Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Almeda Riddle-How Firm A Foundation



This week i post a lp by the great traditionnal singer, Almeda Riddle. Born in Arkansas in 1898, Almeda was considered a national treasure by american folklorists. She knew hundreds and hundreds of old ballads and songs and was a very important figure of the folk revival. Many came back to the tradition of unaccompanied ballad singing after they heard her performed at a folk festival in the sixties. Unfortunately, there's not many records available today of her, apart for a few tracks on the "Southern Journey" collection by Alan Lomax. But there's a website dedicated to the collection of John Quincy Wolf, the folklorist who discovered her, that features more than 80 recordings of Mrs Riddle along with many other perfomers from the Ozarks. Check it out, it's a great resource for those interested in american traditionnal traditions.
The lp "How Firm a Foundation" was the last she recorded before her death and features only the religious material from her repertoire. Almeda's singing here is as strong and intense as ever and the songs were an important part of her life, and you can feel how deep her spiritual life was listening to this recordings.
-Here, you'll read her biography and on the "Folkstreams" website (An important collection of movies concerning folklore and many marvelous ones about music) there's a documentary about her.

5 comments:

The Irate Pirate said...

thanks, as always. i'm just now getting around to listening to this, and it's very touching.

hurricane_mario said...

omg, thank you! Loved her since i heard it in Gummo... and i'ts not even on the official soundtrack! Almost impossible to find her stuff, and you have a full album somehow! Thanks.

hurricane_mario said...

... Just wondering if you have any more albums? This album was from like, the year she died and she was 90. It's still good but I'd appreciate earlier stuff if you have it!

Yopparai said...

Brilliant. I have lived in Arkansas all my life and it takes a guy in France to introduce me to Almeda Riddle.

Texas Hobart said...

Thank you for turning me on to the "Folkstreams" website.I really loved her personality she showed in the documentary.Her music and songs she sings move me and stirs my soul.