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American Songcatcher

American Songcatcher

By Nicholas Edward Williams
Tracing the roots of American music from its cultured past to artists playing it forward, join folk musician Nicholas Edward Williams in thi audio documentary-style podcast series. Each episode uncovers the lesser-known journey behind one traditional song, followed by four stories of musicians in American roots music, up to someone carrying tradition today. From immigrants who brought their music to Appalachia, to songs of the South: Gospel, Blues, Country, and the Folk music derived from it all. We'll go behind the curtain of the pioneers, and hear the stories of the under-represented.
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BONUS: Sitting In // Dylan Walshe and Ramblin' Jack Elliot

American Songcatcher

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S2:E6 // The Man in Black (Part 2)
Featured in this Episode: Johnny Cash Teaser: The story of the enigmatic “Man in Black” is a vast ocean that is impossible to cover every detail. But this three part series will attempt to further explain what listeners know about Johnny Cash, debunk a few myths, and uncover fascinating moments in his life that are lesser known. In essence, we’ll be looking further behind the curtain of the legend known as JR Cash than exceptional movies such as “Walk the Line” have portrayed.  Part 2 presents Johnny’s rise with Sun Records, the tumultuous years of his personal life and addiction, his turnaround, and when he first cleans up his act as a star. — Collaboration | Basic Folk Podcast  "Shine A Light" | Johnny Cash: The Life Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram Support Independent Programming! Join the Patreon Send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal Credits: Nicholas Edward Williams - Production, research, writing, editing, recording and distribution Source Credits: Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash: The Life | The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash | Official | Washington Post |  Live About | Britannica | Town and Country | History.com | KHQA | Biography | VC Star | El Paso Times | Classic Country | Culture Trip
40:15
May 01, 2022
S2:E6 // The Man in Black (Part 1)
Featured in this Episode: Johnny Cash Teaser: The story of the enigmatic “Man in Black” is a vast ocean that is impossible to cover and give every detail. But this three part series will attempt to further explain what listeners may think they know about Johnny Cash, broaden the understanding of his personal life, and uncover fascinating moments in his career that are lesser known, misunderstood, or flat out wild. In essence, we’ll be looking WAY behind the curtain of the legend known as JR Cash, far more than even exceptional movies such as “Walk the Line” have portrayed.  In part one, we'll navigate Johnny’s childhood, teenage years, and his initial rise with Sun Records. — Support Independent Programming Join the Patreon Send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal — Collaboration | Basic Folk Podcast  "Shine A Light" | Johnny Cash: The Life Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram | TikTok Credits: Nicholas Edward Williams - Production, research, writing, editing, recording and distribution Source Credits: Johnny Cash: Johnny Cash: The Life | The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash | Official | Grunge | Biography | Live About | Achievement.org | Cheat Sheet | Britannica | Action 5 News
48:27
April 04, 2022
S2:E5 // That Bad Man
Celebrating Black History Month!  Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Stagger Lee” (:42) Memphis Minnie (15:45) Lightnin’ Hopkins (29:21) Taj Mahal (48:55) Teaser: This notorious murder story has been covered in more genres, by more artists and across more multi-media platforms than any other in history, while somehow remaining relatively obscure. She’s known as the queen of the country blues, and queen of the Chicago blues, though she got her start while homeless and playing on the streets full time in Memphis. One of the last links that remained of the original country blues past the folk and blues revival, this Texas bluesman’s personal life was shrouded in mystery during both pinnacles in his near 60-year career. Born of Caribbean descent, he would go on to be a liaison between cultures and sounds from all over the world, wrapping it all into a tight package that makes the blues feel like an altogether human experience. — Collaboration | Basic Folk Podcast  "Shine A Light" | Blues Foundation Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram Support Independent Programming | Join the Patreon or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal Credits: Nicholas Edward Williams - Production, research, writing, editing, recording and distribution Jack Browning - Writer Ryan Eastridge - Writer Source Credits: Stagger Lee: Missouri Life | StaggerLee.com | American Blues Scene | StLouis-mo.gov Memphis Minnie: Black Past | Musicians Guide | 64 Parishes Lightnin’ Hopkins: Black Past | | Texas Monthly | Udiscovermusic | THSA.org Taj Mahal: Berklee Interview | Harlem World Magazine | Hawaii Public Radio | New York Times
01:09:28
February 21, 2022
AS Presents // Basic Folk feat. Chris Thile
Today on the program, I’m pleased to bring you a very special episode through American Songcatcher, sharing a wonderful podcast called Basic Folk in our feed. Now some of you may already be aware of these in-depth, honest interviews with host Cindy Howes, but I feel like the rest of you should get on board! Sure, there are many conversational podcasts out there, but Basic Folk sets itself apart with honest and complex conversations about the human experience witnessed from an artistic angle. Cindy's questions are not only well-researched and carefully crafted, but the artists featured are among the most revered in the American roots music scene today, some of which have been covered or will be covered by this podcast, including Amethyst Kiah, Oliver Wood, Tom Rush, Alison Russell and several others. One of Cindy and I’s favorite musicians, Chris Thile, stopped by Basic Folk several months back, and it seemed apropos to share their conversation since he was covered in Episode 1 of Season 2. Be sure to subscribe to Basic Folk wherever you get your podcasts! We'll be back with Episode 5 in two weeks! BF Links: Spotify Apple Music Official Site Instagram Facebook About Basic Folk: Basic Folk is a podcast with honest conversations between musicians and Cindy Howes, a well-versed public radio host and music curator, and guest host Lizzie No, a talented singer/songwriter. Basic Folk approaches interviews with warmth, humor and insightful questions. This podcast fosters the folk community and showcases a genre that is often misunderstood. Basic Folk features complex conversations about the human experience witnessed from an artistic angle. Our definition of “folk” is extremely broad, so you’ll hear interviews from Amythyst Kiah, Tom Rush, The Lumineers and many more. Basic Folk is dedicated to showcasing the best in folk and roots musicians including BIPOC musicians who have been excluded, or felt like they did not belong, in the folk world. Both Cindy and Lizzie bring unique perspectives to our honest conversations and are dedicated to changing the landscape and the gatekeepers of the folk music community.
