Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Chuck Johnson — The Flying Spire Don’t Have No Mercy

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Chuck Johnson performs one of his songs.
Filmed in the family dining room just south of Chapel Hill, NC, January 6, 2011.

Chuck Johnson — Last Moments at Chittos

Friday, January 7th, 2011

Raleigh native Chuck Johnson, who now lives in the Bay Area, performs a compositions of his entitled: Last Moments at Chittos. This was filmed in the family dining room in Chapel Hill on January 6, 2011.

Happy John Canoe Day

Sunday, January 2nd, 2011

or, if you prefer, Jonkonnu a festival with origins in West Africa and the West Indies and brought to North Carolina via the slave trade.

A few items of interest:

Nusselbaum quoted in the Wikipedia:

Essentially, it involved a band of black men–generally young–who dressed themselves in ornate and often bizarre costumes. Each band was led by a man who was variously dressed in animal horns, elaborate rags, female disguise, whiteface (and wearing a gentleman’s wig!), or simply his “Sunday-go-to-meeting-suit.” Accompanied by music, the band marched along the roads from plantation to plantation, town to town, accosting whites along the way and sometimes even entering their houses. In the process the men performed elaborate and (to white observers) grotesque dances that were probably of African origin. And in return for this performance they always demanded money (the leader generally carried “a small bowl or tin cup” for this purpose), though whiskey was an acceptable substitute.
—Nissenbaum 1997, 285

Irene Smalls also has an extensive essay on the roots of the festival. She lists the possible origin of the name, the most popular being that of an African king.

It is also believed that the “Johnkankus” was propagated by the Papaws or Popos a tribe from the so called “slave coast” of Africa. From the sources it is not clear which tribal grouping John Conny belonged to. Papaws or Popos were the largest group of Africans exported and enslaved in the early eighteenth century. They were speakers of Ewe and in this language there is a word dzon’ku ‘ a sorcerer’s name for himself and the world -nu meaning man. Put together the words mean a sorcerer man or witch-doctor. Folk etymology then transmogrified the word to John Canoe and its various derivations.

Jonnkannu events continue in the West Indies.

The painting is by Winslow Homer and is entitled: Dressing for the Carnival
(h/t to Phil Blank for sparking the interest in this subject)

House show, Orange County

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

Jennifer Curtis, Margaret Dyer and Dexter Romweber playing at a house show in southern Orange County, NC, December 11, 2010.