February 27, 2016

Once Upon a time in Appalachia

On a dark and stormy night in Raleigh, NC during the IMBA 2015 bluegrass festival, a quartet of super talented musicians, who had never before met or played together, converged at the Pour House for a blistering set of supremely innovative modern bluegrass music that pushed the boundaries of the genre to the delight of the small crowd gathered inside. As Hurricane Joaquin gained strength outside, the intimate space was filled with eclectic music written and played by banjo virtuoso Ryan Cavanaugh, and enhanced with the spontaneous collaboration of Eli Bishop on violin, Nick Baglio on drums and Max Johnson on upright bass. This was the opening song of the set, Once Upon a time in Appalachia, written by Ryan Cavanaugh. I knew I was filming something special right away and did my best to capture this unique event. It was an honor and a privilege to film this show with the help of my gifted friend, photographer Gabriel Nelson.

February 22, 2016

A Vision Shared: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly 1988

Columbia C-44034 AL-44034

Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Gatefold
Country: US
Released: 1988
Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country, Folk
A1 Sylvie (Lead Belly): Sweet Honey in the Rock (2:01)
A2 Pretty Boy Floyd (Woody Guthrie): Bob Dylan (4:34)
A3 Do Re Mi (Woody Guthrie): John Mellencamp (3:23)
A4 I Ain't Got No Home (Woody Guthrie): Bruce Springsteen (3:40)
A5 Jesus Christ (Woody Guthrie): U2 (3:13)
A6 Rock Island Line (Lead Belly): Little Richard with Fishbone (2:32)
A7 East Texas Red (Woody Guthrie): Arlo Guthrie (5:34)
B1 Philadelphia Lawyer (Woody Guthrie): Willie Nelson (2:59)
B2 Hobo's Lullaby (Goebel Reeves; performed by Woody Guthrie): Emmylou Harris (2:41)
B3 The Bourgeois Blues (Lead Belly): Taj Mahal (2:43)
B4 Grey Goose (traditional; performed by Lead Belly): Sweet Honey in the Rock (2:07)
B5 Goodnight, Irene (Lead Belly): Brian Wilson (2:38)
B6 Vigilante Man (Woody Guthrie): Bruce Springsteen (4:09)
B7 This Land Is Your Land (Woody Guthrie): Pete Seeger with Sweet Honey in the Rock, Doc Watson & The Little Red School House Chorus (3:45)
This is a solid collection of alternately exuberant and faithful covers of the songs of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. Great cuts are Little Richard's fuel-injected "Rock Island Line," and Springsteen's "Vigilante Man." Bob Dylan does "Pretty Boy Floyd."

February 15, 2016

Pop Stoneman Memorial Album 1968

MGM Records SE-4588

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1968
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country
A1 Blue Ridge Mountain Blues (2:42)
A2 Katie Klein (2:18)
A3 I Love Corrina (2:01)
A4 The Baby-O (1:48)
A5 Stoney's Waltz (1:25)
A6 Hallelujah Side (2:16)
B1 A Message From Home (2:33)
B2 Where The Soul Never Dies (2:40)
B3 No Name For It Yet (1:47)
B4 The Birds Are Returning (2:16)
B5 The Mountaineer's Courtship (4:08)
Liner Notes: Norm Cohen, Produced by Jack Climent, Cover Art: Tony Kokinos
By 1961 the Stoneman Family act included Scott, Donna, Jim, brother Van on guitar, sister Veronica (Roni) on banjo, and Pop as featured singer and autoharpist. The group made two albums for Starday Records in 1962 and 1963, later recording for MGM and World-Pacific. Pop also joined his children for appearances at folk festivals and folk clubs. With the advent of the lively syndicated TV series Those Stonemans in 1966, Pop proved his skills on the small screen. He died on June 14, 1968, having lived to see the Stoneman Family win the Country Music Association 1967 Vocal Group of the Year Award. Hattie Stoneman, who died on July 22, 1976, also witnessed this triumph. Following his death, the children of Pop and Hattie Stoneman extended their family’s musical heritage into the twenty-first century. A fine vocalist and autoharp player, Patsy replaced her father in the act, which went on to record for other labels including RCA and CMH. Roni and Donna left early in the 1970s, and Scott died in 1971, but Patsy, Jimmy, and Van pressed on with assistance from non-family sidemen. Donna eventually returned, and Roni worked with them from time to time, in addition to starring on the popular Hee Haw TV series as banjo player and comedienne. By 1993, however, Jim and Van’s health problems effectively ended the band’s career. Although both brothers have passed away, Patsy and Roni continue to make occasional appearances, and Donna lends her talents to evangelistic work. Meanwhile, reissues of Pop’s classic 1920s recordings make his music available to new generations.

February 13, 2016

Emmylou Harris: Roses in the Snow

Warner Bros. Records BSK-3422

Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1980
A1 Roses In The Snow (2:32)
A2 Wayfaring Stranger (3:26)
A3 Green Pastures (3:08)
A4 The Boxer (3:16)
A5 Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn (3:22)
B1 I'll Go Stepping Too (2:16)
B2 You're Learning (2:57)
B3 Jordan (2:07)
B4 Miss The Mississippi (3:40)
B5 Gold Watch And Chain (3:12)
Emmylou Harris (guitar/vocals) Ricky Skaggs (banjo/guitar/mandolin/fiddle/vocals) Tony Rice (guitar/vocals) Buck White (keyboards/piano/vocals) Jerry Douglas (dobro/guitar) Bryan Bowers (autoharp) Albert Lee (mandolin) John Ware (drums/percussion) Emory Gordy (bass) Brian Ahern and Willie Nelson (guitars) Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, Sharon White & The Whites (vocals)
Arranger & Producer: Brian Ahern, Design & Photographer: Tom Wilkes, Engineer: Brian Ahern, Donivan Cowart & Stuart Taylor
Recorded in The Enactron Truck (July 1979). Mixed in Enactron Studio Two. Combining acoustic bluegrass with traditional Appalachian melodies (and tossing one contemporary tune, Paul Simon's "The Boxer," into the mix), Roses in the Snow ranks among Emmylou Harris' riskiest -- and most satisfying -- gambits. (AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny)

