Scenes from That High Lonesome Sound
July 26, 2007 6:12 AM   Subscribe

FolkStreams:" Remembering The High Lonesome " - Dillard Chandler
Roscoe Holcomb - Little Birdie
Roscoe Holcomb - Graveyard Blues
And from Roscoe Holcomb comes the song which is the soundtrack of the eponymously entitled Moonshiner. Dylan described a certain untamed sense of control in his singing and Ralph Stanley once said 'you could feel the smell of wood smoke in his voice'.
Yes, I watched High Lonesome Sound again, last night...
posted by y2karl (12 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
I can't watch these because of the computer I'm on, but Roscoe Holcomb is just awesome! His a cappella version Man of Constant Sorrow is the only version I find more affecting than Stanley's.

Thanks for the post, I can't wait to get to a computer where I can see these.

(And High Lonesome Sound is awesome!)
posted by OmieWise at 6:22 AM on July 26, 2007

I got primed for this by listening to the entire Folk Music Anthology yesterday. thanks!
posted by Busithoth at 6:42 AM on July 26, 2007

I love Roscoe Holcomb so much. Heck, I just linked to the very same Little Birdie clip in a banjo thread right here at MeFi, like yesterday, more or less. But there's never too much Roscoe, as far as I'm concerned.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:52 AM on July 26, 2007

Too much Roscoe just isn't possible.

Eric Clapton called him his favorite bluegrass musician, which shows that Eric wasn't always right about everything, but he always had the right idea.

If you find this issue of No Depression, it's got a great article on him by a man who knew him well and stands as one of my favorite pieces of writing on folk music. It really puts his work in perspective, both of the music world and the world he lived in. Plus it has a great picture of him and Ralph Stanley singing hymns in the back of a tour bus. Good stuff.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:17 AM on July 26, 2007

I had no idea he was where so many Uncle Tupelo songs came from.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 9:15 AM on July 26, 2007

The End Of An Old Song, Cohen's film about Dillard Chandler and the other hill singers, is as stark and lonesome as the songs themselves. Chandler lives in a dark, one-room shack so poorly built the sun shines through the cracks. He tells us that he can't read so he "doesn't fool with the mail box," and that he's gotten by in life on hard work, mostly gardening. The thing that hits you the hardest is the lost weary look on the faces of Chandler and his friends. Even when they're singing they look shell-shocked and expressionless, the result of a life of hard work lived with few, if any, of the conveniences we all take for granted.

The film lacks a narrative thread and stops abruptly as Chandler's hitting on a young woman in a diner while the juke box plays George Hamilton IV's "Tobacco's But An Indian Weed." Cohen got Chandler an invitation to perform at the Newport Folk Festival in 1967, but he never got on the bus out of Ashville, the nearest big town. This film and the Dark Holler CD are the only traces he left behind.
Dark Holler: Old Love Songs And Ballads

The End Of An Old Song is on the DVD of That High Lonesome Sound.
His cabin was amazing.
posted by y2karl at 9:36 AM on July 26, 2007

I had no idea he was where so many Uncle Tupelo songs came from.

I'm not sure about that. They may have been listening to Holcomb, but they were certainly listening to Dylan. They covered "Song to Woody" live. I've always assumed that they got Moonshiner from Dylan too.

(Unless of course you mean ultimately came from, in which case it may have come to Dylan through listening to Holcomb, but the Clancy Brothers, at least, put it on a record, so even that is unsure.)
posted by OmieWise at 9:47 AM on July 26, 2007

Thanks, y2karl. Great stuff.
posted by metasav at 9:49 AM on July 26, 2007

What a voice! fantastic.
posted by twistedonion at 11:47 AM on July 26, 2007

This is good stuff y2karl, thanks for posting.
posted by nola at 3:13 PM on July 26, 2007

Thanks for the post, y2karl. I would like to add that if you don't own the album High Atmosphere, you should pick it up. It has songs sung by Dillard Chandler and a host of others. It's been one of my favorite albums for years.
posted by sleepy pete at 2:17 AM on July 27, 2007

The Soldier Travelling from the North sung by Dillard Chandler has him singing the song in RealAudio.

There are beau coup samples Chanler's voice on the Smithsonian Folkways page for the soundtrack album for Dillard Chandler: The End of an Old Song .

And here is a page for the Madison County Project: Documenting the Sound -- ...a documentary short about ballad singing and filmmaking in Madison County, NC

And here is A Nest of Singing Birds
posted by y2karl at 11:59 AM on July 29, 2007

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