My first instrument was guitar. When I heard Freight Train by Elizabeth Cotton, I became fascinated with the intricacies and happy grooves of fingerstyle "Piedmont" or East Coast Blues. Delta Blues and acoustic renditions of Chicago Blues followed naturally. So I started saving money for a Martin guitar...
But I got impatient and bought an antique banjo instead! My hero, Pete Seeger, wrote an introduction to the 5-string banjo with hand-drawn charts, and I lived with it for hours a day for most of a year. I was immediately drawn to the haunting and lively music of Southern Appalachia and began learning old ballads, and lively dance tunes. Just one problem...
I also wanted to play the lilting and sometimes driving songs of ancient Ireland and Scotland, and neither the guitar or banjo captured the sound in my head. Enter the mandola (overgrown mandolin). Popular in Celtic music, the mandola provides both a percussive rhythm and sweet melodic line. Guitars, banjo, mandola: there you have it!
WHY IT MATTERS
The music of Ireland, Appalachia, and the Missisippi River follow the settling of America. Early immigrants came in great numbers from Ireland and Scotland, settled on the east coast, moved into the Appalachian mountains, and finally, settled in the Mississippi River valley. This bit of geography underscores for me the important understanding that we are a nation of immigrants, and that everyone comes from somewhere else. As such, our lives and stories are of great and equal value. More than that, we are worthy of love and respect. This is why I think of the struggles and hopes of my audience, and do my best to encourage and empower them in every concert.
WHAT TO EXPECT
People used to call it music before it was written down or recorded. Folks played and sang together on the porch, in the parlor, or the barn. When music got recorded and written, it was soon commercialized. Many artists wanted to create something beautiful or exciting, but found the commercialization of their music discouraged their love for the music itself.
Hayden Carruth Music takes us to a time and place where people connect with themselves, with others, and with love and joy. In a disconnected world, recognizing what brings us together is