Homemade American Music,
a movie by Carrie and Yasha Aginsky: A history of rural southeastern traditional American music, as told and played by Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard. Mike and Alice recount their own involvment with this music, and briefly trace its history as we meet their mentors: the late Tommy Jarrell, Lily May Ledford, Roscoe Holcomb, Elizabeth Cotten and many other musicians.
Mike Seeger interviewed
(mp3 link) by an inexperienced but eager young Oberlin student in 2003. Mike also plays gourd banjo and jew's harp on air. He talks about Dock Boggs toward the end.
Mike Seeger playing
(mp3 link) at the Oberlin Folk Festival in 2003. About minute 18 he gives a lesson on playing jew's harp.
For lovers of old-time, mountain banjo styles and songs, Roscoe Holcomb
and Dock Boggs
are revered figures. To many, however, plucker and singer David Akeman
remains uncelebrated or unknown, even by his stage name of Stringbean
. Is it because he was
for a time actually famous
as a country music showbiz
staple, and therefore lacks folk cred
? Or maybe the purists just can't get with those low-hanging pants
the man was known for, his original hillbilly homeboy
styling? Or was it cause on any given tune his left hand
would likely be off
the neck of the banjo more than on it? Whatever the reason, it's time folks took a new look at Stringbean. After all, the lines between folk and commercial
styles have always
been blurry in American music. Let's hear it for Stringbeeeeeeeaaan! [more inside]