On Monday September 24th, Mandolin Brothers were visited by 3/5ths of The Punch Brothers: Chris Thile, along with Chris Eldridge and Noam Pickelny. Chris played their Lloyd Loar 1924 F-5 mandolin and their 1925 Fern. Among the numbers they played was a lovely rendition of Tennessee Waltz. Previously [more inside]
Singer-songwriter Gillian Welch has released her first new album in eight years, The Harrow and the Harvest. Welch, who writes, plays, and tours with her partner David Rawlings, combines multiple influences that extend well beyond the borders of Appalachian folk, bluegrass, and Americana, to what Alec Wilkinson has called "at once innovative and obliquely reminiscent of past rural forms" in his 2004 New Yorker profile. [more inside]
Perhaps the greatest country baritone since George Jones is confined to a wheelchair by muscular dystrophy and has a day job at a nuclear power plant. [more inside]
Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
Made most popular to many Americans as the closing song for the Grand Ole Opry programs, Will The Circle Be Unbroken was written in 1907 by Ada Habershon, an intensely religious young woman and acquaintance of Dwight Moody and Ira David Sankey. The music was "composed" by Charles Gabriel, a popular songwriter and composer of the era who is often solely credited with the song, but while he may have put the notes down on paper, the tune itself already existed as the African-American spiritual Glory Glory / Since I Laid My Burden Down. [lots more inside]