01:03:39
February 02, 2022
S2:E4 // Pioneering Women in Bluegrass and Old-Time
Featured in this Episode: Jean Ritchie (:28) Ola Belle Reed (17:48) Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard (35:41) Alison Krauss (55:54) Teaser: Her family is considered one of the wealthiest in the ballad tradition, preserving hundreds of songs from their lineage to Scotland in their home of Kentucky, and is single-handedly responsible for bringing the Appalachian dulcimer to prominence in America. Born in the mountains of North Carolina, she paved the way for both bluegrass music and old-time with her brother through their pioneering work at music parks, on the radio, and during the folk revival. They’re considered the first women to front a bluegrass band, and in their wake are generations of women thanks to their contributions. A child prodigy, she was signed to Rounder Records at 14 and now is one of the most decorated bluegrass and female musicians of all time, still turning heads today with her many collaborations. --- "Shine A Light" | Pretty Good For a Girl: Women in Bluegrass by Murphy Hicks Henry Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram Support | Join Patreon or send a one-time donation: Venmo // PayPal Source Credits: Jean Ritchie: KET | Library of Congress | NPR Ola Belle Reed: Blue Ridge Heritage | Arts.gov | NC Pedia | SML Hazel Dickens and Alice Gerrard: NY Times | Folkstreams | Official | BG Hall of Fame | Pinecone | Birthplace of Country Music Alison Krauss: NPR | Britannica | Grammy |  NY Times
01:12:41
January 16, 2022
S2:E3 // God's Golden Shore
Season 2, Episode 3 // God's Golden Shore Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Man of Constant Sorrow” (:28) Ma Rainey (13:08) Bill Monroe (31:40) Patsy Cline (51:29) Bruce Molsky (1:08:17) Teaser: Thought to be rooted in the early hymns brought to America, this old-time folk song has reveled in the spotlight more than once in the roots music community, especially after being featured in the 2000 film “O’ Brother Where Art Thou.” A defining voice of the 1920’s and 1930’s, this female artist wrote the book on fashion, songwriting, and entrepreneurship while harnessing the soul of the blues in some of the earliest recordings of the genre. Dubbed the Father and creator of Bluegrass music, this mandolin aficionado learned how to weave the blues with old-time with piercing tenor mountain harmonies and blistering fast tempos. A life taken too soon, this woman’s voice epitomized country music for nearly a decade, and inspired generations of singers in her wake, even until today. A scholar, teacher and virtuosic fiddle and banjo player, he’s a quintessential “musician’s musician” and is widely considered among the premier ambassadors of America’s old-time mountain music. ⁠Listen to my new traditional record: FOLK SONGS FOR OLD TIMES’ SAKE Performances: “Man of Constant Sorrow” - Traditional (10:14) “Prove It On Me Blues” - Ma Rainey (28:26) “In the Pines” - Traditional (47:50) “Walkin’ After Midnight” 1:06:20 “Red Rocking Chair” | 1:20:48 --- "Shine A Light" | Cultural Equity Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram Support Independent Programming | Join the Patreon or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal Source Credits: Traditional: Black Deer Festival | American Songwriter  Ma Rainey:  Women’s HIstory | National Museum AAH |  Black Past  Bill Monroe: Folkways | Britannica | Alan Cackett | Bluegrass HOF Patsy Cline: Grunge | Biography | Britannica Bruce Molsky: Official | WBUR | Banjo News
01:25:32
December 05, 2021
BONUS: Side B
It’s a pleasure to bring you the second half of this special short series Side A // Side B, bringing some depth to the songs from my recently released traditional record “Folk Songs For Old Times’ Sake”. Today, we’re flipping the record over, and diving in to the history behind Side B. Side B Tracklist: Goin’ Down This Road Feelin’ Bad (Traditional) Saint James Infirmary (Traditional) Midnight Special (Traditional) Barbry Allen (Traditional) Mississippi River Blues (Jimmie Rodgers) Peggy-O (Traditional) Pay Day (Mississippi John Hurt) Vinyl Orders: Email AmericanSongcatcherPodcast@gmail.com OR Order through Bandcamp Listen on: Spotify Apple Music/iTunes Amazon Soundcloud Bandcamp This episode was produced, edited, recorded and distributed by Nicholas Edward Williams. ---- Praise for Folk Songs For Old Times' Sake: “I’ve got to say, I can genuinely appreciate another young folkie taking traditional tunes and truly making them their own. Nicholas’ voice sounds natural, unaffected, and without any trite attempts at emulation; rather, it seems wholly a product of his surroundings, with small nods to the phrasing and inflection that are the signatures of traditional American music. This is to say nothing of the sparse-yet-deliberate production of the songs themselves, with nothing sitting too far out front, nothing lost in the shadows, as if the listener found themselves in an empty country church with Williams simply playing to the steeple above.” - JP Harris As always, it’s Williams’ gentle laid back soothing vocals that win you over.” - FOLK RADIO UK "The guitar playing and vocal performance are fantastic, and I love the sparse production. I think people are gonna love this, it’s a great record.” - Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) “This record of well-known and well-loved folk songs is easy to like. With tasteful guitar arrangements and a voice that draws you right in, Nicholas has created recordings that roll along like a mountain stream.” - David Holt (PBS TV/Radio Host, Four-Time Grammy Winner and Banjoist for Doc Watson)
33:54
November 09, 2021
BONUS: Side A
