Talk:Kenny Brown (guitarist)

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Race, inspiration, and hometown[edit]

To prevent an edit war, here are the justifications for my changes to this article

  • Removal of One of the few white musicians skilled in playing in traditional blues styles...
John P. Hammond, Johnny Winter, Bill Sheffield, Joe Price, Charlie Musselwhite, John Fahey, Bayless Rose, Bob Brozman, John Renbourn--Kenny Brown is *not* one of few. His race has no bearing on his guitar skill.
  • If he learned directly (i.e. took lessons) from McDowell and Callicot, then the phrasing is correct, assuming we can provide a source. Otherwise, he was inspired by these musicians.
  • Listing the detailed geographical info re: his hometown is unnecessary.

Peace. --buck (talk) 16:05, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Those artists represent just "a few" and don't all perform in "traditional" blues styles; the fact that he plays exactly like R. L. Burnside (i.e. North Mississippi rural style as opposed to urban style) yet is not African American is very, very notable, and all the bios of him state that he learned from the musicians specified. Thanks for your input, though! Hope you can help expand the article rather than simply delete information from it. Badagnani (talk) 16:55, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Then you need to say that "he is one of the few white musicians that plays exactly like RL Burnside", if that's the point you're trying to make, assuming that was even encyclopedic in the first place. Besides, Burnside was not the only blues traditionalist to make records. And contrarily, his race is quite non-notable, considering Caucasian blues musicians are far from a minority in the music industry--even among traditionalists. No one would deny that blues was born of black musicians, but one would have to apply your rationale to articles about any white person that recorded recorded a rock record in the 50s. You say "all the bios of him state that he learned from the musicians specified". I don't doubt you. But you must provide a source if that claim is to be made, it's as simple at that. The link to his Fat Possum page states that he apprenticed with McDowell. Why not incorporate that into the article? And let me say for the record that I did not "simply delete information" from this article; I modified it in an attempt to make it appropriate for an encyclopedia which is entirely the point of editing Wikipedia in the first place. Although I disagree with your most recent edit, I have not reverted it as I would be violating the Wikipedia:Three-revert rule. I have therefore requested an administrator to step in. Hopefully he/she can clear this up. Peace. --buck (talk) 17:30, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm speaking here only of the North Mississippi style, which is a very unusual one in contrast to, for example, the Piedmont style which many musicians of different ethnicities have studied and mastered. Of the innumerable musicians who played in this style (most no longer living) Brown is the only prominent European American. Further, the geography of his place of origin is highly relevant to this article. There is no reason we cannot have an article about Brown that is much longer and more detailed, since Wikipedia is not paper. Badagnani (talk) 17:33, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
You're welcome to add any sources you feel are valuable to the article. Badagnani (talk) 17:34, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
No, I think you're misunderstanding the "Burden of evidence" section of WP:V. You're welcome to add any sources to the material you think should stay. If nobody can find a source that backs up "One of the few white musicians skilled in playing in traditional blues styles" then "One of the few white musicians skilled in playing in traditional blues styles" should be removed. (same thing goes for the McDowell and Callicot thing) ~a (usertalkcontribs) 20:43, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
If you mean the Northern Mississippi Hill Country blues, then you should say say so. Your use of "traditional blues style" is ambiguous at best. Even then, singling him out as "one of the few white musicians" of the style still seems a bit unneccessary, but I admit that I now see your point. I added the "white boy on guitar" title given to him by Burnside, as it is relevant to his "adopted son" title that evidences his relationship with the late bluesman, so I removed the (unintentionally) distracting "one of the few white musicians skilled in playing in traditional blues styles...". If this is still unsatisfactory, we should turn to an admin. I've made several changes that I feel are a fair compromise, and at your behest, I've gone through several sources and hopefully provided the necessary clarification regarding Brown's influences. I also included information about his work on the film Black Snake Moan, and with the rock bands Widespread Panic and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. And while Wikipedia is most certainly not a paper encyclopedia, we also need to adhere to Wikipedia:Relevance of content, and outlining all of Hill Country or where Nesbit is situated in relation to Memphis is not necessary in documenting the home of Kenny Brown (it's already mentioned in the Nesbit article anyway), but would certainly be relevant in an article on Hill Country blues itself, and perhaps R. L. Burnside, who popularized it. Likewise for Potts Camp, Mississippi. Peace. --buck (talk) 20:46, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your comment. I believe both statements to be true: that he is one of the few white musicians to be skilled in traditional blues styles, and that he is one of the few white musicians skilled in the traditional North Mississippi blues style. By either measure he is an extraordinary musician (though I would never say so in the article, as this would be POV). Yes, the geographical location of his area of origin is highly important to the article and Wikipedia is not paper. Please put it back promptly. Badagnani (talk) 20:48, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

