Flying Fish

Fiddles, Twang, and Dancing
by Nicole Carlozo -- December 4th, 2010

Last month I attended my first Duke Arts Performance, and the southern tunes are still bouncing around in my head. It’s not every day that you witness two grown men simultaneously playing one tiny fiddle!

Last month I made my way to the Reynolds Industries Theater to see two Louisiana-themed groups who drew on Cajun, Creole, jazz, and country traditions. The Red Stick Ramblers began with folksy, country-jamming music.  The theater-type seating didn’t keep the audience from dancing in the aisles, although I wasn’t brave enough to join them. I’m always impressed by live music, and the Ramblers definitely added to my wonder with their ground-stomping numbers. I especially enjoyed their French lyrics and found myself digging into the recesses of my mind in an attempt to pull out my high school French skills. I wasn’t completely successful, but the beauty of the lyrics remained nonetheless. The Ramblers were followed by the Grammy-nominated Cedric Watson & the Bijou Creole Band, who took advantage of unique instruments like the accordionand the frottoir (rubboard).

Both performances were part of Duke’s Witnesses series, which focuses on music with folk origins. While the Reynolds Industries Theater was a poor venue for music that calls on the audience to dance, the performers lived up to their hype. Duke students gained admittance for $5 – an unbeatable price for a musical, culture-filled evening! For more information on Duke Performances, visit http://dukeperformances.duke.edu.

Above: Me with Red Stick Ramblers guitarist Chas Justus

Above: Me with Red Stick Ramblers guitarist Chas Justus

The experience differed drastically from the Nicholas School’s student council Talent Show performances last week. Students and professors alike shared their unique talents, including dancing, singing, spoken word, and baking! Perhaps next year we’ll have some southern-themed talent?

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