Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Georgia Sea island Songs

This week's lp is recordings made in the Georgia sea island by Alan Lomax of both religious and secular traditionnal songs. You'll have to read the liner notes that i provide in the zip file to learn about these ancient black traditions that remained for so long  in these island and you'll know how wonderful these performances are by listening to it. In a way it reminds me a lot of another group singing, those of the Bahamas islands from which Joseph Spence comes from.
You can hear the same performers in many other recordings by Aln Lomax, notably in the Southern Journey cd series.
(zip file of the vinyl rip cut in mp3 tracks with pictures of the record sleeves and inside liner notes with the lyrics of the songs)

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.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Tony Mac Mahon- Legendary Irish Button-Accordion Player

I noticed that many of my previous posts featured guitar or banjo players (maybe because that's my main instruments) so i decided to post something different today. This is the first album of Tony Mac Mahon, a famous button-accordion player from County Clare, Ireland. A true master of his instrument, deeply rooted in his tradition and in the same time very innovative and emotive player, he's reknowed for his playing of slow airs, as you will hear on this lp, but the lively tunes are wonderful as well.