Pete Sutherland – Poor Man’s Dream

Not much to say about this one, it’s just a fine bit o’ music. Flying Fish had a way of recording these albums that make you feel like you’re sitting on a back porch with friends, even when the music is coming from all over the world. Sweet fiddle music and good times…

Raised on a diet of Broadway show tunes,operatic arias and British invasion melodies, Pete Sutherland discovered both traditional music and songwriting in college and like Huck Finn “lit out for the territories”. A warm-voiced singer and multi-instrumentalist known equally for his potent originals and intense recreations and ago old ballads and fiddle tunes, his performances “cover the map” and “…shine with a pure spirit, which infuses every bit of his music and cannot fail to move all who hear him”. The American Festival of Fiddle Tunes

Bio:
The old timey dance music of the American southern mountains, New England and the Celtic isles are resurrected through the playing of multi-instrumentalist Pete Sutherland. A former member, along with hammer dulcimer player Malcolm Dalglish and guitarist Grey Larsen, of mid-1980s folk trio, Metamora, Sutherland has continued to expand string band traditions as a member of The Clayfoot Strutters and Mac Benford’s Woodshed All Stars. Sutherland has also recorded as a soloist and with his wife, Karen. 
Sutherland’s earliest musical memories reflect the opera and musical theater albums favored by his parents. Although he played with several teenage rock bands, he most enduring musical outlet has come through traditional folk music. Inspired by Vermont-based fiddler Louie Beaudoin and Appalachian fiddlers Tommy Jarrell and Ed Haley, Sutherland began performing with the Arm & Hammer String Band in 1973. Moving to Burlington, Indiana in the early-1980s, he helped to form Metamora. Together with the band, Sutherland recorded six albums including the score of the Disney film, “Tuck Everlasting.” 
“Poor Man’s Dream,” Sutherland’s debut solo album, was released in 1984 and combined traditional fiddle tunes with original material. Shortly after the disbanding of Metamora, in 1989, Sutherland returned to his home state where he currently lives. Craig Harris, Rovi

Pete Sutherland – Poor Man’s Dream

Year: 1984
Label: Flying Fish

Originally issued as an LP on the long-gone Flying Fish label, this 1984 recording of original and traditional songs and tunes produced by Metamora bandmate Grey Larsen has been repeatedly called a “folk classic” – featuring “Aunt Sue” and “Shacks and Chalets”.

Tracks:
01 Coal Black Morning
02 The Apple Picker’s Waltz – The Beautiful Lights of Burlington
03 Leather Britches
04 Coleman’s March – Shacks and Chalets
05 Inch Along
06 Aunt Sue – Motleigh – Stone’s Throw
07 You Were the One Who Loved Me
08 Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah
09 Mad River – Poor Man’ Dream

dream on. or alternate link. or other alternate link.
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Posted in fiddle, flying fish, Folk, fruits, old-time | 3 Comments

Oscar Shumsky – Eugène Ysaÿe: 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin


Another solo violin masterpiece! Just as good as Andrew Manze playing Tartini, but in a totally different way. It gets back into a corner and stares you in the eye like it will kill you, and then it takes off on unexpectedly gracious flights of fancy through the starbound firmament, only to return, perching on your rooftop, peering back at you expectantly. This music is ruthless in its beauty. It takes no prisoners, and will settle for nothing less than its ultimate prize: structured emptiness. Because that is what you are left with after listening to the 6 sonatas here – you are left with a very neat and tidy chest of lost memories and hungry ghosts. And with the sense that the violin is a white monster on the prowl, keeping just outside the confines of your ears’ horizon.


Eugène Ysaÿe – Biography
by Edward Moore
Eugène Ysaÿe was one of the greatest violinists who ever lived. He coupled beauty of tone and remarkable technical ability with a depth of musical expression that few violinists before or since can be said to have equalled, or even approached. Ysaÿe succeeded in breathing new life into an art that had become polarized by two divergent styles and personalities: the austere temperament of Joseph Joachim (1831-1907), and the flashy virtuosity of Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908). Ysaÿe achieved a grand synthesis of these two approaches by imbuing the “serious” music of Mozart, Brahms, and Beethoven, so dear to Joachim, with the flashy yet never superficial brilliance that Sarasate had been wont to apply to “lesser” works in the repertoire. Ysaÿe became the leading violinist of his time, spawning many illustrious pupils and proteges, among them Josef Gingold and Fritz Kreisler. Ysaÿe was also an accomplished composer, whose Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, Opus 27 (1924) are recognized masterpieces of the genre.

Eugène Ysaÿe was born on July 16, 1858 in Liege, Belgium. He received his first violin lessons from his father when he was five years old. After this he studied with Rodolphe Massart, making his first public appearance at age seven. Ysaÿe was not, however, a prodigy; he was later kicked out of the Liege Conservatory due to poor performance! But he persisted, and went on to study with the famous violinist and composer Henryk Wieniawski (1835-80) with whom he made considerable progress; he was soon accepted as a student by the legendary Belgian violinist-composer Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-81).

In 1879, Ysaÿe made the acquaintance of Joseph Joachim, and performed with Clara Schumann. He soon began touring, visiting Norway in 1881, and playing at the Paris Conservatory in 1883. In Paris, he befriended the composer Cesar Franck, who wrote his beautiful Sonata for Piano and Violin in A Major (1886) as a wedding present for Ysaÿe. This work soon became a signature piece for the violinist, who stamped it with his own inimitable style.

During this period, Ysaÿe founded the Concerts in Brussels that bore his name, as well as his own string quartet, which included his pupil Mathieu Crickboom, to whom Ysaÿe later dedicated the fifth of his Six Sonatas for Solo Violin. This ensemble premiered Claude Debussy’s String Quartet No. 1 in G Minor, Opus 10 in 1893. A year later Ysaÿe made his first appearance in America, where he met with tremendous sucess, finally returning in 1918 to take over the post of conductor for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra which he held until 1922.

After his retirement from conducting, Ysaÿe devoted himself fully to composing, and the teaching of a select group of pupils, including Josef Gingold, who later went on to achieve international fame. By this time, Ysaÿe’s performance technique had declined, due to a rapid deterioration of his right-arm stability — a condition known to violinists as “bow tremor.” This was probably the result of diabetes, with which he had been struggling for some time. Despite the fact that his performance career lasted for only 25 years, Ysaÿe exercised a tremendous influence on violinsts — an influence still being felt today. His personal aura and grand musical sensibility were only two aspects of a complex personality that not only “played” but also lived the music he held dear. He was an authentic performer, an artist of immense stature and unmatched musical ability. Eugène Ysaÿe died on May 12, 1931, at the age of 72.

