Recent Posts

Frank Proffitt : Will the real Tom Dooley stand up?

Frank Noah Proffitt (June 1, 1913 – November 24, 1965) was an Appalachian old time banjoist who helped popularize the song “Tom Dooley” and was a key figure in inspiring musicians of the 1960s and 1970s to play the banjo. He was born in Laurel Bloomery, Tennessee and was raised in the Reese area of Watauga County, North Carolina where he worked in a variety […]

The high lonesome sound of Roscoe Holcomb

Roscoe Holcomb, was an American singer, banjo player, and guitarist from Daisy, Kentucky. A prominent figure in Appalachian folk music, Holcomb was the inspiration for the term “high, lonesome sound,” coined by folklorist and friend John Cohen. The “high lonesome sound” term is now used to describe bluegrass singing, although Holcomb was not, strictly speaking, a bluegrass performer. Bob Dylan once commented that Holcomb “… has […]

The Bristol Sessions : 90 Years after the Big Bang of Country Music

According to Country Music Hall Of Fame Inductee, Johnny Cash, the collective 1927 Bristol Sessions was, without a doubt, “the single most important event in the history of Country Music”. “The Victor Co. will have a recording machine in Bristol for 10 days beginning Monday to record records — inquire at our store.” That was […]

Vernacular Music : 12th Century Troubadours to Singer-Songwriters

The tradition of a solo singer providing music for a community or gathering is very old.  As far back as the 12th century with the troubadours and trouvères of France as well as the minnesinger from Germany, all the way up to today’s buskers the singer of vernacular music has been a recognizable feature of […]

The hidden Baroque : Björn Schmelzer, Peter Paul Rubens and Orazio Vecchi

“I have never felt this “other” Baroque with quite the sense of anachronistic shock which I experienced when first encountering the cover photgraph for this CD.  At first glance, it almost looks as though it represents the lamenting Mediterrean culture of pleureuses (professional mourners), but it is in fact a funeral procession on the little […]