Since releasing the podcast, I’ve had a lot of people ask if the renditions at the end of each segment will be released, or streamable. Well I’m happy to say that over the last six months, I’ve been hard at work on a traditional record called Folk Songs For Old Times’ Sake, that is now available on all platforms, as well as limited edition vinyl. Several of these rearranged songs are traditionals, and some are from artists covered in the first season of this program. This is the first of a special two-part  short series called Side A / Side B, where you can get a little scope into the history behind each of the tracks, followed by the recordings themselves, some of which are stripped, and several of which feature accompaniment in clarinet, fiddle, banjo, upright bass, harmonies, lap steel, jug sounds, harmonica and stomp box. Side A Tracklist: Shake Sugaree (Elizabeth Cotten) East Virginia Blues (Traditional) Wish I Was A Mole (Traditional) Green Rocky Road (Dave Van Ronk/Bob Kaufman) Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes (The Carter Family) Railroad Bill (Traditional) Cotton Mill Girls (Traditional) Vinyl Orders: Email AmericanSongcatcherPodcast@gmail.com OR Order through Bandcamp Listen on: Spotify Apple Music/iTunes Amazon Soundcloud Bandcamp This episode was produced, edited, recorded and distributed by Nicholas Edward Williams. ---- Praise for Folk Songs For Old Times' Sake: “I’ve got to say, I can genuinely appreciate another young folkie taking traditional tunes and truly making them their own. Nicholas’ voice sounds natural, unaffected, and without any trite attempts at emulation; rather, it seems wholly a product of his surroundings, with small nods to the phrasing and inflection that are the signatures of traditional American music. This is to say nothing of the sparse-yet-deliberate production of the songs themselves, with nothing sitting too far out front, nothing lost in the shadows, as if the listener found themselves in an empty country church with Williams simply playing to the steeple above.” - JP Harris As always, it’s Williams’ gentle laid back soothing vocals that win you over.” - FOLK RADIO UK "The guitar playing and vocal performance are fantastic, and I love the sparse production. I think people are gonna love this, it’s a great record.” - Oliver Wood (The Wood Brothers) “This record of well-known and well-loved folk songs is easy to like. With tasteful guitar arrangements and a voice that draws you right in, Nicholas has created recordings that roll along like a mountain stream.” - David Holt (PBS TV/Radio Host, Four-Time Grammy Winner and Banjoist for Doc Watson)
33:09
November 06, 2021
S2:E2 // Oh Little Liza
Season 2, Episode 2 // Oh Little Liza Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Lil' Liza Jane” (:28) Dock Boggs (11:22) Snooks Eaglin (25:54) Nina Simone (43:36) Billy Strings (1:04:18) Teaser: Today, this song is a standard in New Orleans brass bands as well as old-time music, but its earliest iterations started as a sea shanty. His three finger-style banjo picking was directly inspired by early African American string bands, and his early recordings helped standardize nearly a dozen old-time songs from the Cumberland mountain range. Blind at age one, he’s one of the most versatile and inspirational guitarists in blues music, and one of the least known, unless you’re from New Orleans. A renowned civil rights activist, arranger, singer, songwriter and pianist who covered a broad range of genres including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel and pop. At just 29 years old, this multi-instrumentalist has taken the traditional and progressive bluegrass world in the palm of his hand, and he’s only getting started. Listen to my new traditional record: FOLK SONGS FOR OLD TIMES’ SAKE Performances: “Little Liza Jane” - Traditional (9:25) “Wild Bill Jones” - Traditional (23:04) “Saint James Infirmary” - Traditional (39:42) “Sinnerman” - Traditional (1:02:01) “Walk on Boy” - Doc Watson (1:13:07) --- "Shine A Light" | Music Maker Relief Foundation Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram Support Independent Programming | Join the Patreon or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal Source Credits: Traditional: Cultural Equity | Jazz Fandom  Dock Boggs: Dock Boggs - “Life in Music” | Encyclopedia.com Snooks Eaglin’: Nola.com | Blues access | All About Blues Nina Simone: Official Site | History Collection | Black past  Billy Strings: Rolling Stone | Acoustic Guitar | Official 
01:18:51
October 30, 2021
S2:E1 // Ain't Gonna Study War No More
Season 2, Episode 1 // Ain't Gonna Study War No More Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Down by The Riverside” (00:27) Mance Lipscomb (10:28) Ramblin’ Jack Elliot (23:31) Emmylou Harris (45:17) Chris Thile (57:27) Teaser: After the civil war, songs such as these were created and sung from Alabama to Ohio for a perilous journey through the Underground Railroad, where the enslaved were in pursuit of their freedom. He wasn’t a bluesman as much as a songster, known for his incredibly broad catalogue of songs and his front porch philosophizing. The student of Woody Guthrie, the father of Bob Dylan, the son who ran away to become a cowboy, and America’s purveyor of folk music at 90 years old today. She’s one of the most influential female singers of the 20th century, not just in country music but folk, pop and bluegrass, and is considered an American icon Widely considered the greatest mandolin player alive today, and perhaps to ever live, his acclaim reaches far and wide through several Grammy-winning projects and over 30 albums, despite only being 40 years old. Performances by the Host: “Down By The Riverside” - Traditional (8:16) “Take Me Back Babe” - Traditional (21:29) “Roving Gambler” - Traditional (42:37) “Angels Rejoiced Last Night” - The Louvin Brothers (55:08) “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” - Traditional (1:13:03) --- "Shine A Light" | Arhoolie Foundation Follow American Songcatcher | Instagram Support Independent Programming | Join the Patreon or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal
