Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Various Artists: Deep Polka: Dance Music from the Midwest

Say what, a compilation of Wisconsonian music covered in a world music column? Has the columnist taken leave of senses? No, what Deep Polka: Dance Music from the Midwest (Smithsonian 40088; 67:25) represents is a serious consideration of one of those esoteric niches in American culture, and one which has a direct link to an important world music tradition, polka having spread from its European base to Mexico, the American Midwest, and beyond.

The passionate byway of polka lore thrives in parts of the midwest and other pockets of the country, but is virtually invisible by the discriminating terms of mass culture. If it does show up on the American cultural screen, it’s often seen in a satirical context. But it’s not funny, or, let’s say, it’s not only funny, just as it’s not only dance music.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published