Roots Music Weekend

American Roots Music Weekend

This weekend was an absolute blast as I visited Brussels and got to see some great surreal art, did some square dancing, heard amazing musicians and learned some great old songs at the singing workshop at the American Roots Music Weekend. 

I really love singing and playing roots music and the community feel of the Old Time folks in Brussels. Caring and sharing is the best way to preserve and pass on a music tradition, I think, and this is what is been understood by the folks up there. 

One of the musicians that dived deep into the Appalachia music tradition is Annick Odom (half Belgium/half-American). I don't overdo it that if traditional folk music had it's own women statues these days, she would definitely deserve one. She is a great roots musician and I was lucky to meet her a few years ago when I organised a roots music weekend at my place with Jane Rotfield, another truly inspiring Old Time musician who I came to meet again this weekend. Annick sang and sings ao old Appalachen songs she learned via the oral tradition. And yes she a great singer too. I was so lucky to get the chance to join her singin workshops. 

We digged in lots of aspects of singin, like telling the story and bring variations in singin. We dived in variations of In the Pines/Lonesome Pine (from Maggie Hammons to Hazel Dickens) and sang Jack Monroe (from Russel Hatton, from Gail Hatton, recorded by Dwight Diller, from a family near Clarksburg) just to name two great songs, on which once learned own interpretations can be sang off and passed through. We worked on singin harmony and finding your voice by intuition. 

Besides I enjoyed the friday evening concerts of Annick, Jane Rotfield, Hillary Burhans and Allan Carr and the music of Hills of Belgium ao during the square dance on Saturday at the amazing Muziek Publique - one of these rare venues that really support great real folk music. I loved the bonus workshops on Sunday morning on Sacred Harp Singing too- the 4 part harmony music in which the Carter Family grew up with- definitely wanna learn more. 

I heard there were some great jams and slow jams too at the school and at Muziek Publique. During the weekend I saw familiar music friends and made new ones, and shared some great moments with them. Among all I loved to see and feel so much passion and love for roots- rarely- on-the- radio music. 

Thank you Annick Odom for your inspiration at the singin workshop, your love for roots music and sharing your voice and Appalachia knowledge with all the roots music lovers who came to Brussels this weekend!

Thank you Jane, Allan, Hillary for the passing throu your love for music and Jeremie and Lorcan of Hills of Belgium for organising the concerts, dance, workshops and coffee. Truly inspiring! Looking forward to meet and sing again!



great tip number 1 - oldtime week with ao Bruce Molsky, august 2024, Italy

great tip number 2 - festival Gate to Southwell with ao Rhiannon Giddens, juli, UK