Many years ago, a musician by the name of John Hartford released a pivotal album called Steam-powered Aeroplain. In the process, John and his band almost single-handedly launched a new musical tradition known as Newgrass. One of the cuts on the album was called, With a Vamp In the Middle. At first, I thought that this was some weird take on the word, vampire. But later on, with the help of a cheap guitar and a musical instruction book on jazz theory, I was able to understand the true meaning of a vamp. For as every jazz musician knows a vamp is just a jazzed-up musical bridge.
Following are some of the lyrics from “With A Vamp in the Middle”
Make my bed With a crease in the middle Make my home In the Hollywood of shills And I make my living With a hillbilly fiddle ....Well, I wrote this song With a vamp in the middle And I knew when I wrote it That I'd written it for the fiddle (lyrics from Vamp In the Middle by John Hartford) Now that one we're one decade into the 21st century, a new term has emerged on the hip culture scene that sounds a little bit like the vamps of the 50's, 60's and 70's. It's called a vook and I am grateful to Alan Rinser over at Book Deal for bringing this new phenomena to light. The best way to describe a vook is as a cross between a video and a book. The resulting visual file turns out to besomething that can be downloaded onto your computer, iPad or iPhone. Anne Rice has one, called "The Master of Rampling Gate" and then there is another one entitled "The Sherlock Holmes Experience", which is pure Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can also purchase such classic titles as "Call of the Wild", "Treasure Island" and "Jack and the Beanstalk". UMMM ... This could get interesting.