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Art Of Field Recording, Vol. 2

Art Of Field Recording, Vol. 2

Like the first volume of Art of Field Recording, this second installment is a four-CD box set of considerable size and scope of field recordings by Art Rosenbaum. The 107 tracks, recorded between 1956 and 2008 (the very year this set was issued), cover an enormous range of American traditional music. Cajun, Appalachian folk, country blues, gospel, Sacred Harp


Like the first volume of Art of Field Recording, this second installment is a four-CD box set of considerable size and scope of field recordings by Art Rosenbaum. The 107 tracks, recorded between 1956 and 2008 (the very year this set was issued), cover an enormous range of American traditional music. Cajun, Appalachian folk, country blues, gospel, Sacred Harp singing, sacred steel guitar, and a cappella vocals are among the styles documented. It might not quite get to everything, but it certainly captures plenty of approaches that had little to no exposure in the conventional commercial music business over this half century, yet were preserved and performed outside of the media spotlight. Like its predecessor, it's also divided into four separate thematic discs, though these are slightly different this time around. The first and second CDs are (as they were in Vol. 1) devoted to a "survey" disc encompassing a bunch of styles and a disc of religious material; the third and fourth go into different directions by presenting a CD of "accompanied songs and ballads," and another wholly of "unaccompanied songs and ballads," or songs performed a cappella. A few performers here and there will be known to folk fans (Cajun musicians the Balfa Brothers and Nathan Abshire, bluesman Scrapper Blackwell, Alice Gerrard, Buell Kazee), but mostly these are musicians without commercial profiles who make music because they want to, happening to get these performances taped by Rosenbaum. Art of Field Recording, Vol. 2 is of a similar level of quality as Vol. 1 -- which, it should be noted, might not be to everyone's taste, even folk and traditional music fans. These are field recordings spanning several decades, so the fidelity, while always listenable, isn't always sparkling. The performances are often on the spontaneous and even roughly stark side, and while that's justly hailed as part of their emotional impact, it doesn't always make for captivating listening, especially in such a lengthy dose. And while it seems a little spoilsport to make this kind of complaint about traditional music, some of the songs are pretty shopworn -- "John Hardy" might be a very significant folk song on its own merits, but do listeners really need to hear yet another version, and hardly one of the most distinguished ones? The set's greatest value is a folkloric one that lies in its sheer diversity, with an unselfconsciousness and ease that have become rarer commodities in music, not to say life in general, in the late 20th century and early 21st century. Plus, there are occasional performances (even if these tend to be the more polished ones) that would stand as enjoyable pieces outside of the context of this box set, like the Chancey Brothers' guitar-banjo duet "Mulberry Gap/Cumberland Gap"; Golden River Grass' energetic bluegrass-gospel hybrid (with harmonica) "Over in the Glory Land"; and the Myers Family & Friends' quite movingly sung and played selections, which are a nicely swinging blend of Appalachian folk with a bluegrass tinge. And, though an entire disc of a cappella singing might be too much for some listeners, it's more diverse and listenable than many would expect, with a few surprisingly rambunctious items; noted singer/songwriter Greg Brown even makes a surprise appearance on it, dueting with his grandmother on a 1978 recording of "Two Little Boys." The packaging is superb (and the element of this release that will get it far more attention than most such folkloric compilations), the large-sized 96-page booklet including both detailed background information and more than 100 photos and illustrations.

Product Details

Release Date:
Dust To Digital


Disc 1

  1. La Grondeuse (The Scolding Woman)
  2. Blues
  3. 12th Street Rag
  4. Danish Galop
  5. Broke Down Engine
  6. J'Ai Passé Devant Ta Porte
  7. Colinda
  8. Garfield
  9. The Devil Song
  10. Unnamed Tune
  11. Going Across the Prairie
  12. Muddy Roads of Georgia
  13. Georgia Blues
  14. Billy Staffer (The State of Arkansas)
  15. Cindy in the Summertime
  16. General Lee's Surrender
  17. Shortnin' Bread
  18. Free Little Bird
  19. The Soldier and the Lady
  20. Big Road Blues
  21. Harlan County Farewell Tune
  22. Marmaduke's Hornpipe
  23. Jonah
  24. Turkey in the Straw
  25. Paddy on the Turnpike
  26. Play Party Songs: In This Ring/I'd Rather Be a Farmer's Boy [Medley]
  27. Mulberry Gap/Cumberland Gap [Medley]
  28. Fred Rogers' Reel
  29. Goin' Where the Monon Crosses the Yellow Dog

Disc 2

  1. Welcome Home
  2. The River of Jordan
  3. Brother, You Ought T'Ve Been There
  4. New Prospect
  5. No Man Can Love Me Like Jesus
  6. He's Calling Me
  7. Out of My Bondage
  8. Mother, Tell Me of the Angels
  9. No Room at the Hotel
  10. Let's Have a Family Prayer
  11. Over in the Glory Land
  12. A Charge to Keep I Have
  13. How Long the Train Been Gone?
  14. Lord, Remember Me
  15. Eve and Adam (Pickin' Up Leaves)
  16. There's a Man Going Around Taking Names
  17. Savior, Don't You Pass Me By
  18. Oh That Terrible Day
  19. I Know I Got Religion
  20. Dry Bones
  21. Walk with Me