01:18:19
September 27, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Cristina Vane and Her New (Old) American Roots
For the final collaboration of the “Sitting In” miniseries, I’m excited to share a fantastic multi-instrumentalist, fluent in clawhammer banjo and slide blues guitar, named Cristina Vane. Born in Italy, and living many places overseas before arriving in America at 18 years old, Cristina accumulated a wealth of culture and a diverse range of songs before discovering her love for pre-war blues and the likes of the pioneers Skip James, Robert Johnson, Blind Willie Johnson and Rory Block who have all shaped her guitar technique and song catalogue. She worked at the famous McCabe’s Guitar Shop in LA, and studied finger-style guitar under her mentor Pete Steinberg before exploring country blues picking and old folk guitar styles on her own in the years that followed. She has said, “I’m essentially a rock kid who is obsessed with old music.”⁠ ⁠Cristina just released her debut full length record on April 2nd, titled "Nowhere Sounds Lovely", and American Songwriter premiered one track titled “Badlands” adding: “Like a young Bonnie Raitt, Vane sings from both her voice and her supple, bluesy guitar playing almost simultaneously–her sound as earthen as the South Dakota landscape…”⁠ Cristina shares a story of how she got into American Folk and Blues music outside America, and her quest to music preservation. Enjoy! Links: Cristina’s Official Site Stream Music Buy Music Follow Cristina on Social Media: Instagram Facebook
18:28
July 29, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Jody Carroll and the Newport Recordings
Today on the program will be my sixth guest for the “Sitting In” mini-series, Jody Carroll. Jody is a performer and songwriter who effortlessly creates bold interpretations of old Blues and American Folk music, and makes them his own improvisational musical journeys. He’s a finger-style and slide guitar master, and a soulful singer blending flavors of Blues, Folk, Mountain music, Jazz and Rock all together into a true power- packed gumbo. Raised on Willie Nelson and AM Country Radio in the late 60’s, he’s toured with or shared the stage with legends such as Buddy Guy, Honey Boy Edwards, R.L Burnside, Johnny Winter, John Mayhall, George Thorogood, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeski, Robert Cray, Canned Heat, Robert Earl Keen, and Sonny Landreth just to name a few. No Depression magazine says “If there is one artist who embodies roots music to it's fullest, it has to be Jody Carroll" Jody was forever changed when he heard a collection of recordings from the Newport Folk Festival, between 1963-1965. This is a short story of his journey to and from there, enjoy. Links: Jody's Official Site Buy His Music Follow Jody on Social Media: Instagram Facebook -- Support American Songcatcher! Join the Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month! -OR- Send a one-time donation via: Venmo PayPal 
19:41
July 21, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Dylan Walshe and Ramblin' Jack Elliot
The fifth edition of the “Sitting In” miniseries features a new project by international touring Irish musician Dylan Walshe. Steeped in the traditions of folk, Irish, Blues, Singer-songwriter and roots music, Dylan has received wide acclaim from all over, including Dave King of Flogging Molly who has said that “The future of songwriting is safe in the hands of this man.” This episode features Dylan’s new music podcast, The Stirring Foot, and the first 20 minutes of a conversation he had with none other than Ramblin’ Jack Elliot, who Dylan first met at Tennessee’s Muddy Roots Music Festival back in 2015. If you’re not familiar with the legendary Ramblin’ Jack, you should be. Now 90 years old, he’s been described as the "son of Woody Guthrie & the father of Bob Dylan". They talked about trips to Ireland, Europe & the UK, The Clancy Brothers, Frank Zappa, Bob Dylan, Odetta, The Grateful Dead, Margaret Barry, Ewan MacColl, and Woody Guthrie. You can hear the entire show through the tags below, or by searching for “The Stirring Foot” wherever you get your podcasts. Enjoy! Follow on Instagram @dylanwalshe @AmericanSongcatcher Links: The Stirring Foot Dylan’s Official Site Ramblin Jack Elliott’s Official Site -- Support American Songcatcher! Join the Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Send a one-time donation via: Venmo - https://www.venmo.com/AmericanSongcatcher PayPal - https://paypal.me/AmericanSongcatcher
23:32
July 14, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Lon Eldridge and the Hawaiian Steel Guitar