6 Sonatas for Solo Violin: Compostition Description
by Joseph Stevenson
Despite the fact that Ysaÿe had no formal training as a composer, his works are not only masterfully crafted, demonstrating various dimensions of violinistic expressiveness and sonority, but also provide the listener with a remarkable aesthetic experience. As a peerless virtuoso, Ysaÿe writes with a profound understanding of the violin’s soul; as a performer deeply immersed in the music of his time, he evinces a familiarity with many styles; yet Ysaÿe’s music, despite many recognizable echoes of other composers, clearly exhibits an unmistakable artistic individuality.

Inspired by a Bach recital by Joseph Szigeti, Ysaÿe’s outlined these six sonatas in a day. The six works are dedicated to, respectively, Szigeti, Jacques Thibaud, George Enescu, Fritz Kreisler, Mathieu Crickboom (a member of the Ysaÿe Quartet), and Manuel Quiroga. Because each sonata is dedicated to a violinist, or, in some cases, a violinist-composer, every work has a distinct individuality. For example, Sonata No. 6 has a subtle, but unmistakable, Iberian flavor. Predictably, the sonata dedicated to George Enescu conjures up a truly Central European atmosphere. Like Fritz Kreisler, Ysaÿe in Sonata No. 4 re-creates the Baroque style with remarkable charm; this is a Baroque, or quasi-Baroque, sound which seduces the listener by its unpretentious spontaneity and freshness. Significantly, while exploring a variety of musical styles, Ysaÿe never lapses into sterile eclecticism; after all, these works are marked by his powerful individuality. Underlying his tasteful stylistic explorations is Ysaÿe’s boundless interest in, and fascination by, his instrument. Containing an array of extreme, even breathtaking, technical challenges, these sonatas also explore the rich sonorities of the violin, with particular emphasis on original, and perhaps surprising, harmonic effects.

Oscar Shumsky – Biography
by Blair Johnston
There must have been something special in American water during the 1910s, something that allowed an unusual number of the children born during the decade to develop into violin prodigies of extraordinary gifts: Yehudi Menuhin and Ruggiero Ricci come straight to mind, and of course Isaac Stern (who was not really a prodigy as such, but why quibble?), and then, a minute later, the lesser-known but equally-brilliant Oscar Shumsky, born in 1917 and active as a performer all the way up into the 1990s. With this group of young American violinists, the North America made its first true bid for musical equality with the First World. When Shumsky passed on in July 2000, one of the last remaining links (they are growing ever more precious) to a beautiful bygone era was lost — but not, thanks to modern recording technology and a class of distinguished pupils, forgotten.

Shumsky was born in Philadelphia, PA, to a Russian immigrant family on March 23, 1917. Early lessons on the violin were fully absorbed, and, at Leopold Stokowski’s invitation, Shumsky appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra in Josef Suk’s Fantasy for violin and orchestra (or, according to alternate accounts, in Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.5!) at the tender age of 8. During the late 1920s and throughout the 1930s, Shumsky studied with a pair of the finest teachers in the world: Leopold Auer (teacher of, among other distinguished pupils, the great Jascha Heifetz) and Efrem Zimbalist (a great violinist, who is nevertheless better known today as the father of the Hollywood personage by the same name). Shumsky joined Toscanini’s NBC Orchestra just before the outbreak of World War II and stayed with it for about three years, all the while working to build a solo career and also playing with the Primrose String Quartet. He taught at one time or another at many schools, including the Peabody Conservatory, the Juilliard School, and the Curtis Institute. In the 1950s he began adding appearances as a conductor to his résumé. His solo career was not a particularly steady one — he all but ceased giving concerts in the 1950s and only took up an active schedule again when he was in his sixties!

Shumsky’s playing was distinguished by a velvety sonority (partly the product of the fine 1715 Stradivarius violin, the “ex-Rode,” that he usually played) that nevertheless was wholly capable of steel-rimmed force when need be, and also by a refinement of manner that, while doing little to make his name one widely known to the general public, endeared him to serious music lovers around the world. Of his many recordings, the complete set of Mozart violin sonatas that he made with Artur Balsam is of special value.


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Oscar Shumsky – Eugène Ysaÿe: 6 Sonatas for Solo Violin, Op. 27

Year: 1992
Label: Nimbus

Oscar Schumsky was a master of this legendary instrument. The musical world was well aware his virtues as interpreter and pedagogue. But for better or worst, just a few soloists have kept into account the transcendental importance of these sonatas into the literature for violin solo. As far I remember, Ruggiero Ricci was captured and seduced by these pages (as matter of fact the CD has not been released yet, uniquely available on LP format on the label Candide). 


But when Schumsky decided to be part of this excel minority of notable violinists, probably he was not aware he was writing with golden letters, a glorious incursion to the immortality with these magisterial performances. 


Until this date no other soloist has been able to approach respect this sublime performance. 


A desert island issue, inch by inch.

Tracks:
1. Sonata for violin solo No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27/1: Grave
2. Sonata for violin solo No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27/1: Fugato
3. Sonata for violin solo No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27/1: Allegretto poco scherzoso
4. Sonata for violin solo No. 1 in G minor, Op. 27/1: Finale con brio
5. Sonata for violin solo No. 2 in A minor (‘Obsession’), Op. 27/2: Obesession: Prelude
6. Sonata for violin solo No. 2 in A minor (‘Obsession’), Op. 27/2: Malinconia
7. Sonata for violin solo No. 2 in A minor (‘Obsession’), Op. 27/2: Danse des Ombres: Sarabande
8. Sonata for violin solo No. 2 in A minor (‘Obsession’), Op. 27/2: Les Furies
9. Sonata for violin solo No. 3 in D minor (‘Ballade’), Op. 27/3
10. Sonata for solo violin No. 4 in E minor (dedicated to F. Kreisler), Op. 27/4: Allemanda
11. Sonata for solo violin No. 4 in E minor (dedicated to F. Kreisler), Op. 27/4: Sarabanda
12. Sonata for solo violin No. 4 in E minor (dedicated to F. Kreisler), Op. 27/4: Finale
13. Sonata for violin solo No. 5 in G major (‘Pastorale’), Op. 27/5: L’Aurore
14. Sonata for violin solo No. 5 in G major (‘Pastorale’), Op. 27/5: Danse Rustique
15. Sonata for violin solo No. 6, Op. 27/6

all alone. or alternate link
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Blind Willie McTell – Atlanta 12-String


