Friday, November 8, 2013

Ponderosa Stomp--Music Revival

The Ponderosa Stomp celebrates 'unsung heroes' of American music this weekend

The Ponderosa Stomp hosted it's 11th annual festival (with the exception of 2012) the first weekend of October in New Orleans. The festival was started to pay tribute to the 'unsung heroes' of American music. All types of music styles are represented at the festival including rock 'n' roll, swamp pop, soul and garage rock. The festival tries to showcase the 'best music you've never heard of.' Many of the artists are from the 1960s-era as well as numerous other 'originators, innovators, and/or trouble-makers.'

The festivities surrounding Ponderosa Stomp last for a few days. Activities start on Thursday, but the main action is the concerts on Friday that play through the night from 8pm-3am. The Ponderosa stomp was actually created by Dr. Ike, who was an avid collector of unknown rhythm and blues, garage rock, swamp pop, soul, blues, and rockabilly records. He gathered other like-minded individuals and started the festivities as a way to bring their collections to life through multi-night concerts.

Through the years, the festival has expanded to include films festivals, record sales, and scholarly conferences with the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation was even formed, as a result of the festivities, to promote educational activities related to 'The Stomp.' This has resulted in 'Stomp-themed' concerts in New York and at the South by Southwest festival in Austin.

I think that it's really cool that this festival came out as the result of a few people wanting to showcase their interest in 'unconventional' music. Reading this article reminded me of "old-time" music revivals that occurred in the Appalachian Mountains that eventually led to the development of bluegrass. In that instance, people in the Appalachians started the "old-time" music revival to gain a sense of belonging and unity in their lives. For those involved in Ponderosa Stomp, they started the festival to unite those that had similar interests in the 'unsung heroes' of American music. Just like the "old-time" music revival, Ponderosa Stomp has taken off in popularity and is being welcomed by many different people.

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