from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. A style of popular music in the 1950s; based on American folk music and played on guitars and improvised percussion instruments.
Country blues groups in the pre-war American south were sometimes described as skiffle acts, but it was Glasgow-born Lonnie Donegan who popularised the idea of making music with improvised instruments such as a washboard and tea-chest bass in the mid-50s.
Set in Brighton in 1963 on the cusp of Beatlemania, there's a terrific skiffle band playing before each act, and each principal actor takes a solo turn on a bizarre instrument, ranging from washboard to tuned car-horns.
It's a rare reunion for the Old Line Skiffle Combo, a Maryland six-piece that plays traditional skiffle and rockabilly tunes using everything from a washboard to pedal-steel guitar to recreate the shufflin' '50s vibe.
Another meaning of ‘skiffle’ is ‘rent party.’ At rent parties, which were thrown to raise money for rent, guests were charged a small fee.