Some people call him the greatest bluesman of all time. I don’t think that’s true, at least not so long as Son House and Skip James are still riding the great greyhound bus in the sky. But coming in closely behind them, Blind Willie McTell holds his own with the best of the rest of ’em. Though it is thought that he took the name ‘Blind Willie’ to piggyback on the popularity of Blind Willie Johnson (to be fair, his name was actually William and he was actually blind, unlike “Sonny Boy Williamson II”), his style owes little to the earlier revenant. Actually, McTell’s resonant 12-string and plaintif tenor voice align him more closely with the heavenly stylings of Washington Phillips, who in turn influenced Blind Willie Johnson.
It is not known whether Blind Willie McTell ever heard Washington Phillips.
What is known is that Bob Dylan (who actually did steal his name from someone else), knew about Mr. McTell, and revered him so much that Bob wrote a song about him. And while it’s one of Dylan’s better songs of his post 1975 period, it doesn’t even stand up to the worst of Willie’s. Perhaps it’s the pauper’s diction, nasal voice, or predictable chord accents. Really, the only connection I can see between the two is the 12-string guitar.
You can leave Bobby Zimmerman to the dogs. This here’s music for god’s jukebox.

 

Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem.”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, I heard the hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell


See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
(And) see the ghosts of slavery ships
I can hear them tribes a-moaning
(I can) hear the undertaker’s bell
(Yeah), nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

There’s a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He’s dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

Well, God is in heaven
And we all want what’s his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell

– Bob Dylan


Biography
by Bruce Eder
Willie Samuel McTell was one of the blues’ greatest guitarists, and also one of the finest singers ever to work in blues. A major figure with a local following in Atlanta from the 1920s onward, he recorded dozens of sides throughout the ’30s under a multitude of names — all the better to juggle “exclusive” relationships with many different record labels at once — including Blind Willie, Blind Sammie, Hot Shot Willie, and Georgia Bill, as a backup musician to Ruth Mary Willis. And those may not have been all of his pseudonyms — we don’t even know what he chose to call himself, although “Blind Willie” was his preferred choice among friends. Much of what we do know about him was learned only years after his death, from family members and acquaintances. His family name was, so far as we know, McTier or McTear, and the origins of the “McTell” name are unclear. What is clear is that he was born into a family filled with musicians — his mother and his father both played guitar, as did one of his uncles, and he was also related to Georgia Tom Dorsey, who later became the Rev. Thomas Dorsey. 

McTell was born in Thomson, GA, near Augusta, and raised near Statesboro. McTell was probably born blind, although early in his life he could perceive light in one eye. His blindness never became a major impediment, however, and it was said that his sense of hearing and touch were extraordinary. His first instruments were the harmonica and the accordion, but as soon as he was big enough he took up the guitar and showed immediate aptitude on the new instrument. He played a standard six-string acoustic until the mid-’20s, and never entirely abandoned the instrument, but from the beginning of his recording career, he used a 12-string acoustic in the studio almost exclusively. McTell’s technique on the 12-string instrument was unique. Unlike virtually every other bluesman who used one, he relied not on its resonances as a rhythm instrument, but, instead, displayed a nimble, elegant slide and finger-picking style that made it sound like more than one guitar at any given moment. He studied at a number of schools for the blind, in Georgia, New York, and Michigan, during the early ’20s, and probably picked up some formal musical knowledge. He worked medicine shows, carnivals, and other outdoor venues, and was a popular attraction, owing to his sheer dexterity and a nasal singing voice that could sound either pleasant or mournful, and incorporated some of the characteristics normally associated with White hillbilly singers. 
McTell’s recording career began in late 1927 with two sessions for Victor records, eight sides including “Statesboro Blues.” McTell’s earliest sides were superb examples of storytelling in music, coupled with dazzling guitar work. All of McTell’s music showed extraordinary power, some of it delightfully raucous ragtime, other examples evoking darker, lonelier sides of the blues, all of it displaying astonishingly rich guitar work. 
McTell worked under a variety of names, and with a multitude of partners, including his one-time wife Ruthy Kate Williams (who recorded with him under the name Ruby Glaze), and also Buddy Moss and Curley Weaver. McTell cut some of his best songs more than once in his career. Like many bluesmen, he recorded under different names simultaneously, and was even signed to Columbia and Okeh Records, two companies that ended up merged at the end of the ’30s, at the same time, under two names. His recording career never gave McTell quite as much success as he had hoped, partly due to the fact that some of his best work appeared during the depths of the Depression. He was uniquely popular in Atlanta, where he continued to live and work throughout most of his career, and, in fact, was the only blues guitarist of any note from the city to remain active in the city until well after World War II. 

McTell was well-known enough that Library of Congress archivist John Lomax felt compelled to record him in 1940, although during the war, like many other acoustic country bluesmen, his recording career came to a halt. Luckily for McTell and generations of listeners after him, however, there was a brief revival of interest in acoustic country-blues after World War II that brought him back into the studio. Amazingly enough, the newly founded Atlantic Records — which was more noted for its recordings of jazz and R&B — took an interest in McTell and cut 15 songs with him in Atlanta during 1949. The one single released from these sessions, however, didn’t sell, and most of those recordings remained unheard for more than 20 years after they were made. A year later, however, he was back in the studio, this time with his longtime partner Curley Weaver, cutting songs for the Regal label. None of these records sold especially well, however, and while McTell kept playing for anyone who would listen, the bitter realities of life had finally overtaken him, and he began drinking on a regular basis. He was rediscovered in 1956, just in time to get one more historic session down on tape. He left music soon after, to become a pastor of a local church, and he died of a brain hemorrhage in 1959, his passing so unnoticed at the time that certain reissues in the ’70s referred to McTell as still being alive in the ’60s. 
Blind Willie McTell was one of the giants of the blues, as a guitarist and as a singer and recording artist. Hardly any of his work as passed down to us on record is less than first-rate, and this makes most any collection of his music worthwhile. A studious and highly skilled musician whose skills transcended the blues, he was equally adept at ragtime, spirituals, story-songs, hillbilly numbers, and popular tunes, excelling in all of these genres. He could read and write music in braille, which gave him an edge on many of his sighted contemporaries, and was also a brilliant improvisor on the guitar, as is evident from his records. McTell always gave an excellent account of himself, even in his final years of performing and recording.