February 11, 2016

The Down Hill Strugglers and John Cohen at AFC 2015

Treasures from the Archive Roadshow: Featuring the Down Hill Strugglers & John Cohen

John Cohen plays banjo
The Down Hill Strugglers and John Cohen played traditional American music they have learned directly from the amazing collections at the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress, on September 25, 2015 (63 minutes).

The Down Hill Strugglers:
Walker Shepard - fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, voice
Jackson Lynch - fiddle, banjo, guitar, voice
Eli Smith - banjo, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, Jews harp, pump organ, voice
They are often joined by John Cohen - banjo, guitar, mandolin, voice, brain

The Library of Congress  Read more at: the Library of Congress Webcasts Site

February 10, 2016

Pete Seeger: To Hear Your Banjo Play - 1947

Folk master Pete Seeger narrates Alan Lomax's documentary on the evolution and appreciation of American folk music. Special cameo performances include Woody Guthrie and Brownie McGhee, amongst many others. Pete Seeger is an American folk singer and an iconic figure in the mid-20th-century American folk music revival. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of The Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene", which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of The Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, and environmental causes.As a song writer, he is best known as the author or co-author of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", "If I Had a Hammer", and "Turn, Turn, Turn!", which have been recorded by many artists both in and outside the folk revival movement and are still sung throughout the world.

"Flowers" was a hit recording for The Kingston Trio (1962); Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French (1962); and Johnny Rivers (1965). "If I Had a Hammer" was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary (1962) and Trini Lopez (1963), while The Byrds popularized "Turn, Turn, Turn!" in the mid-1960s, as did Judy Collins in 1964, and The Seekers in 1966. Seeger was one of the folksingers most responsible for popularizing the spiritual "We Shall Overcome" (also recorded by Joan Baez and many other singer-activists) that became the acknowledged anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement, soon after folk singer and activist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. In the PBS "American Masters" episode Pete Seeger: The Power of Song, Seeger states it was he who changed the lyric from the traditional "We will overcome" to the more singable "We shall overcome".

Movie Film  See more at: http://www.weirdovideo.com/

February 6, 2016

Bean Blossom: Bill Monroe's 7th Annual Bluegrass Festival 1973

MCA Records MCA2-8002

Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1973
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass
A1 Mule Skinner Blues (Blue Yodel No. 8) (2:48)
A2 You Won't Be Satisfied That Way (1:58)
A3 Uncle Pen (2:19)
A4 Blue Moon Of Kentucky (3:22)
A5 Ole Slew-Foot (2:27)
A6 Sweet Little Miss Blue Eyes (2:17)
B1 Please Be My Love (2:13)
B2 I Wish You Knew (2:26)
B3 Love, Please Come Home (2:14)
B4 Train 45 (2:37)
B5 Bonny (2:05)
B6 When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again (2:15)
C1 Hit Parade Of Love (2:41)
C2 Mary Ann (3:00)
C3 Sunny Side Of The Mountain (2:55)
C4 Free Born Man (3:19)
C5 Tennessee (2:46)
C6 Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms (2:19)
C7 Feudin' Banjos (2:10)
C8 Ballad Of Jed Clampett (2:14)
D1 Roll On Buddy (2:11)
D2 I Wonder Where You Are Tonight (2:59)
D3 Orange Blossom Special (2:28)
D4 Down Yonder (3:43)
D5 Soldier's Joy (2:34)
D6 Grey Eagle (2:38)
D7 Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (4:02)
(A1-A4) Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys (A5-A6, B1-B2) Jim & Jesse and The Virginia Boys (B3-B6) James Monroe (C1-C5) Jimmy Martin & The Sunny Mountain Boys (C6-C8) Lester Flatt & The Nashville Grass (D1) Bill Monroe & James Monroe (D2) Bill Monroe and Jim & Jesse (D3) Carl Jackson (D4-D7) Bill Monroe & The Bluegrass Boys
Mastered By: Darrell Johnson, Mixed By: Joe Mills, Producer: Snuffy Miller, Walter Haynes

February 2, 2016

Big Ball in Monterey: The Stoneman Family

World Pacific ST-1828

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1964
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country, Bluegrass
A1 Big Ball In Monterey (2:02)
A2 Little Margie (2:32)
A3 Wonder How The Old Folks Are At Home (2:45)
A4 Dominique (2:56)
A5 Sunny Tennessee (2:41)
A6 Lost Ball In The High Weeds (2:18)
B1 Groundhog (2:28)
B2 Busted (2:25)
B3 Take Me Home (3:03)
B4 Darlin' Corey (2:28)
B5 Dark As A Dungeon (3:31)
B6 Fire On The Mountain (2:25)
Ernest Stoneman (autoharp/harmonica/guitar/vocals) Donna Stoneman (mandolin/vocals) Roni Stoneman (banjo/vocals) Scotty Stoneman (fiddle/vocals) Van Stoneman (guitar/dobro/vocals)Jimmy toneman (bass/vocals)