Mountain Journey: Stars of Old Time Music

Mountain Journey: Stars of Old Time Music

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The traditional music of the Appalachians was nearly killed off in the 20th century by the rise of radio, television, and the phonograph, which all but replaced the social function of homemade music in the Southern mountains, while hot new musical forms like bluegrass and rock & roll drew young players away from the music of their parents and grandparents, breaking… See more details below

Overview

The traditional music of the Appalachians was nearly killed off in the 20th century by the rise of radio, television, and the phonograph, which all but replaced the social function of homemade music in the Southern mountains, while hot new musical forms like bluegrass and rock & roll drew young players away from the music of their parents and grandparents, breaking the chain that saw the old songs and melodies get passed down hand to hand through the oral folk process. Powerful as these modern forces were, however, they were also the same forces that helped preserve the Appalachian tradition in amber, as young musicians, many of them from the big cities, bought old-time records and took them to heart during the folk revival of the 1960s, learning to play and replicate the music itself. No longer learned so much at the feet of elders, but learned instead from Surround Sound speakers, the old-time music of the Southern mountains is arguably more accessible now than at any other time in the past 60 years, thanks in part to the old-time soundtracks of two hugely popular movies, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and Cold Mountain. One of the record labels at the center of all this is Rounder Records, which, starting with its first release by banjo picker George Pegram in the early '70s, has been steadfast in supporting the music through numerous album releases. Mountain Journey is a well-sequenced sampler disc of several of these releases, concentrating on the last purveyors of the original folk process. Among the many highlights are Ola Belle Reed's stirring and intelligent "My Epitaph," sung in stark fashion with just acoustic guitar accompaniment. Also worth noting are Pegram's propulsive banjo on the old dance tune "Cindy" and two pieces by Etta Baker, one that finds her playing gorgeous modal five-string banjo runs on "Cripple Creek" (with Mike Seeger on fiddle) and another that features Baker's virtuoso guitar playing on what has become her signature tune, "Bully of the Town." Another gem is Dry Branch Fire Squad leader Ron Thomason's solo banjo reading of a G.B. Grayson and Henry Whitter classic, "He's Coming to Us Dead," which reminds listeners that the price of war is perhaps most costly for the poor. That the old-time music of the mountains has survived so well into the 21st century is somewhat of a miracle, and that it occasionally even flirts with the pop charts (thanks to certain successful soundtracks) is even more of a miracle, but then, perhaps not, because these sturdy, ancient songs deal with joy, innocence, anguish, anger, seduction, lust, heartbreak, hope, despair, death, and love with an uncommon directness that defies both time and place even as they help form its definition.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/25/2005
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661054622
Rank:
227814

Tracks

  1. Wayfaring Pilgrim
  2. Free a Little Bird
  3. Cripple Creek  - Mike Seeger
  4. Cindy  - Red Parham
  5. And Am I Born to Die  - Gaither Carlton
  6. Poor Soldier  -  Ginny Hawkier
  7. Wild Rose of the Mountain
  8. Times Are Not What They Used to Be  - Ginny Hawker
  9. Sweet Sunny South
  10. The Traveller  -  Sacred Harp Singers of Georgia & Alabama
  11. Pretty Bird  - Hazel Dickens
  12. Cruel Willie
  13. He's Coming to Us Dead
  14. Bully of the Town
  15. Two Soldiers  - Alice Gerrard
  16. Bonaparte's Retreat
  17. Not a Word of That Be Said  - Ginny Hawker
  18. If I Could Hear My Mother Pray Again
  19. Midnight on the Water  -  Ralph Blizard & The New Southern Ramblers
  20. My Love Lies in the Ground  - Dirk Powell
  21. My Epitaph

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Etta Baker   Vocals,5-string Banjo
Doc Watson   Vocals
Hazel Dickens   Guitar,Tenor (Vocal)
Mike Seeger   Fiddle
Hugh McGraw   Leader
Ralph Blizard   Fiddle
J.P. Fraley   Fiddle
George Pegram   Banjo,Vocals
Ola Belle Reed   Guitar,Vocals
Buddy Thomas   Fiddle
Gaither Carlton   Fiddle
Alice Gerrard   Autoharp,Vocals
Ginny Hawker   Vocals
Phil Jamison   Guitar
Carol Elizabeth Jones   Baritone (Vocal)
Pete Kennedy   Guitar
Bruce Moisky   Guitar
Tim O'Brien   Guitar,Vocals
Malcolm Owen   Fiddle
Dirk Powell   Banjo,Fiddle
Ron Thomason   Banjo,Vocals
Marshall Wilborn   Bass
David Reed   Guitar
Bill Bolick   Mandolin,Vocals
Earl Bolick   Guitar,Vocals
Bascom Lamar Lunsford   Banjo,Vocals
Connie Gately   Guitar
Fred Gately   Bass
Vickie Owen   Dulcimer
Annadeene Fraley   Guitar
Ron Stewart   Fiddle
John Lilly   Bass
Red Parham   Harmonica
Red Roberts   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Hazel Dickens   Arranger,Composer
J.P. Fraley   Arranger
Ola Belle Reed   Composer
Wade Mainer   Composer
Alice Gerrard   Arranger
Ginny Hawker   Arranger
Toby Mountain   Mastering
Dirk Powell   Composer
Benny Thomasson   Composer
Scott Alarik   Liner Notes
Public Domain   Composer
Traditional   Composer

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