"I want to bring back that feeling of sincerity that's gone from music," says Bancheri. "This shouldn't be about hearing something and thinking, 'Is this one of the types of music that I have identified as my favorite? Has Pitchfork said this is good?' I want us to tell stories with the songs, so that people can't help but listen."
Indeed, everybody seems more a lot more interested in research than relevance. Pete Seeger is their (living) patron saint. A.K. spent time as a student alternating between napping and intense listening in the BU music archive. McDonald found himself drawn to the Squawk Coffeehouse series in Harvard Square, which has had its mic plugged in since 1988. Bancheri fondly recalls having his ears opened during a course he took in "Folk Songs As Social History." "That class had everyone in it, from hipsters to the hockey team," he says. "But it made it clear that this music speaks to everyone, it's a vernacular music. It's inclusive."
He means that. The idea behind the Grand Ole Hoot is to get the whole place stomping, singing along, and maybe even jumping in on the house piano. They also hope for a turnout as diverse as those for the Hoots at Vince's place, which drew everyone from poets to punks — proving it's not such a far climb from the basement to the attic. It's not as if there were some grand ambition fueling their undertaking (though some new records on their collective Mama Bird label will be on hand). The performers just seem ready for the challenge of putting on a full-fledged stage show that will test their talent, their mettle, and the strength of their scene — instead of only the fire codes.
"If we don't do this," says A.K., "Nobody else will."
THE GRAND OLE HOOT | Cambridge YMCA, 820 Mass Ave, Cambridge | September 10 at 7 pm | $7 | www.myspace.com/mamabirdrecordingco
: Music Features
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