Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Harry Smith Connection: A Live Tribute To The Anthology Of American Folk Music
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Blues, Folk, World Music, Jazz, Pop, Rock, Children's Music
Powerful new interpretations of Southern musical traditions, recorded live in October, 1997, at the Barns of Wolf Trap. These contemporary versions of songs that either appeared on the Grammy-Award winning Anthology of Ame... more »
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Powerful new interpretations of Southern musical traditions, recorded live in October, 1997, at the Barns of Wolf Trap. These contemporary versions of songs that either appeared on the Grammy-Award winning Anthology of American Folk Music or are associated with its compiler, Harry Smith (tracks 9 and 19), are a wild mix of styles from "gangsta folk" to gospel, blues, Cajun, country rock, jug band, and more. A stellar group of musicians pays tribute to the past and dramatically demonstrates the enduring vitality of America?s traditional music. Extensive notes, discographies, and photographs. Produced by Pete Reiniger, Jeff Place and Bob Santelli, annotated by Jeff Place and Bob Santelli.
A labor of love
Linwood I. Greer | Richmond, VA USA | 09/28/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"These live recordings of songs from the AAFM offers warm, loving renditions of a handful of the armload of American musical heritage sent through the years to us by Harry Smith. It's yet another reminder of how important Smith's contribution was. Peter Stampfel's ode to Harry makes me want to hear the rest of the epic and "Nothing" by the Fugs is nothing short of wonderful."
The Other "Roots" Historian
Alfred Johnson | boston, ma | 12/21/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"John and Alan Lomax are justly famous for their herculean efforts over many years to gather "roots" music from sources all over the American continent, the bayous, the hollows, the mountains and the plains. Not as well known but as worthy of praise is the work of the "roots" historian Harry Smith, the subject of this tribute CD. During the 1940's and 1950's Smith was working the highways and byways of the South and elsewhere recording whatever music was at hand with whatever recording device he could put to together. No less a later folk historian that the singer Dan Van Ronk remarked that he learned much of his early folk repertoire from the Harry Smith collection. Others, including Bob Dylan, also "cribbed" from the Smith collection. That tells the tale.
This tribute CD is a treasure trove of songs, some familiar and some long forgotten by this reviewer. The most interesting point that always catches my attention on these anthologies is how much crossover there is despite the differences in geography, ethnicity or race. For example, listen to the two versions of "The Coo Coo Bird" here. Or consider "The Butcher Boy" that I have heard under the names "The Railroad Boy" or "In London Town" but which however tells the same old tale of abandoned love and its tragic consequences. And how many versions of "John Henry" have been recorded? The one done here by John Jackson, by the way, is excellent. As is his rendition of "Frankie and Johnnie".
"John The Revelator" done by Ethel Caffie-Austin is the best version I have heard this side of Son House. The lead vocal by Geoff Muldaur of the old Jim Kweskin Jug Band makes "Minglewood Blues" pop. Van Ronk's "Spike Driver Blues" is vintage Dave. Jeff Tweedy and company do a very nice job on Rabbit Brown's "James Alley Blues". The Fugs' on "Nothing" is just the kind of odd ball tune that old Harry was looking for. To top thing off listen to Pete Stampfel on his Harry Smith tribute song "His Tapes Roll On". That is the kind of tune that latter day cyberspace "roots" historians will pick up in order to continue the traditions. Listen on.