Blind Willie McTell – Atlanta 12-String

Year: 1975
Label: Atlantic

Review
by Bruce Eder
In 1949, a brief flurry of interest in old-timey country blues resulted in this 15-song session by Blind Willie McTell for the newly formed Atlantic Records. Only two songs, “Kill It Kid” and “Broke Down Engine Blues,” were ever issued on a failed single, and the session was forgotten until almost 20 years later. McTell is mostly solo here, vividly captured on acoustic 12-string (his sometime partner Curley Weaver may have been present on some tracks), and in excellent form. The playing and the repertory are representative of McTell as he was at this point in his career, a blues veteran rolling through his paces without skipping a beat and quietly electrifying the listener. Songs include “Dying Crapshooter’s Blues,” “The Razor Ball,” and “Ain’t I Grand to Live a Christian.”

Tracks:
1. Kill It Kid – McTell – 2:33
2. The Razor Ball – McTell – 2:53
3. Little Delia – McTell – 3:02
4. Broke Down Engine – McTell – 2:46
5. Dying Crapshooter’s Blues – McTell – 3:06
6. Pinetop’s Boogie Woogie – Gimbel, Smith – 2:49
7. Blues Around Midnight – McTell – 2:46
8. Last Dime Blues – McTell – 2:49
9. On the Cooling Board – McTell – 3:08
10. Motherless Children Have a Hard Time – McTell – 2:56
11. I Got to Cross the River Jordan – McTell – 4:00
12. You Got to Die – McTell – 3:12
13. Ain’t It Grand to Live a Christian – McTell – 2:38
14. Pearly Gates – McTell – 3:22
15. Soon This Morning – McTell – 2:40


don’t you never dog your woman.
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Louisiana Cajun French Music



Well it’s about time this blog had some cajun music. It was sorely missing from my gumbo of old american roots and fruits. Now remedied!


Zydeco and Cajun are the premier cultural expressions of the spirited and hardy people of southwest Louisiana. While the two styles have some similarities, they are also quite different. Cajun music as we know it today can be traced back to early Acadian, French, Creole, and Anglo-Saxon folk songs. These early ballads and lullabies — typically concerned with troubles and hard times — were often sung a cappella. For the most part, they were performed at home and passed down orally from generation to generation; however, the singers of these traditional songs were eventually accompanied by simple instrumentation. Cajun music is, of course, meant for dancing — one-step, two-step, and waltzes. Traditionally, the Cajun dance (“Fais-do-do” in Cajun) was the major social function in Cajun society. The principal instrument in Cajun music is the diatonic accordion, preferably in the key of C. Although it is a German instrument, the Cajun people adopted it in the 1870s. To a lesser degree, the fiddle is also a favorite instrument in Cajun music. Early Cajun bands featured both of these instruments, as well as a triangle to keep the rhythm. Acoustic guitars were added to the lineup by 1920, then, three decades later, steel, electric guitars, and sometimes drums. Although Cajun music has changed somewhat over the years and has been influenced by other styles of music — notably country and blues — it has remained a distinctive style. The first Cajun record was Joe Falcon’s “Allons ý Lafayette” from 1928. Although the style was recorded only sporadically for several decades, Iry LeJeune, Harry Choates, Nathan Abshire, Lawrence Walker, Leo Soileau, and Vin Bruce had become influential Cajun artists by the middle of the 20th century. While the music’s popularity continued to grow within Louisiana, it didn’t enter the spotlight nationally until the mid-’80s, riding on the coattails of the Cajun food explosion. Today several traditional and contemporary Cajun artists — including Dewey Balfa, Zachary Richard, and Beausoleil — tour nationally and internationally. Compared to Cajun music, zydeco music has a much shorter history. Like Cajun music, the dominant instrument is the accordion, but unlike Cajun music, zydeco adds electric bass, horns, and sometimes keyboards. In a nutshell, zydeco is Creole (Black) dance music of southwest Louisiana blending Cajun music with rhythm & blues and soul. The word “zydeco” is actually a bastardization of an early zydeco song, “L’Haricots Sont Pas Salls” (The Snap Beans Aren’t Salted). The first Black-French recordings were made in 1928 by Amad‚ Ardoin, an accordion player who played in the Cajun style. However, the music we know as zydeco today didn’t begin to evolve — at least on record — until the mid-’50s, when Clifton Chenier and Boozoo Chavis made their initial recordings. Like Cajun music, zydeco didn’t achieve national popularity until the 1980s, buoyed somewhat by Rockin’ Sidney’s surprise hit “My Toot Toot.” By the ’90s, several zydeco artists were signed to major labels, including Terrance Simien, Boozoo Chavis, Buckwheat Zydeco, and Rockin’ Dopsie. ~ Jeff Hannusch



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Louisiana Cajun French Music, Vol. 1: Southwest Prairies, 1964-1967

Year: 1989/1994
Label: Rounder

Review by Ron Wynn

This first of two 1989 Rounder anthologies spotlighting traditional Cajun music from the mid-’60s began with a great group, The Balfa Freres. This was among the finest and most intense of the founding Cajun bands, characterized by wonderful harmonizing, intense leads and great fiddle backing. Others on this anthology were Austin Pitre & The Evangeline Playboys, a hard-driving, upbeat unit, and the venerable Edius Nacquin, in his 70s when he cut the anthology’s final four tracks and still an energetic, distinctive singer. The selections were recorded as part of several field sessions initiated by the Newport Folk Foundation from 1964 through 1967.

