in New England homes were a wintertime venue for live music and contra dance
- a social dance form that's never really faded from the region's popular culture. Often credited with keeping the form alive, scholar/musician Ralph Page
celebrated the kitchen junket
and other contra traditions from 1949-1984 in his hand-printed magazine Northern Junket
, available indexed and fully digitized via the University of New Hampshire. [more inside]
is called Alice's Restaurant, and it's about Alice
, and the restaurant
, but Alice's Restaurant
is not the name of the restaurant
; that's just the name of the song
, and that's why I call the song
Restaurant. [more inside]
American Ethnography Quasi-Weekly
is a somewhat gonzo cabinet of curiosities -- a mix of photography, academic essay, archival materials, and bloggy postings on "outlaw aethetics" and outsider culture, presenting glimpses of American subcultures past and present, from Califormia low-riders
dancers to blackface tambourine jugglers
, and plenty more. [more inside]
often known as "The Last Shantyman
," authored a book
called Shanties From the Seven Seas
, based on his own work experiences in the last days of sail. Influential in the folk revival, the book is one of the most important written sources for music sung aboard ships in the 19th and early 20th century, the "Bible" of sea music
. Decades of chanteying in pubs and at festivals have kept many of the songs alive, but in most cases they've strayed stylistically from the verses and versions Hugill collected, or dropped out of popularity entirely. Now, one musician
is returning to the source and creating a new audio archive for the original versions of the songs as written, by singing through the more than 400 songs in the book, one song each week, and posting the songs on YouTube, with commentary
. [more inside]
Pilgrim Productions Presents: Voices Across America,
an archive of gospel music in a variety of genres, submitted for free play and download by church groups and folk and traditional groups across the country and beyond. Style, age, and quality vary greatly, but fans of noncommercial music will enjoy hunting for the gems of blues, Cajun, bluegrass, choral, shapenote, country, vintage, and mountain gospel and more.
The Folkways Collection
is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that "explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)."
A 1975 documentary by a young academic folklorist, exploring what it was that people were doing when they made home movies: remembering selectively, creating a "golden age." [more inside]
Sounds of America
is a new monthly streaming audio program, a collaboration between the National Museum of American History
and Smithsonian Global Sound
. Up now are 3 episodes: African-American music in New Orleans, Women in American Music, and Freedom Songs of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
A creative presentation of Florida folk artists and their work. The interface can be a little baroque, but there's some nifty stuff inside.