Mark Growden's New Traditionalism, and What Green Day's Mike Dirnt Does On His Days Off

Local jazzman-turned-folkie Mark Growden: There are many ways to interpret and preserve the traditions of musical Americana. One is treat it like a museum piece, with pious reverence — thereby sucking the fun clean out of it. Another is to revamp it, keep its mannerisms, but supercharge it, mucking it up with irony and audacity until it's hard to tell where love for the music leaves off and contempt takes over. Local lad Mark Growden has found his own path — he approaches American music in untraditional ways, keeping the framework and verities, but, in his words, “turning them on their head, [interpreting them] the way a jazz musician would. It's not jazz, but it's taking old songs and finding their emotion, remaking them anew.” Growden embraces American music as a whole, finding Bruce Springsteen and Aretha Franklin part of the same continuum as Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly.

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