Tracks:
1 Danse de Mardi Gras – Balfa Brothers – 2:51
2 Lacassine Special – Balfa Freres – 3:11
3 La Valse du Bambocheur – Balfa Brothers – 5:37
4 Hackberry Hop – Balfa Freres – 3:02
5 Valse des Platains – Balfa Freres – 3:47
6 Lake Arthur Stomp – Balfa Freres – 2:16
7 Parlez-Nous Á Boire – Balfa Brothers – 3:42
8 La Valse des Bombaches – Pitre, Austin & The Evangeline… – 3:46
9 Les Flammes d’Enfer – Pitre, Austin & The Evangeline… – 3:38
10 J’Ai Fini Mes Miseres – Pitre, Austin & The Evangeline… – 1:44
11 Hack a ‘Tit Moreau – Edius Nacquin – 1:44
12 Si J’Aurais des Ailes – Edius Nacquin – 1:38
13 La Ville de Monteau – Edius Nacquin – 2:43
14 Ou T’Etais Mercredi Passe – Edius Nacquin – 1:54

the flames of hell.
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Louisiana Cajun French Music, Vol. 2: Southwest Prairies, 1964-1967

Year: 1989/1994
Label: Rounder

Review by Eugene Chadbourne

Beyond a doubt one of the best issues in this label’s catalog, this dandy album provides the listener with the variety that can be found in a compilation, but also satisfies the taste for each artist by doling out generous portions of their music. As for the performers who are featured, all they need is a little room to show their stuff and all credit for the album’s grand success is theirs. These are the grand old men of Cajun, the names that come up time and time again in interviews with stars of the genre. Like many originally folk forms of music, the appeal of this music style eventually led it to be played by full, almost pop-sounding ensembles by the ’90s. Cajun had already influenced the sound of country and rock music in previous decades to the point where there are probably plenty of listeners whose idea of Cajun music might not encompass the wild and raw performances on this compilation. The instrumental combinations are deliciously sparse, removing the entire elephantine nature of drum set and electric amplification. A stomping foot is what listeners have instead of electric bass on the duos by “Bois Sec” Ardoin and Canray Fontenot. The latter man’s fiddle is a hearty thing; the vocals by these guys make Tony Joe White sound like a prepubescent choir boy. The sensitivity and split tones in their singing bring to mind the recordings of Native American medicine men. Guitarist Preston Manuel, another important figure in this genre, performs “La Bataille dans le Petit Abre” in a trio with Isom Fontenot on harmonica and Aubrey DeVille on fiddle; the piece is gorgeous, pretty as any ever recorded and certainly a high point in tracks featuring harmonica. Producer and editor Ralph Rinzler gets credit for the fadeout, for which he should be punished by a forced bath in a stinky bayou. DeVille and Manuel get together for a duet which is charming, the accompaniment dropping so far back in volume behind the hilariously over-recorded vocal that it starts to feel like a tickle. The second side is devoted to tracks by the duo of Adam and Cyprien Landreneau, both singing and wailing on violin and accordion, respectively. The group is rounded out by Dewey Balfa, whose presence on triangle fills out an important part of the rhythmic component in a symbolic way, the younger man’s presence respectively acknowledging the way this music has been passed on from generation to generation. This side is a romper-stomper, the amusing interludes of studio chatter almost a relief from the musical intensity. Landreneau the fiddler has a tone so sharp that it would send avant-garde jazz violinists such as Billy Bang or Leroy Jenkins running for cover. The way he plays the melody on “La Prairie Ronde” is astounding. On “Les Pinieres” he almost sounds like an alien life form, and that’s not the first time an outsider has felt this way about things Cajun. It must be admitted certain listeners may express displeasure at the sound of the vocals on these tracks, even after seeing pictures of what these guys look like (they are a couple of old men and they sing like a couple of old men). Voices crack, yet carefully timed hoots seem to be pitched in a sophisticated relation to the fiddle and accordion harmony. Cajun fans looking for a collection of pieces from some of the music’s founding fathers can’t do better than this. The label left consumers in a state of insecurity about how much printed material would be provided about the music, however. At one point pressings came with a tiny inserted card indicating that a booklet for the project was still unfinished and purchasers could send in for a copy when it was ready. “Au plu tard,” as the Cajuns would say.

Tracks:
1 Hack a ‘Tit Moreau – Ardoin, Alphonse “Bois Sec”, Canray Fontenot – 3:41
2 Untitled Dance Tune – Ardoin, Alphonse “Bois Sec”, Canray Fontenot – :58
3 Eunice Two Step – Ardoin, Alphonse “Bois Sec”, Canray Fontenot – 2:20
4 Quo Fa’re “Bois Sec” – Ardoin, Alphonse “Bois Sec”, Canray Fontenot – 2:21
5 Jug au Plombeau – Ardoin, Alphonse “Bois Sec”, Canray Fontenot – 2:31
6 La Bataille Dans le Petit Arbre – Isom Fontenot, Aubrey Deville, Preston Manuel – 2:42
7 Le Vieux Boeuf et le Vieux Charriot – Isom Fontenot, Aubrey Deville, Preston Manuel – 2:50
8 La Robe de Rosalie – Adam Landreneau, Cyprien Landreneau – 3:12
9 La Prairie Ronde – Adam Landreneau, Cyprien Landreneau – 3:01
10 La Talle des Ronces – Adam Landreneau, Cyprien Landreneau – 1:48
11 Les Pinieres – Adam Landreneau, Cyprien Landreneau – 3:02
12 Treville N’Est Pas Pecheur – Adam Landreneau, Cyprien Landreneau – 1:43
13 Danse de Limonade – Adam Landreneau, Cyprien Landreneau – 2:01

danse le Two Step! & track 10
mp3 >192kbps vbr | w/ cover

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Marc Savoy with Dewey Balfa and D.L. Menard: Made in Louisiana – Cajun Accordion Music


One of the all-time great Cajun jam-sessions, by three masters of the genre. Listen & dance!

Marc Savoy – accordion, Dewey Balfa – fiddle, D. L. Menard – guitar

Lotsa hype below, in case you needed any hints…

In the 1970s, Marc Savoy, who had made several visits to the Pacific Northwest, decided it was time to make a recording featuring his incomparable Cajun accordion styling on accordions he made in his shop in Eunice, LA. We shipped studio recording equipment to Mr. Savoy, and this recording was made in his house on a Revox HS77 by John Watt. This is some of the best traditional Cajun dance music ever recorded, played in the traditional, acoustic, manner by three masters of this music.


Recorded in Marc Savoy’s home in Eunice, Louisiana, by John Watt on a Revox HS77 recorder using three AKG D190 mikes, mixed to stereo with a Sony mixer. CD made from original session analog tapes, transferred to Tascam DA30 MkII DAT from an Otari 5050B recorder, using a Digitech VTP-1 preamp with A/D conversion. Transferred to PC computer using DAL CardD Plus. Edited with Cool Edit Pro. CD master done with Samplitude CD to HP 6020 CD burner.


