Click on an episode listed below and you'll get to a site which contains comments on the subject, more information on the recordings, including links to sources, and references if you want to pursue something further. Comments or questions? Send me a message at email@example.com.
This series grew out of a collaboration on Phil's program during summer, 2006: a 3-part series on crime songs. As with last year's series, each episode lasts about 20 minutes, and includes commentary and a few songs on a subject. Our intention for the expanded series was to explore some subjects that have always been important to American country people, as illustrated by their songs. Because of my area of knowledge, most of these are Appalachian old-time rather than bluegrass songs. We wanted to avoid subjects that are already over-represented in the standard old-time and bluegrass repertoire, such as faithful mothers, unfaithful lovers, or gospel songs. Even then, the main difficulty we had was not lack of material, but limiting the choice to 8 subjects and 3-4 songs per subject.
Theme music for the series is Forked Deer, played by The New Lost City Ramblers, from their first album, The New Lost City Ramblers, Folkways LP FA2396. In keeping with their promise when they inherited the Folkways catalog, Smithsonian-Folkways can make you a CD of this album.
EPISODE 1: HARD TIMES ON
IF YOU LIKED THAT, YOU'LL LOVE THIS:
Some other old-time Appalachian music material on this website:
THE BRANDY SNIFTERS -- Old -Time Appalachian stringband music. Read our story and buy our recordings. Includes pictures and recordings of some memorable old-time musicians we've met.
THE LEGEND OF UNCLE WILLIE & THE BRANDY SNIFTERS, OR HOW TO ENJOY PLAYING OLD-TIME MUSIC WITHOUT THE PITFALLS OF WORLDLY SUCCESS -- Reprinted from the Old Time Herald. Includes some information about the mid-20th-century old-time Appalachian music scene in Minnesota.
TRADITIONAL MUSIC PHOTO ALBUM -- Photos of old-time musicians we've met, from 1961 - 2006 and counting. This is the same site as the link on the Brandy Snifters page. We're listing it here also, because people were having a hard time finding it.
REMEMBERING THE OLD SONGS
Articles from Inside Bluegrass (Minnesota Bluegrass & Old
Music Association Newsletter)
about traditional songs. Bob Waltz and Lyle take turns writing
the monthly articles.