Good people! I'm so pleased to share my fourth guest to embark on this “Sitting In” mini-series, a local legend in my neck of the woods, Chattanooga’s own Lon Eldridge. Harboring a unique blend of traditional pre-war blues, ragtime, jazz and swing, Lon has spent the last two decades evoking the styles of those who laid the framework of these genres, from the likes of Mississippi John Hurt to Robert Johnson to Blind Blake and countless other musical masters. He’s an avid collector of 78rpm records and restores old Victrola record players, and showcases his deep collection under the guise of DJ Passe. Lon’s also a member of a gypsy jazz and swing group called The 9th Street Stompers, who cull up the musical scenery of an era when the lines between swing, gypsy jazz, blues, rockabilly, and if all that wasn’t enough, he also has his own bolo tie business, Lookout Bolo Ties.⁠ For this collaboration, Lon expanded his skills once again to celebrate the work of Hawaiian steel guitarist Pale K. Lua, who was instrumental in bringing the unique sound to America at the turn of the century, before it was adopted by blues, western, bluegrass and country music starting in the 1920’s. Lon is the only person to assemble all of Pale’s recordings and release them as a complete set. Here’s his story, enjoy.⁠ Follow Lon: @dj_Passe  @bolo_knee Links: Pale K. Lua Complete Recordings  Lon's Official Website  --- Support American Songcatcher! Join the Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Send a one-time donation via: Venmo PayPal
12:44
July 07, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Willi Carlisle, Ozark Folksinger
Hey Folks! I’m so pleased to share the 3rd act of this “Sitting In” miniseries with you, none other than the inimitable Willi Carlisle. A multi-faceted writer, performer, and instrumentalist, Willi has spent the last several years collecting folklore, playing or calling square dances, and working in the avant-garde. He’s a folksinger with a style forged in the fire of Ozark old-time, and has a masters degree in Poetry. He’s spent years in the woods with poets and old folk singers and he’s a queer-identifying storyteller whose musical stories hoot, stomp, and saunter through joys and troubles uniquely southern and timelessly true. He’s equally comfortable on banjo, accordion, fiddle, and guitar, and has earned accolades for his versatility with performances in the UK, Canada, and across the USA, appearing with acts like Dom Flemons, Mary Gauthier, Los Texmaniacs and more.  The Washington Post said that: "Carlisle has a poetry in describing songs passed down through generations as a most precious cultural commodity, and a passion and immediacy in performing them. Both down home and brainy, [Willi] is worth seeking out." The following is classic Willi. Short stories of the Ozarks told over a collection of sounds and from Willi’s pocket, followed by a talking’ blues piece called “Peculiar, Missouri”. Enjoy! Follow on Instagram: @WilliCarlisle  Link: Official Website  --- Support American Songcatcher! Join the Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Send a one-time donation via: Venmo PayPal
11:34
June 30, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Sparrow and The John C. Campbell Folk School
Hey Folks! I’m thrilled to share the second part of the “Sitting In” mini-series, where I hand over the podcast reins to some of my folky friends, so that they can share a story that ties into music preservation and play a few songs in line with their story. My guest today is Sparrow, who along with her partner Keith, leads the Asheville, NC group The Resonant Rogues, who seamlessly weave the threads of old time, country, swing, folk and more into a beautiful tapestry that simultaneously showcases tradition and innovation. In late 2020, she was immersed in a month-long mentorship program at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC, which has a fascinating history, curriculum and mission. This is a journal of her experience. Follow on Instagram: @ResonantRogues  @SparrowPants  @JohncCampbellFolkschool  Links: Official Website - John Campbell Folk School  --- Support American Songcatcher! Join the Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Send a one-time donation via: Venmo  PayPal 
18:35
June 23, 2021
BONUS: Sitting In // Matthew Sabatella & “We Shall Not Be Moved”
Today, I’m delighted to share the first “Sitting In” mini-series episode with you, where I’ve handed the podcast reins over to a music preservationist and performer. First up, is a story of the African American spiritual turned protest song called “We Shall Not Be Moved”, written and spoken by Matthew Sabatella. Matthew’s mission is to “connect people with music that is woven into the fabric of the United States”. He’s a singer, writer, multi-instrumentalist and award-winning old-time banjo player, music historian, leader of the Rambling String Band, and serves on the board of directors for Southeast regional chapter of Folk Alliance International. He’s also the founder of Ballad of America, an educational non-profit that not only provides and develops vital resources for preserving all of the songs and genres that have shaped America, but also travels to colleges and universities to give educational lectures and presentations to spread awareness of this important history directly down the generational ladder. I can’t wait to share all the “Sitting In” episodes with you over the next several weeks, they’re all very different, entertaining and educational. Matt’s also got a great radio voice, so enjoy! Follow on Instagram: @Balladofamerica  @ramblingstringband @sabatellamusic Links: Matthew Sabatella  Ballad of America  Rambling String Band  --- Support American Songcatcher! Join the Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Send a one-time donation via: Venmo PayPal
26:48
June 16, 2021
Talkin' Blues // Fruition's Jay Cobb Anderson
Today I have the pleasure of sharing a conversation I had with multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Jay Cobb Anderson, co-founder of the group Fruition, who has been making big waves in the major festival circuit during the last decade with blends of traditional sounds, contemporary folk and bluegrass, and most recently the roots of rock and roll. We talked about Jay’s busking journey, how he reached the other members of Fruition, how they developed their sound, about Bob Dylan and the wake he left for so many to dive into old music, how traditional music fits into his life today and the music he creates, some interesting stories and a few artists that I hadn’t heard of. -- Follow on Instagram: @JayCobbAnderson @fruitionpdx @tkandtheholyknownothings Jay's Musical Projects: Fruition - https://www.fruitionband.com/home TK and the Holy Know-Nothings - https://www.tkandtheholyknownothings.com/ Jay Cobb Anderson - https://www.jaycobbanderson.com/
