Appalachian rural musician George Landers, was featured on musicologist John Cohen’s acclaimed 1965 album High Atmosphere, a compilation of appalachian music from North Carolina and Virginia. In 1970, Cohen followed up with the 27 minute film The End of an Old Song”, filmed in the mountains of North Carolina and revisiting the region where folklorist Cecil Sharp had collected British ballads in the early 1900s and focusing on the ballad singer Dillard Chandler. Within the film, Landers is featured, singing The Scotland Man while playing in his unique two-finger clawhammer banjo style. Continue reading George Landers : The Scotland Man, from The End Of An Old Song, documentary by John Cohen, 1970
The banjo’s recent return to favour has seen the likes of Otis Taylor and Rhiannon Giddens reclaim the instrument as part of African America’s musical roots. Twenty-three-year-old Kaia Kater from Québec studied mountain music in West Virginia and writes songs from the here and now. Her second album manages to triangulate bluegrass, Nina Simone and Toni Morrison, with numbers provoked by school shootings (Paradise Fell) and Black Lives Matter, next to fiddle-and-banjo folk standards and an opener, Saint Elizabeth, that details a woman being stalked. Recorded in a day, it’s an intense, mostly solo affair, with Kater’s banjo and rich voice supported by bass, muted trumpet and backing vocals. -Neil Spencer, The Guardian
An excellent mixtape from the folks at Folk Radio UK, and hey it’s even slightly festive.
Here are their notes regarding their set:
“Whilst not a full-on festive offering, our latest mix does contain some festive cheer courtesy of a reading from Robert Frost as well as music from Steve Tilston & Maggie Boyle, Tim Laycock, Richard Farina With Blind Boy Grunt (better known as Bob Dylan) & Eric Von Schmidt, and some top-notch wassailing from John Kirkpatrick.
Scattered amongst this festive sprinkling are some classics from the likes of John Martyn, Sandy Denny, Hamish Imlach and Richard Thompson as well as unique offerings from Maarja Nuut and new music from DakhaBrakha and Siobhan Miller‘s new single. There’s also some old recordings from Topic Records back catalogue including Ed Pickford with Ee Aye, Aa Cud Hew, Gordeanna McCulloch with The Clutha and Exiles who were Enoch Kent, Bobby Campbell and Gordon McCulloch.”