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Jan 23, 2022 - 5:31:04 AM
271 posts since 9/14/2019

I come from a bluegrass background. I like OT fiddle tunes but I also want to grow my understanding of OT songs. What are your favorite albums in this area? Which albums really define the genre?

I would be interested in older albums and newer ones. Would be very interesting to hear how OT songs have been interpreted by a new generation of players.

Thank you,

John Call

Jan 23, 2022 - 6:10:09 AM

466 posts since 4/14/2014

There's a record by Fleming Brown, mostly vocal tunes. Really great. I would recommend checking out the Field Recorders Collective for more examples.

Jan 23, 2022 - 7:29:05 AM
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4359 posts since 10/13/2005

Great album by Michael Clooney. Debbie Mc Clatchey. banjered

Jan 23, 2022 - 9:14:43 AM

JeroenJ

Netherlands

57 posts since 1/7/2014

I think "Songs from the Mountain" from John Herrmann, Tim O'Brien and Dirk Powell is a great album to dip a toe in old time music.

Edited by - JeroenJ on 01/23/2022 09:15:16

Jan 23, 2022 - 9:54:47 AM
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carlb

USA

2367 posts since 12/16/2007

Growing up, I had a Harry and Jeannie West album. Also, heard Jean Ritchie, George Pegram, Roscoe Holcomb, and others.

Jan 23, 2022 - 11:03:18 AM

Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25904 posts since 6/25/2005
Online Now

The CDs by Big Medicine—Their singing is probably the best of any old-time band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pri3rzfUxT0

Jan 23, 2022 - 11:56:58 AM
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1847 posts since 7/4/2009

Singing is a huge part of old-time music, and I'm glad to see you're interested in it when so many old-time revivalists and enthusiasts neglect it.

Check out

Texas Gladden
Jean Ritchie
Almeda Riddle
Roscoe Holcomb
The (original) Carter Family
Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerard (separately or together)
Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice

Recommended albums - to the best of my knowledge these should all be available on CD or digitally:

Mountain Music of Kentucky - includes recordings by Roscoe Holcomb (his first), a couple of church congregations, and unaccompanied ballad singing by Martha Hall, who was a source for Jean Ritchie. Also some great fiddle and banjo playing.

Doug & Jack Wallin - Family Songs & Stories From the North Carolina Mountains

Dark Holler: Old Love Songs and Ballads. Features several singers, mostly from the Sodom, NC area, including the great Dillard Chandler.

Practically anything by the New Lost City Ramblers. Even most of the tracks on their Stringband Instrumentals album have some singing.

Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden and Genuine Negro Jig

Edited by - UncleClawhammer on 01/23/2022 12:10:35

Jan 23, 2022 - 12:56:54 PM
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Emiel

Austria

10113 posts since 1/22/2003
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My favorite is and has always been this one (Art Rosenbaum: Art of the Mountain Banjo; both singing and instrumental):

Edited by - Emiel on 01/23/2022 13:00:00

Jan 24, 2022 - 11:44:31 AM
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1808 posts since 2/9/2007

Tom Ashley, Doc Watson, et al on various Folkways albums.
Frank Proffitt
Dock Boggs
Banjer Bill Cornett
Alfred Karnes

Jan 24, 2022 - 1:21:46 PM
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6092 posts since 3/11/2006

Tom, Brad, and Alice.

Also Cary Fridley with the Freighthoppers

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Jan 24, 2022 - 3:22:54 PM

Hunter Robertson

Switzerland

906 posts since 5/19/2006

Hobart Smith
Bascom Lamar Lunsford
The Warner Collections on Appleseed
The Beech Mountain collections on Folk Legacy
The four Far in the Mountains collections from Mustrad
I.D. Stamper

Jan 24, 2022 - 5:53:16 PM

4359 posts since 10/13/2005

Ditto Frank Proffitt, what a great folk voice he had that fitted so well with his playing. banjered

Jan 25, 2022 - 1:55:25 PM

Paul R

Canada

15768 posts since 1/28/2010

The three albums by the Highwoods String Band, if you can find them (I unfortunately don't have mine any more - any info would be appreciated). They did a lot of singing, often on more novelty-type songs ("Who Broke the Lock", for example).

The New Lost City Ramblers can be found at Smithsonian Folkways. I don't know if it can still be done, but I was able to download the liner notes to every original album.

Rounder Records was a great source of material back in the day. They had source material in their historic series, as well as OT - and Bluegrass material that would suit OT. I think George Pegram was the first Rounder album. Flying Fish had some good stuff, too.

Jan 25, 2022 - 2:29:26 PM
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banjo bill-e

Tuvalu

12077 posts since 2/22/2007

I really enjoyed the Black Dog album by The Stillhouse Rounders for vocal versions of old time songs. But it's out of print and hard to find now.

Jan 27, 2022 - 4:40:55 AM
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amsweet

USA

38 posts since 3/6/2021

Ola Belle Reed's Rising Sun Melodies from Smithsonian Folkways is always a good listen.

Jan 27, 2022 - 4:52:59 AM

324 posts since 11/9/2021

Another vote for Highwoods String Band. The vocals are oK, depending on who is singing, but instrumentally - these are the guys that got me into old time. I had the privilege of opening for them back in the '70's and later to jam with them. They injected a special something into old time music and are responsible for many musicians going into that genre, including me. A lot of their music is on Youtube now.

Feb 19, 2022 - 4:36:11 AM
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341 posts since 8/11/2007

quote:
Originally posted by watercarving

I come from a bluegrass background. I like OT fiddle tunes but I also want to grow my understanding of OT songs. What are your favorite albums in this area? Which albums really define the genre?

I would be interested in older albums and newer ones. Would be very interesting to hear how OT songs have been interpreted by a new generation of players.

Thank you,

John Call


The closest I've found to definitive albums are "Last Possum Up the Tree" by George Gibson
https://juneappalrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/last-possum-up-the-tree

... and "Black Banjo Songsters of North Carolina and Virginia"
https://www.ncfolk.org/product/black-banjo-songsters-of-north-carolina-and-virginia/

Here are some other banjo songsters to research:


Rufus Crisp

John Snipes

Virgil Anderson

Mabel Cawthorn

Dink Roberts

Retta Spradlin

Morgan Sexton

Lee Sexton

John Haywood

Jack Helton

Ed Teague

Lawrence Eller

John Jackson

Nora Brown

Matthew Govig

Jerron Paxton

...

Edited by - Clifton Hicks on 02/19/2022 04:41:42

Feb 21, 2022 - 5:56:16 AM

135 posts since 9/27/2007

Original Folkways Recordings - Doc Watson and Clarence Ashley

Feb 21, 2022 - 10:35:26 AM

banjopaolo

Italy

1608 posts since 11/6/2008

Hobart Smith

Feb 21, 2022 - 1:51:47 PM
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382 posts since 1/10/2013

The Whitetop Mountain Band has just released two albums on Bandcamp. 1976-1983 Volume 1 The Complete Mountain and Heritage Recordings and Volume 2 The Unreleased and Live Recordings. Both feature vocals by Emily Spencer and Becky Barr, banjo by Flurry Dowe and Emily Spencer and fiddle by Albert Hash and Thornton Spencer. Great Grayson County playing and singing.

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