Disc 3

  1. I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground
  2. Going to Georgia
  3. Southern Texas
  4. Raise a Ruckus Tonight
  5. The Rambling Boy
  6. Want to Go to Cuba, Can't Go Now
  7. The Boat's Up the River
  8. Hog Drivers
  9. As I Walked out One Morning in Spring
  10. Devilish Mary
  11. Barbara Allen
  12. Steamboat Bill
  13. John Henry
  14. John Henry
  15. John Hardy
  16. Old Joe Clark
  17. The Miller's Will
  18. On Top of Old Smoky
  19. Last Payday at Coal Creek
  20. The Wreck on the CC&O Road
  21. Quit That Ticklin' Me
  22. Going Up the Country
  23. Talking Blues
  24. Don't Go Riding Down That Old Texas Trail
  25. Ring Ching Ching

Disc 4

  1. Fair and Tender Maidens
  2. The Bird's Song
  3. The Elfin Knight
  4. Gypsy Davy
  5. Black Jack Davy
  6. Black Jack Davy
  7. The Battle of Stone River
  8. Froggy Went A-Courting
  9. The Factory Girl
  10. I'm a Noble Soldier
  11. The Young Man's Lament
  12. The Butcher's Boy
  13. Lady Lye
  14. Lullabies
  15. Utah Carl
  16. Billy Button
  17. Ring Plays
  18. Mohawk Love Song
  19. Shenandoah
  20. Two Little Boys
  21. Down in the Arkansas
  22. I'll Drink and Be Jolly
  23. We'll March Around the Wall
  24. John Came Home
  25. The Farm out West
  26. Frankie and Johnny
  27. The Farmer's Son
  28. The Famous Wedding
  29. Sail Away, Lady/Greenback [Medley]
  30. The Lame Soldier
  31. Pearl Bryan
  32. Sing, Sing, What'll I Sing?

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Scrapper Blackwell   Guitar,Vocals
Nathan Abshire   Accordion,Vocals
Dewey Balfa   Fiddle,Vocals
Buell Kazee   Banjo,Vocals
Shirley Griffith   Guitar,Vocals
Ola Belle Reed   Banjo,Vocals
Rodney Balfa   Guitar
Will Balfa   Fiddle
Andy Carlson   Fiddle
Alice Gerrard   Vocals
Smokey Joe Miller   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Earl Murphy   Fiddle
Ray Rhodes   Vocals
Viola Watkins   Vocals
Lawrencs McKiver   Vocals
Betty Jean Robinson   Vocals
Art Rosenbaum   Fiddle,Guitar
Gordon Tanner   Fiddle,Vocals
James Gerard Watson   Banjo
Bob Black   Banjo
Pat Hudson   Fiddle,Vocals
Jim Cook   Vocals
Kirk Brandenberger   Fiddle
Mary Ruth Moore   Vocals
Pete Steele   Banjo,Vocals
Henry Riendeau   Guitar
John W. Summers   Fiddle
Henry Grady Terrell   Vocals
Bert Hare   Guitar,Vocals
Cecil Barfield   Guitar,Vocals
Eddie Bowles   Guitar,Vocals
Fidel Martin   Fiddle
Mabel Cawthorn   Piano,Vocals
Lala Brown   Vocals
Lucy Barnes   Vocals
Chesley Chancey   Banjo,Vocals
Sister Fleeta Mitchell   Vocals
Ollie Gilbert   Vocals
Lawrence Eller   Banjo,Vocals,Track Performer
Vaughn Eller   Guitar,Mouth Bow
Howard Cunningham   Guitar
John "Doodle" Thrower & Golden River Grass   Harmonica
Jack Bean   Guitar,Vocals,Spoken Word
Margaret Kimmett   Vocals
Mary Lomax   Vocals
Bobby McMillon   Guitar,Vocals
Laethe Eller   Piano,Vocals,Track Performer
Mary Heekin   Vocals
Bonnie Loggins   Vocals
Jake Staggers   Banjo,Vocals
Clester Hounchell   Fiddle
Louis Riendeau   Fiddle
W. Guy Bruce   Banjo,Vocals
Maude Thacker   Vocals
Leasie Whitmire   Bass
Brady "Doc" Barnes   Guitar,Vocals
Willard Benson   Guitar,Vocals
Helen McDuffie   Guitar,Vocals
Bill Key   Fiddle
Lynn Elliott   Guitar
Neal Patman   Harmonica,Vocals
Oscar "Shorty" Shehan   Banjo,Fiddle,Vocals
Juanita Shehan   Guitar,Vocals
Smokey McKinnis   Fiddle
Anna Sandage Underhill   Vocals
Eddie Ruth Pringle   Vocals
Imogene Riggens   Vocals
Berthie Rogers   Piano,Vocals,Track Performer
George Gibson   Banjo,Vocals
Leasie Whitmore   Bass
Virgil Sandage   Vocals
Stan Gilliam   Vocals
Vern Smelser   Vocals
Sudie Parks   Vocals

Technical Credits

Shirley Collins   Author
Jean Ritchie   Author
Art Rosenbaum   Producer,Annotation,Documentation,Essay
Susan Archie   Art Direction
Nathan Salsburg   Contributor,Liner Notes
Steven Lance Ledbetter   Producer
Brady "Doc" Barnes   Author

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