Marc Savoy is a native of Eunice, Louisiana who began playing Cajun-style accordion at the age of 12 and now builds the “Acadian” – the most sought-after accordion in the music world today. This collection of instrumentals, recorded in Eunice in 1976 and reissued on the Voyager label, runs through waltzes, one-steps, two-steps, and other traditional dance tunes with the great Dewey Balfa on fiddle and D.L. Menard on guitar. This trio makes the genuine, rooted Cajun music that has the feeling of a shady porch by the bayou. You can almost hear the bare feet slapping on the floor and the wind whistling softly in the Spanish moss. (Trenton Times)

*****

Savoy is a brilliant cajun accordion player using here mostly the ten button German accordion, an instrument of great fullness and in the hands of this expert, an instrument of endless variety from the fleet notes of “Eunice One Step” to the oompah of “Chere Petite” with its laconic melody. A special treat is the marvelous back-up guitar work of D.L. Menard here, particularly “La Valse A Macareau” where he pulses the movement of the song. Any guitarist can learn a great deal from hearing his timing, building and pulse. This is Marc’s album and a very strong statement of the Cajun-Louisiana sound. He switches to the three-row diatonic accordion to do a couple of Zydeco tunes like “J’suis Parti a Lafayette.” Good album recorded in Louisiana where Marc lives. (Victory Review)

*****

The next gem in our Cajun music crown is Voyager’s release of a 1976 recording featuring accordionist (and squeeze-box maker) Marc Savoy backed by two other stalwarts of Louisiana music, Dewey Balfa on fiddle and D. L. Menard on guitar.

Made in Louisiana is an all-acoustic session with a real down-home barn dance feel; it sounds like it was recorded live in the studio. Most of the 13 tracks (12 instrumentals, one vocal) follow a similar pattern in that Savoy takes the lead much of the time, but he steps aside once or twice on each tune to allow Balfa to carry the melody for a while. Menard’s role is basically a supporting one, but his guitar is recorded at a level that allows you to hear and enjoy what he’s playing.

Voyager Recordings should be commended for making this session available. Made in Louisiana is a perfect example of simple and spirited music performed by artists whose love and enthusiasm for their heritage shine through on every note. (Dirty Linen)

*****

Savoy is widely known for his recordings with Michael Doucet. These sessions, which were recorded at Savoy’s home in 1976, have been digitally remastered and consist mostly of little-known Cajun gems from the repertoire of Doc Guidry, Chuck Guillory, Dennis McGee, Iry LeJune, and other masters. All of the selections feature fiddle and guitar accompaniment and, except for Balfa’s heartfelt vocals of “La Branche du Mûrier,” all are instrumental. The last two tracks are zydeco tunes that Savoy plays on the three-row accordion. It’s a little unusual these days to listen to a predominately instrumental collection of Cajun tunes, but Savoy plays them as well as anybody could. This is Cajun music in as pure a state as one is likely to hear these days. (Dirty Linen)

*****

Seattle’s own John Watt journeyed to the Savoy homeplace in Eunice, LA in 1976 to record Marc’s neo-baroque Cajun accordion along with his pals, the late Dewey Balfa on fiddle, and D. L. Menard on guitar, for a wonderful set of rousing instrumental (Dewey sings “La Branche du Mûrier” as the only vocal). This represents some of the finest Cajun music ever put on a recording device. It is Louisiana music at its traditional best, including a couple of pieces with Marc on a 3-row diatonic box, laying down some zydeco rhythms. It’s a wonderful recording, the only drawback being its meager 33 and a half minute playing time. (Victory Music Review)

*****

This is a timely release of some recordings made in Eunice, Louisiana in 1976, featuring accordionist Mark Savoy, accompanied by D.L. Menard and the late Dewey Balfa. “Timely” because much of the cajun and zydeco music being played and recorded today is buried beneath layers of drums and electric instruments, and it’s good to be reminded how soulful the combination of fiddle, accordion and rhythm guitar can be. Savoy builds and plays his own accordions, and the selections here reflect his deep roots in the culture and music of Louisiana. “Viens Me Chercher,” “Eunice One-Step,” and “La Branche du Murier” are among my favorites. (Dirty Linen)

*****

In March 1976, Seattle Folklore activist John Watt journeyed to Eunice, Louisiana to record what would be one of the decade’s most significant Cajun albums. At center stage in the production was accordionist Marc Savoy, a highly respected instrument maker and player who had accompanied several of his peers on their own album projects. Backing him on the session were guitarist D.L. Menard, long regarded as a music legend in Cajun country, and fiddler Dewey Balfa, whose 1964 appearance at the Newport Folk Festival had sparked nationwide interest in his people’s music. Savoy’s album, originally released in 1976, has just been reissued on compact disc by Voyager Recordings, a largely fiddle-oriented label operated by Seattle musicians Phil and Vivian Williams.

Although John Watt had been interested in folk music for many years, he had contented himself with listening rather than playing until Marc Savoy introduced him to the Cajun “button” accordion. “I got to the three-or-four-chord stage in the early parts of the Folk Scare in the Sixties,” he explains, “and then fell in with a bunch of people who played music much better than I could, so I went back to running PA systems and tape recorders. Savoy came through in 1975 with Mike Seeger’s Oldtime Music Festival, in which Seeger got together a bunch of interesting ethnic musicians and toured with them. That year the Cajun contingent was Marc Savoy, who was very much the youngest, and Sadie Courville and Dennis McGee. That was when I first heard a Cajun accordion played, and I basically fell in love with the thing.”

During the few days Savoy spent in Seattle at the home of Phil and Vivian Williams, Watt got some valuable time with his new musical mentor, but his best chance to immerse himself in Cajun culture came later that year in a disastrously unexpected way. “I was building the overhead wire on the streetcar museum outside of Portland,” he explains. “Just a hobby thing. The tower I was working on fell out from under me. I had about eighteen feet to learn how to fly, and I wasn’t a very quick study. I wound up with a pelvic fracture, and I was out of work and on crutches for about six weeks. Toward the end of that period I was convalescing, Continental Airlines had some pretty good flight deals, and Marc said, “Why don’t you come down and hang out around here for a week or two?” I got on the airplane and hung around with a bunch of Cajuns for about a week.”

In March of the following year, Watt got another irresistible opportunity to go to Louisiana when a co-worker moving to Texas offered to pay his plane fare home if he would help with the driving. Since he had already discussed the idea of a Voyager album with Phil Williams and Savoy, the accordionist proposed a visit to Eunice with some recording equipment. “The basic stuff was a Revox and three or four microphones,” Watt recalls. “For the actual recording, we set up a studio in the unfinished part of Marc’s living room: he was living over the music store then. We recorded it to two-track stereo. The recording is just Dewey Balfa, D.L. Menard, and Marc, and we were doing it specifically as an accordion piece. The material is what Marc and Dewey primarily chose. That’s basically how it got done.”

