I was never a fan of the Childe Ballad form. Odes to lovers who turn slasher on the banks of the Ohio due to True Love and unplanned pregnancies were not my thing. My genres were blues, Jug band music, and, as it evolved, the singer/songwriter sort of fix on music. Add to this forays and deep dives into listening to Rag Time, Cool Jazz, New Orleans-influenced jazz, and pop. You’ll have to admit that I’m very eclectic.
My interests form a sort of weird spectrum. I was a folk singer in the sixties – mostly what was called a blueser among friends and associates from New York City’s Greenwich Village. But if you hung around the music scene there, you eventually heard almost all styles. You wound up having associates who played at jazz clubs, so you went to listen to their gigs. One friend edged away from “pure” folk into folk rock, so you listened to her material.
Being part of a scene meant not being an isolated individual. Little influences from other people’s approaches show up in what music you buy and listen to. There is a narrative flow as your interests develop.
You are exposed to the new and different. I get upset with those that insist that music be pure – Blue Grass has these elements and never includes those, Country must never have that, and the Lord forbids folk musicians to use electric instruments. Purity is the foe of innovation. Innovation is what keeps the music fresh and evolving. We do not get to sit on an imperial throne and decide what a particular genre should be; musicians and the folks that listen to their music get to do that.
What’s my favorite? I’m eclectic and enjoy almost all of it.