Friday, November 28, 2008

Clyde Davenport

Clyde Davenport, from Wayne County, Kentucky, is one of the last old-time fiddler still alives today (born in 1921, he's 87 years old).  He plays also the banjo, mostly clawhammer style, as you can hear on this lp issued by County Records. There's also an old recording of Burnett & Rutheford included in the album because Leonard Rutheford was Clyde's main influence on the fiddle.
-You can go here to read about his life and playing style.
-On the Field Recorders' Collective website, they have two cds you can order and an article about him.
-On the digital library of Appalachia website, there's many performances available for free.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Some changes on "The Old, Weird America"

I've made some changes to my first post on "The Old, Weird America". Now you'll have two compilations to download in a zip file format: "Dick Justice's World" and "The Henry Lee Variations". Enjoy

Friday, November 21, 2008

My new music blogs

I've started two new musical blogs, in parallel with this one, that, i hope, will complete each other well. Here, i want first of all to make available out-of-print or hard-to-find records that i like, and mostly i rip the lps from my collection in my computer, take a picture of the cover and the liner notes and share a few words about the music. On "The World's Jukebox", the idea is to present songs and tunes from all over the world, most of the time issued originally on 78rpm records or field recordings of all kind, that i select from my collection of cds , it's only one tune for each post and i let the music speak for itself. If you're interested about one selection, i always show from which cd i took it and i strongly recommend that you buy it. This way you'll support the small records companies that make this important world music available and you'll have most of the time access to liner notes that gives a good insight and historical informations that make for a deepened listening experience.
My last project is called "The Old, Weird America" in hommage to Greil Marcus and it's an exploration of the famous "Anthology of american folk music" edited by Harry Smith and issued by Folkways Records. The idea, here, is to take the Anthology as a roadmap to travel through America's roots music and traditions, gathering informations, music, photos and videos about each artists, songs and tunes and track the influence they had on the folk revival, and american popular music in general. I hope all this will be of interest and enjoyable, not only to americans but people like me, from all over the world, who feel inspired and fascinated about all this traditions. 
Finally, as it's a  work-in-progress project, i'll be happy to receive any comment, suggestion, critic or aditionnal information about this topics. Thanks

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Country Spirituals

Here's an excellent compilation of gospel songs performed by "guitar evangelists", Blues songsters and gospel singers, all recorded by the great folklorist Dr. Harry Oster in the sixites....
It features Snook Eaglins, Reverend Pearly Brown, Butch Cage and Willie Thomas, Robert Pete  Williams, among others great performers...
Go to Wirz discography to see all the  recordings of Dr Harry Oster. To me, he's one of the most important american folklorist of this century, along with Alan Lomax.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ukrainian-American Fiddle & Dance Music

These recordings of traditionnal dance music, recorded in America between 1926 and 1936 by ukrainian immigrants, sounds as lively and joyful as any american old-time string band music or irish music from the same period. So if you like traditionnal fiddle music, take a listen and be ready to dance and rejoice with these incredible music.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tommy Jarrell & Fred Cockerham

I thought it would be a good idea to make this superb recordings of Tommy Jarrell with Fred Cockerham available again because the cd seems to be out-of-print... Here's a link to an article by Ray Alden about these two greats musicians: 
And here's the album:

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Joseph Spence

I've been a fan of Joseph Spence for a while and, like a lot of guitar player before me, i was really intrigued and and fascinated by his playing. So last year i was very excited to see that Stefan Grossman's guitar workshops issued a tutorial dvd of Spence's guitar style by Elijah Wald. I really enjoyed this lesson and recommend it to everyone, even to the basic fingerpickers or the country blues/folk players because it brings new ideas for the  playing in dropped D tuning, challenging rythms and, like Elijah Wald says in the video, it's so much fun to play...
On the bonus of the dvd, there's one hour of unreleased audio recordings by Spence, including some interviews. I put all the tracks on my itunes player, using the audiohijack system, and i want to share this material with you.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Library of Congress Banjo Collection

This post is dedicated to all the banjo enthousiasts, including myself, who love the instrument and want to explore and study the old-time styles of playing. This recordings, taken from the library of congress huge collection, were recorded between 1937 and 1946 and represent all kinds of pre-Scruggs picking styles, from down-picking (clawhammer is the term more employed) to various two and three finger-pickings. The sound on most of the tracks is very raw but i'm sure you'll enjoy this important historic collection. I've put pictures of the booklet in the zip file as it brings historical notes, banjo tunings and great pictures of the performers...