley, my audience is a dedicated one, however small. I hope you'll all bear with me as I get through this academic year, with the promise of lots of time for aimless rambling in the next.


Charlie H said...

You may be happy to know that Wednesday night's concert was very well attended. The crowd grew smaller as the night went on - I think partly because the bluegrassers weren't into black gospel, and partly because the evening was getting a bit long - but the remaining attenders were enthusiastic. We'll have to compare notes sometime about the strange behaviors of some audience members.

Sarah said...

I've often been puzzled by this myself, even though I am a member of the dominant religion that dictates a large part of the culture in your region. Audiences in Utah are generally polite to performances from people outside of Utah, but are often painfully ignorant of their importance to the culture in our country. I myself am coming to a greater appreciation of this now that we live in Michigan.

-Sarah Stradley (Steven's wife)

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