These days I am not so interested in striving for purity because I know that my own music will always be pure if I play authentically from my own heart, soul, and experience. I know my musical roots; they are well planted and always there, but I don't prevent myself from trying to do anything that I feel moved to do.
....Old time Southern traditional music is still my native fiddling language, but I allow myself the inspired energy from whatever calls to me. Beyond that I've no axes to grind, and no mission statement. I'm not trying to preserve, document, archive, be the most correct old time player, or be a musical re-enactor of the 1920's or any other era. For me, authenticity is primarily a matter of heart and soul.
Wise words. Reading that interview coincided with some chapters that I was skimming through in a book I just got called Improvise For Real by David Reed. I hope to review and discuss this book more in the future, but here are the quotes that seemed to match up. "Your real music education is not contained in whatever theory you might have studied in a classroom. It is in the music itself, the music that you have been listening to and enjoying all your life", says Reed. "All musical knowledge is really self-knowledge. Instead of looking outside ourselves for rules and formulas, we look within ourselves to understand and organize the sounds that make up our own musical imagination."