01:15:37
June 05, 2021
Talkin' Blues // Sierra Hull
Today, I’m delighted to share a talk I had with mandolin prodigy and Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter Sierra Hull. Accomplishing more in her first 28 years of life than most could over a few lifetimes, Sierra made her Grand Ole Opry debut at the age of 10, played Carnegie Hall at age 12, then landed a deal with Rounder Records at 13. Sierra was mentored by Alison Krauss and Chris Thile, she’s collaborated with all the big hitters in bluegrass from Ricky Skaggs, to Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Jerry Douglass and Sturgill Simpson. Despite all those big names I threw out there, as you’ll hear Sierra could not be more humble. In early 2020, she released her fourth critically acclaimed record “25 Trips”, an inventive piece of work revealing her profound warmth as a storyteller, building off Sierra’s bluegrass roots and venturing into entirely new terrain. We talked about her childhood, small town living, the broad palette of music and bottomless well of traditional music, we geeked out on Tony Rice and Doc Watson, and Sierra shared r a few in depth wild stories that led her down the path she’s on. More on Sierra Hull:  Official - https://www.sierrahull.com/ Sierra and Husband Justin Moses "Little Liza Jane" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Eg2TotshKs -- Find American Songcatcher on Instagram - https://www.Instagram.com/AmericanSongcatcher Want to help this independent program chug along? Visit the Patreon page to find out how you can support for as little as $3 a month! https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher
56:29
May 29, 2021
Talkin' Blues // Oliver Wood of The Wood Brothers
Today, I have the pleasure of sharing a conversation I had with Oliver Wood. Since 2004, Oliver has been the frontman of The Wood Brothers, blurring the boundaries between folk, gospel, country-soul, and blues, earning an international audience and a Grammy Award-nomination along the way. Alongside his brother Chris Wood, of Medeski Martin and Wood, as well as percussionist Jano Rix, The Wood Brothers have embodied the future of roots music, while at the same time turning it on its head. Released yesterday, Oliver’s debut solo album, Always Smilin' reimagines his sharp songwriting, savvy guitar chops, and one-of-a-kind voice in a new light. He didn’t do it alone, as Jano Rix, Susan Tedeschi, Hiss Golden Messenger's Phil Cook, John Medeski, and several others also make appearances. Embracing the full range of his musical heritage, Always Smilin’ builds upon the blues and gospel sounds Oliver explored long before The Wood Brothers' formed, and galvanizes the roots music he's been making during the past two decades. We talked about his long history before starting The Wood Brothers with Chris, their shared wealth of music education from their musical father, how traditional music has informed The Wood Brothers and his solo project, geek out on some unknown roots musicians and much more. Enjoy! Listen to Oliver’s new solo record Always Smilin’ - https://oliverwoodmusic.bandcamp.com/album/always-smilin Official Website - https://www.oliverwoodmusic.com The Wood Brothers - https://www.thewoodbros.com -- This interview was made possible by the community on Patreon. For as little as $3 a month, you can directly support the team behind American Songcatcher make this program all it can be. Visit the Patreon site today and support if you have the means - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Follow AS on Instagram - https://www.Instagram.com/AmericanSongcatcher
01:09:42
May 22, 2021
Talkin' Blues // David Holt
When I first set out with this podcast there were a few people in particular that I wanted to talk to, and today's guest is at the top of that list. David Holt is a four-time Grammy winner, multi-instrumentalist, and for 14 years performed as a duo on banjo with the legendary Doc Watson. He’s spent his life learning, performing and telling stories of traditional American music as the host of numerous radio and television shows including: Riverwalk Jazz, Folkways, Great Scenic Railway Journeys, Fire on the Mountain, and today, David Holt’s State of Music. The PBS TV series features modern masters of American roots music who share their stories, talk music history, and collaborate with David on a few tunes. He’s hosted the likes of Taj Mahal, Jerry Douglas, Keb Mo, Rhiannon Giddens, Steep Canyon Rangers, Dom Flemons, and Blind Boy Paxton. We talked about his long history, how he got into storytelling and hosting, his mentors, the time he spent with Doc Watson and a few stories, how traditional music fits in today’s culture, and what he’s doing today with State of Music. There are some moments when David is showing me photographs while he talks, so if you’d like to see the video, it’s available through Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher. Links: Legacy Album with Doc Watson Official Website PBS: David Holt’s State of Music Follow State of Music on Instagram
54:29
May 13, 2021
S1:E10 // She Warbles When She Flies (SEASON FINALE)
