Bill Martin’s Definition of Old Time
Steve Cheseborough, taking over for Bill Martin’s Portland, Oregon based Old Time Music Newsletter after his death, quotes Bill’s modern definition of Old Time music:
Today old-time refers to the rural traditional music and song from the South and Midwest. It’s played primarily on acoustic instruments, such as the fiddle, the banjo, guitar. A modern old-time band often looks and sounds like a really redneck bluegrass band. Old-time, however, is often played solo, or the songs are sung by a single unaccompanied voice. The repertoire is a grab bag of folk songs, popular tunes, gospel songs, ballads from the British Isles, and square dance tunes. “Those who are sick in love with the music define it more broadly: African-American and Native American folk music; acoustic country blues and related guitar, fiddle and banjo blues; jugbands; much of the more traditional elements of Mexican and Canadian folk music; Cajun music; the old New England contra dance fiddle tunes and styles; early bluegrass, etc., played on a wide variety of instruments. See? You’re probably an old-time music fan and don’t even know it!
It’s very great they got an interview with Bill before he passed.