The album, entitled MADE IN LOUISIANA, was released by Voyager soon after it was recorded in 1976. “It was moderately successful, as these things go,” Phil Williams remembers, estimating sales at about a thousand copies. It was reissued about a decade later on cassette and remains available in that format. With its release this year on compact disc, Voyager faces a substantially different marketplace than the one that greeted the album twenty years ago. Interest in all things Cajun has grown exponentially, and then there’s another small factor to consider: the dawning of the Information Age. “We actually have been marketing on the Internet through the web site,” says Williams. “That’s one of our better sources for orders right now. In fact, we’ve had inquiries from some of the national chains: Tower Records is interested. Of course, that’s encouraging, to say the least!”

The reason for the enthusiasm is obvious. In an era when Cajun music has nearly been modernized out of existence by the use of electric instruments and pop-rock production strategies, this album is a breath of fresh air. Produced simply in the live “field recording” tradition of the early Sixties, it places Savoy’s exuberant accordion at the center of the stereo mix, flanked by D.L. Menard’s solid guitar accompaniment and Dewey Balfa’s singularly expressive fiddling. “It’s just soulful playing all the way around,” Williams summarizes. “The Back-up can hardly be beat!” (Heritage Music Review) 


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Marc Savoy with Dewey Balfa and D.L. Menard: Made in Louisiana – Cajun Accordion Music


Liner Notes – VRCD 325

Marc Savoy from Eunice, Louisiana has played the accordion since he was twelve years old. He builds his own “Acadian” brand accordions, which are sold throughout the U.S., Canada, and France, and are prized for their responsiveness, volume, and careful craftsmanship. Marc is joined on this recording by his good friends the late Dewey Balfa, renowned traditional fiddle player, and D. L. Menard, one of Louisiana’s finest backup guitarists and songwriters.

Recorded at Eunice, Louisiana, March 1976 by John Watt, assisted by Michéle DeLaurenti. Mixdown and digital remastering by Phil Williams. Liner notes and photo by Ann Savoy. Cover design by Virginia Hand.

Tracks
1. Eunice One-Step (3:12) – Marc learned this song as a boy from an old black man named Joya Guidry who was a relative of the late Amédée Ardoin, the most famous early accordion player.

2. Tolan Waltz (1:54) – Tolan McCullough was a popular blacksmith, rice mill operator and saloon owner in Eunice. Chuck Guillory and Jimmy Newman composed this song in his honor.

3. Old Crowley Two-Step (2:40) – Recorded by Doc Guidry on fiddle and later by Walter Mouton as “Scott Playboy Special.”

4. Chère Petite (2:42) – Marc thinks this haunting melody was written by Leo Soileau. It was first made popular by Cajun “country-western” fiddler Chuck Guillory.

5. Church Point Breakdown (2:45) – Named after a tiny town near Eunice, this was originally recorded by Amédée Ardoin.

6. La Branche du Mûrier (3:32) – The original words to this popular melody were written by the late Dennis McGee, who lived in Eunice. The story goes that a young girl cut a branch off of a mulberry tree so she could see her fiancé’s brother ride by. It was this brother whom she really loved.

7. Perrodin Two-Step (3:37) – This was first recorded by Dennis McGee, Angelus LeJeune, and Ernest Frugé. It is named after two brothers who often requested it at dances.

8. La Valse À Macareau (2:52) – Written by a black midwife named Macareau who helped deliver Joel Savoy, Marc’s father.

9. Cajun Flop-Eared Mule (2:04) – An old Cajun song resembling the American traditional song “Flop-Eared Mule”. The title is unknown so Marc calls it “Cajun Flop-Eared Mule.”

10. Viens Me Chercher (Come and Get Me) (2:50) – This is an old song recorded by Iry LeJeune, who brought the accordion back to popularity in the 1950’s after it had been neglected in the 1940’s. He is felt by many to truly sing the soul of the prairie with his lonely cries and powerful accordion playing. The story tells of a young man lamenting that his “catin” won’t come back since her old father dragged her back home. Every night he kisses his pillow making believe it is she beside him.

11. La Valse de Pont D’Amour (Lovebridge Waltz) (2:05) – In this song a woman told a man she didn’t want him any more and he took it so hard that he took to the big roads.

12. J’Suis Parti à Lafayette (1:39) – Marc learned this Zydeco song from Clifton Chenier. He plays it and the next tune on the three-row accordion commonly used in Zydeco music, rather than the Cajun accordion which he plays on the other tunes.

13. Les Haricots Sont Pas Salés (1:10) – The old song “Zydeco N’est Pas Salés” (the snap beans aren’t salty) gave the name to this style of music.


salty gumbo.
mp3 >192kbps vbr | w/ cover



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Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard – Who’s that Knocking?

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The venerable Ron Thomason has said in describing Hazel Dickens, “She never let questions of pitch or timing get in the way of the music.” He’s also said that “She brought back the chill, the feeling of excitement and power” that he’d first felt upon hearing original bluegrass music. Hazel walked into a men’s music and made all the men sit down and listen. 


In many senses, this music is primitive. It is far less sophisticated than all the ‘progressive’ bluegrass and new acoustic music that you’ve come to expect from this blog. But this primitive, direct, and unadorned quality gives the music its unearthly power to cut straight to the bone. Entirely devoid of pretention, presumption, prediction, or predication. 


And that’s the way it should be. These songs are real songs, about real feelings and real people in real hard situations. It would be an insult to pretty-up the music. Sometimes music has to hurt to work. And this music hurts, oh it hurts so good. It hurts like the hard earth, and it also carries a redemption like the sun shining for just a minute into the deep black depths of a choking coal mine.


Hazel Dickens – Biographyby John Bush
Protest and folksinger Hazel Dickens grew up the eighth of 11 children in a large, poor mining family in West Virginia, and she has since used elements of country and bluegrass to spread truth about two causes close to her heart: the plight of non-unionized mineworkers and feminism, born not of the ’60s movement but traditional values. Born June 1, 1935, in Mercer County, WV, Dickens learned about music from her father, an occasional banjo player and Baptist minister who drove trucks for a mining company to make a living. She was early influenced by country traditionalists such as Uncle Dave Macon, the Monroe Brothers, and the Carter Family. When she was 19, her family’s dire poverty forced Dickens to move to Baltimore, where she worked in factories with her sister and two brothers. 