Season 1, Episode 10 // She Warbles When She Flies (SEASON FINALE) Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “The Cuckoo” (:27) Willie Nelson - “Lucky Old Sun’” (13:30) Jerry Garcia - “Walkin’ Boss” (31:40) Blaze Foley - “Oval Room” (52:50) Jontavious Willis - “Pistol Slappin’ Blues” (1:12:38) Teaser: This traditional tune is based off of England’s oldest known documented song, dating back to the 13th century, centered around a bird who calls in spring. He’s one of America’s most well known musicians, responsible for completely changing the face of country music, though originally, he didn’t fit in because of his odd vocal phrasing. Most know him as the laid back lead guitarist of one of the most prolific jam bands, gone too soon, but he brought more traditional songs to the fold than most folk singers. The duct tape messiah, a living obscurity from the Austin singer-songwriter scene of the 70’s and 80’s, and one of the greatest poets to be hardly known. There aren’t many young African Americans taking up pre-war blues and the original stylings of the acoustic guitar, but this infectious young man takes people back in time. ⁠ Follow AS on Instagram: https://www.Instagram.com/AmericanSongcatcher Support Independent Programming: Join the Patreon - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher "Shine A Light": Club Passim - https://www.passim.org/ Source Credits: #1: OldWeirdAmerica | Anthology of American Folk Music | MamaLisa.com | Mainly Norfolk | Duke.edu #2: Willie nelson Museum | Biography | The Famous People | The Guardian | PBS #3: Blacklisted Journal Levity.com | Aforum.com | Variety | Rolling Stone | Living Room Candidate #4: Rolling Stone | Official Blaze Foley Site | Wide Open Country  | Blaze Foley Movie #5: Official Website | The Kurland Agency | Handy Blues | The Country Blues
01:25:11
April 24, 2021
Talkin' Blues // Leah Song of Rising Appalachia
Today on the program, I have the distinct pleasure of sharing a wonderful conversation I had with Leah Song, one half of the world folk fusion group Rising Appalachia. Over the last decade, Rising Appalachia has reimagined a huge body of traditional songs to a massive audience over the seven records they’ve released since forging their musical path. We talked about how she and her sister Chloe grew up, how they will continue unpacking the musicology lessons they’ve received from their fiddle folklorist mother, how traditional music fits into their landscape of sounds, the importance of preservation, and the wild stories of how they came to be. Leah was also kind enough to record a few videos of traditional songs for the show, and for the AS Patreon supporters. Become a part of the AS Patreon Community for as little as $3 a month to the see the videos in full, and more exclusive content here: https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher Follow: @LeahSongMusic - https://www.instagram.com/LeahSongMusic @RisingAppalachia - https://www.instagram.com/Rising Appalachia @AmericanSongcatcher - https://www.instagram.com/AmericanSongcatcher
01:14:21
April 16, 2021
S1:E9 // Twas in the Merry Month of May
Season 1, Episode 9 // Twas in the Merry Month of May Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Barbara Allen” (:27) Lead Belly - “Goodnight, Irene’” (11:39) Joan Baez - “Silver Dagger” (37:50) Tony Rice - “New River Train” (59:35) Colter Wall- “Diamond Joe” (1:13:14) Teaser: For the last 400 years, the most widely collected ballad from the British Isles is still being recorded today, born out of a unique and puzzling story. A larger than life figure, rumored to have been released from prison due to the diverse musical prowess he carried, and not only became friends with legends like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, he was one of their main influences. her supple soprano voice is one of the most distinct in any genre, she’s graced nearly every traditional ballad with it, and used it during every major civil rights movement moment of the 60’s and 70’s, and continues to do the same today. Responsible for completely altering the confines of bluegrass music, expanding the genre to breathe in folk, jazz, blues and popular music, and is one of the most highly regarded guitarists of the century.  When you hear the deep, husky and timeless voice of this 25 year-old legend-in-the-making, singing folk ballads, westerns and cowboy tunes and dragging them over the plains of his home near the Canada-Montana border, it likely will never leave your memory. Follow AS on Instagram - https://www.Instagram.com/AmericanSongcatcher Join the Patreon - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher "Shine A Light": Basic Folk Podcast - https://cindyhowes.net/basicfolk/ Source Credits: #1: American Songwriter | Library of Congress | Lizlyle Blog | Native Ground #2: Cultural Equity | NPS | Houston IA Mag #3: GQ | Washington Post | Notable Biographies | Rolling Stone #4: Tony Rice Story | Rolling Stone | NY Times #5: American Songwriter | Rolling Stone | The New Yorker | The Globe and Mail
01:30:03
March 13, 2021
Talkin' Blues // Dom Flemons
Today on the program, I’m delighted to share a conversation I had with the Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist and preservationist Dom Flemons. Branded The American Songster from his diverse catalogue of tunes, Dom’s not just a songwriter, he’s a multi-instrumentalist, producer, actor, music scholar, historian, and record collector who is proficient on banjo, guitar, harmonica, jug, percussion, quills, fife and rhythm bones.⁠ We talked about his early life, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, music preservation and the journey to becoming a historian and musicologist. He also played a few tunes and shared some stories about a few essential folk and blues artists, and the current folk and blues revival.⁠ Dom's Links: Official Website - https://www.theamericansongster.com Instagram @DomFlemons - https://www.instagram.com/domflemons Join the AS Patreon Community - https://www.Patreon.com/AmericanSongcatcher
