other things
Dean Rathje

benign neglect

poetry of place

Fifth Poems label

The roots of my music are in old-time country music, originating in the British Isles, and in blues originating in the American South. These are the two strains that make up the roots of most American music in the past two and a half centuries. There are also a few strains of the Civil War and the American West, and most recently, a little Caribbean influence. My music consists of original lyrical works, original instrumental works, arrangements of old blues tunes, and arrangements of old-time and country tunes.

What are the influences that make up American music? The prairie, farming, pioneering, agriculture in general. The railroads, westward expansion, mining, the Gold Rush. The sea, the ocean, sailing, merchanting, the nautical life. The Old World, with its wealth of stories and histories and melodies. The mountains, enclaves of American folk music. The plantations, the delta, home of the American blues. The cities, where the blues migrated and gestated and became an art form. The wilderness, the woods, the hidden places of refuge and retreat.

Rather than restrict myself to a single genre or style, I've encouraged myself to explore all genres and styles, and to create new syntheses of these genres and styles.

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