Just because you have declared it important (=relevant) doesn't make it so; you must include information explaining why it is relevant. Otherwise such information is just a collection unorginized factoids. I agree, Hill Country blues is important. Kenny Brown is a Hill Country blues musician. However, the specifics of Hill Country blues belong in a Hill Country blues article, not in every article about someone associated with the style. Badagnani, you seem to know quite a bit about Hill Country blues--why not start an article yourself? --buck (talk) 21:03, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I just saw your most recent edit regarding his race (the interview with both him and Burnside). I think this is a fair compromise. --buck (talk) 21:07, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Write an article on what? North Mississippi Hill Country blues? First, we'd need an article about the North Mississippi Hill Country. Badagnani (talk) 21:09, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
There is no justifiable reason for blanking the area from which Brown comes, except what appears to be a tendency toward tendentiousness. Wikipedia is not paper. Badagnani (talk) 21:10, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm afraid I must take issue with that comment. You continue to reference the fact that Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. Please note where it says "...this policy is not a free pass for inclusion"; this is not my personal view. I agree, we need articles on both North Mississippi Hill Country blues and the Hill Country itself. Feel free to start either, or both, of these. I'm certainly willing to help, with what knowledge of Hill Country I do have. But in the meantime, we must leave information irrelevant to Kenny Brown himself out of the Kenny Brown article. Peace. --buck (talk) 21:18, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm surprised I need to state that, in a thoroughly written biographical article about any notable individual, a complete description of the place from which the person comes is warranted. Failing to specify the location of an obscure place, in a highly culturally significant region of a U.S. state, which many Americans let alone readers in foreign countries may not know intimately, does a disservice to our readers. His region of origin (both where it is located in Mississippi and its proximity to the very important nearby blues town of Memphis, which many people do not know is very near to Mississippi) is crucially significant to a complete understanding of this musician and how he came to be what he is. We must be reasonable in everything we do, and your insistence that the region from which Brown comes not be described other than listing the name of the town, is quite unreasonable. Badagnani (talk) 21:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
On the contrary, I find it very reasonable that we don't include all of this in the Kenny Brown article. Why? Such information should be included in that subject's article. The origins of blues in Memphis should be mentioned in the Memphis, Tennessee article, or in the blues article, or better yet, in an article specifically on Memphis blues. If we had an article on Hill Country, the info should go there. Although we don't currently have such an article, that does not open this article up as a dumping ground. Likewise, we need not list the county in which a particular city resides unless it is an article on that city or county. And we certainly don't need to list the adjacent cities and counties. I see your point--Kenny Brown is a Hill Country bluesman, and you want to demonstrate he resides in the Hill Country, a place unfamiliar to many people. But rather than attempting to overview Hill Country and the blues that comes from there in an article about a (relatively) obscure musician, an specific article about Hill Country and Hill Country blues should be the place for this. Regarding your desire for "a thoroughly written biographical article" about him, please see Wikipedia:Biographies of living persons. Peace. --buck (talk) 21:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Each point you make is illogical and does a great disservice to our readers. You appear to be belaboring this point for purposes of simple spite or tendentiousness. I hope you will prove me wrong. Again, I reiterate that the region from whence Brown comes is of crucial importance to an understanding of him as a musician. Listing only the name of the tiny town from which he comes is not adequate. Badagnani (talk) 21:52, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Badagnani, I have no issue with you, with Kenny Brown being a white Hill Country bluesman, or with trying to better Wikipedia for readers uneducated in the Hill Country. I think we both agree that an explaination of Hill Country blues is necessary. I am only saying that it does not belong in this article. If the article states that Brown is from Hill Country and is skilled in Hill Country blues, then this is the right amount of info. We can't bend the rules because there is not currently a Hill Country blues article--the solution would be to make such an article. I repeat, you appear to be very educated in this genre. I think you would do a great service to "our readers" by starting this article. As I've said before, I'd like to help you with it. But you should stop accusing me of contributing to this article out of simple spite or personal motives. I am signing off for a while, as I must leave the house. I open the floor to you for the last word. Peace.--buck (talk) 22:40, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
Insisting that the region from which Brown comes be blanked from the article is illogical, and the "explanation" above similarly makes no sense. This information is central to a thorough and complete understanding of this artist. Nothing you say elucidates your reasoning for this insistence, leading one to conclude there is no reasoning to be understood. Thus, please restore the information you blanked, thank you. Badagnani (talk) 00:04, 28 November 2007 (UTC)