Critic Milo Miles says that in this new collection of music from between the world wars, "the currents of long-ago lives come through: the drudgery of the work that demanded the release of the party, which then required the penance of prayer."
In 1927 and '28, Ralph Peer, a talent scout for the Victor Talking Machine Company, set up recording sessions in a town straddling the Tennessee-Virginia border. The resulting sessions, rock critic Ed Ward says, laid the framework for all of country music.
Singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III won a Grammy in January for his recent album paying tribute to an old-time country banjo player who died in 1931. Called High Wide and Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, the double album features nine new songs, plus a raft of tunes made popular by Poole, a country-music pioneer.
This interview was first broadcast on Aug. 19, 2009.
Loudon Wainwright's new double album, High Wide and Handsome: The Charlie Poole Project, is a tribute to the old-time country banjo player who died in 1931. The singer-songwriter explains the motivations behind the project -- and why Poole was such an influential country pioneer.
Folk singer and collector of folk recordings Mike Seeger. In the early 1950s he sought to preserve the music traditions of the mountains of the Southeast U.S. thru recordings and through his own playing. In 1958 he cofounded the New Lost City Ramblers. Seeger is the half-brother of folk singer Pete Singer. He has a new collection of music he recorded: "Close to Home: Old time Music From Mike Seeger's Collection: 1952-1967" (Smithsonian). There's also a new collection: "There Ain't No Way Out: New Lost City Ramblers" (Smithsonian)