The four displaced siblings often attended old-timey festivals and gatherings, watching others and performing themselves. At one of these festivals, Hazel Dickens met Mike Seeger (younger brother of folk legend Pete Seeger), and the two formed a band with her brothers. Over the ensuing decade, Dickens became active in the folk/bluegrass movement around the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., area, playing bass and singing with several bands, including the Greenbriar Boys, who toured with Joan Baez in the ’60s. 

Around this time she met Mike Seeger’s wife, Alice Gerrard, a classically trained singer also interested in old-timey music. At the nearby Library of Congress, the two began researching early feminist songs and then incorporated them into their own repertoire. The duo performed throughout the country — particularly the South — and recorded two albums for Folkways, Who’s That Knocking (And Other Bluegrass Country Music) (1965) and Won’t You Come & Sing for Me (1973). 

The two separated in 1973 — two later albums were compiled from previous recordings — and Dickens began her solo career with a flourish. She recorded four songs for the soundtrack to the Academy Award-winning documentary about coalmining, Harlan County, USA. Three years later, she contributed to the soundtrack for With Babies and Banners and began a solo career five years later. Her three solo albums for Rounder, Hard Hitting Songs for the Hard Hit (1981), By the Sweat of My Brow (1983), and It’s Hard to Tell the Singer From the Song (1987), include old-timey country alongside protest songs and songs in a more contemporary country style. Rounder’s A Few Old Memories distills the best of the three albums onto one disc.

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Alice Gerard – Biographyby Craig Harris
The daughter of trained classical musicians, Alice Gerrard didn’t grow up with bluegrass or folk music. Her earliest musical memories are of singing along with family members and friends around the living room piano. Gerrard’s albums with West Virginia-born folksinger Hazel Dickens, however, rank among the most influential recordings in folk music history. 

Gerrard’s first exposure to folk music came while she was attending Antioch College in Ohio. Inspired by the folk songs played by dorm-mates, Gerrard abandoned the piano and became absorbed with the more rural sounds that she heard on such albums as The Anthology of American Folk Music. 

Moving to Washington, D.C., to complete her college co-op experience, Gerrard encountered a thriving bluegrass scene. Hanging out in her spare time at the Famous Restaurant in Washington, D.C., Gerrard met numerous bluegrass and old-timey musicians, including Mike Seeger of the New Lost City Ramblers, who introduced her to Dickens. With their mutual love of traditional American music, Gerrard and Dickens became close friends. Developing a unique harmony style that combined the alto-below-lead of the Carter Family and the tenor-above-lead of Bill Monroe, the two vocalists soon became frequent performers in the folk clubs and coffeehouses of the Capitol region. Their repertoire continued to expand as they studied sheet music at the Library of Congress and taped old-timey musicians at folk festivals. 

Gerrard and Dickens’ debut album, Who’s That Knocking, released in 1965, was recorded for 75 dollars at the First Unitarian Church in Washington and featured accompaniment by David Grisman (mandolin), Lamar Grier (banjo), and Chubby Wise and Billy Baker (fiddles). Although their second album, Won’t You Come and Sing?, featuring the same musicians, was recorded the same year, it wasn’t released until 1973. Gerrard and Dickens’ first two albums were later combined and released as Pioneering Women of Bluegrass in 1996. The 26 tunes on the reissued album include six Carter Family songs, five Monroe tunes, three original songs by Dickens, and Gerrard’s hard-hitting satire of sexist attitudes towards women, “Custom Made Woman Blues.” 

Gerrard and Dickens’ Get Acquainted Waltz was released in 1975 and featured accompaniment by Seeger, who was at the time Gerrard’s husband, and his New Lost City Ramblers bandmate Tracy Schwartz. 

Gerrard subsequently recorded two albums with Seeger — Mike and Alice Seeger in Concert in 1970 and Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard in 1980 — and one solo collection, Pieces of My Heart in 1994. Since 1987, Gerrard has published The Old Time Herald, a quarterly magazine devoted to the preservation of old-timey music.

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Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard – Who’s that Knocking?

Year: 1965
Label: Folkways

with David Grisman, Lamar Grier, Chubby Wise & Billy Baker!

Tracks:

  1. Walkin in My Sleep
  2. Can’t you Hear me Calling
  3. Darling Nellie Across the Sea
  4. Difficult Run
  5. Coal Miner’s Blues
  6. Gabriel’s Call
  7. Just Another Broken Heart
  8. Take Me Back to Tulsa
  9. Who’s that Knocking?
  10. Cowboy Jim
  11. Long Black Veil
  12. Lee Highway Blues
  13. Lover’s Return
  14. Gonna Lay Down my Old Guitar
  15. I Hear a Sweet Voice Calling

open the door.
vinyl, cleaned | mp3 >256kbps vbr | w/ scans

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A Jukebox of Ghosts


Hello,

I’ve been enjoying your blog for a while so I thought I’d give you a holler. The collection of music you present is awesomely eclectic and esoteric, and your descriptions are fantastic: “It’s like when you’re a baby, laying in your crib, and the voice of the mighty one comes to you, and tells you you’re going to live to see the death of all the world.” Damn! Thank you for the endless hours of musical exploration (laced with the occasional Borges reference) you’ve made possible.

I started my own blog, The Vanished Hand (http://vanishedhand.blogspot.com/), back in May to explore my interest in the old, weird, and macabre, including music, poetry, photography, and anything else that strikes me. I’m just trying to let it take its own course. It is still quite young, but I thought you might be interested.

Dude. That’s a fantastic new blog. I really like how you mix it up with the poetry, photography, etc, and then link these historical events to contemporary performances from a wide variety of styles. Any place that brings together sea monsters and Dock Boggs, Sigur Rós, Tim Eriksen, Mark Twain (in animated stereographic format), and boys with their heads thrown back in pangs of agonecstasy (a new word as of now) is worth my time. I haven’t even read what you’ve written yet, and already I like it.
In fact, I’ve been wanting to expand a little bit from music and the occasional bit of poetry, and do some posts on art, cinema, etc. So I think I just might, spurred by your anthropoarchaic interperipheral excursions.
So perk your heads up readers: this one’s a keeper.
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