01:07:16
February 26, 2021
S1:E8 // Shine That Ever Loving Light On Me
Season 1, Episode 8 // Shine That Ever Loving Light On Me Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Midnight Special” (:39) Memphis Jug Band - “Stealin’, Stealin’” (13:30) Etta Baker - “Railroad Bill” (26:13) Big Bill Broonzy - “Glory of Love” (40:55) Charley Pride - “Roll on Mississippi” (1:01:32) Teaser: When the light of the train hits the cell windows of inmates at Mississippi’s infamous Parchman Farm prison, they feel a release and comfort from their captors. Find out what made jug bands so popular in the 1930’s, and the Tennessee natives at the helm of that movement. Yet another fingerpicking legend, left in obscurity until later in life, though she still managed to inspire generations of guitar players. The Ambassador of the Blues left behind a life cloaked in mystery, but this Chicago legend by way of the South left a massive mark as he carried old styles of blues through the 1950’s. For far too long country music has cast aside its African American roots, but one musician blended the color lines and became one of the most decorated country musicians of the century.⁠ Follow AS: Instagram Support Independent Programming: Join the Patreon, or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal "Shine A Light": Dust to Digital Source Credits: #1: Vera | NAACP | WordsMusic&Stories  | Smithsonian Folkways | Songfacts #2: Jugstore | Memphis Music HOF | UCSB Library | American Blues Scene | NPS #3: Story by Glen C Herbert - The Bluegrass Situation | Music Maker | Blue Ridge Heritage Center | OurState.com #4: Cultural Equity |  Broonzy.com | NPR | People’s World | MS Writers & Music #5:  Story by Cody Uhls - Official Website |  NPR |  Rolling Stone |  Country Music Hall of Fame
01:17:36
February 10, 2021
S1:E7 // She's Gone With The Gypsy Davy
Season 1, Episode 7 // She's Gone With The Gypsy Davy Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Gypsy Davy” (:20) Son House - “Grinnin’ in your Face” (9:02) Merle Travis - “Nine Pound Hammer” (24:07) Dolly Parton - “Jolene” (40:30) Sierra Ferrell - “Elk River Blues” (59:60) Teaser: Who were the original gypsies, and why are so many songs sung about them? Hear the man who inspired Robert Johnson and set the standard for the Delta blues slide guitar. A boy born out of the Kentucky coal mines and creating the epitome of guitar fingerpicking styles known today as “Travis Picking”. Perhaps the most decorated country singer, philanthropist and unifying voice, a woman who has led countless other country artists and musicians for 50 years, still going strong. A young troubadour who is changing the timbre of country music, mixing it with eclectic roots while transporting listeners to another time. Follow AS: Instagram Support Independent Programming: Join the Patreon community, or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal "Shine A Light": Folk Alley | Instagram Source Credits: #1 Contemplator | Mainly Norfolk | Lizlyle | History Today | Harvard magazine | Second hand Songs | Enacademic #2 Louder Sound | MS Blues Trail | New World Encyclopedia | MS Writers & Musicians | Black Past | Democrat and Chronicle | George Lamplugh | Digital NEPR #3 Story by Glen C Herbert + NY Times | Alan Cackett | Oldies #4 Official Site | The List | PBS | Britannica | Tennessee Encyclopedia | Library of Congress | The New Yorker | NY Times #5  Wide Open Country | WV Gazette | Saving Country Music | Official Site | Wautauga Democrat | HonkyTonkBadonkaDonk
01:14:52
January 06, 2021
S1:E6 // I'll Die With That Hammer In My Hand
Season 1, Episode 6 // I'll Die With That Hammer In My Hand Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “The Ballad of John Henry” (:25) The Mississippi Sheiks - “Sittin On Top of the World” (11:09) Pete Seeger - “If I Had a Hammer” (22:05) Hank Williams - “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (44:32) Tyler Childers - “Rocks, Salt and Nails” (1:05:35) Teaser: Was the greatest African American folklore hero based on a true story? The most popular old time and blues string band in the 30's that all started with one insanely talented family. One of the hardest working advocates and activists who spent many years carrying old songs forward and getting audiences to sing together, banned from performing by the US government. The King of Country music, who lived perhaps one of the most paradoxically tragic and successful lives ever documented in American music. A Kentucky native born in the home of bluegrass revives and redefines country music today and reclaims its soul. Follow: Instagram | Facebook Support Independent Programming: Join the Patreon community, or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal "Shine A Light": History of Country Music Source Credits: #1: ABAA | National Park Service | LOC | Ibiblio #2: Document Record Store | Old Time Party  | Delta Blues Gospel  #3: Michael Hayes | Histclo | Folkways | LOC | ThoughtCo #4: Hank Williams Story | Tennessean | Hankmuseum | Grunge #5: (Written by Glen C Herbert) + Rolling Stone | Chicago Tribune | Official Website
01:21:48
December 02, 2020
S1:E5 // I'm Just Going Over Home
Season 1, Episode 5 // I'm Just Going Over Home Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Wayfaring Stranger” (:30) Burl Ives - “Streets of Laredo” (11:45) Sister Rosetta Tharpe - “Up Above My Head” (28:50) John Prine - “In Spite of Ourselves” (44:27) Charley Crockett- “That’s How I Got To Memphis” (1:06:40) Teaser: Did it come from a hymn? An old ballad? Was it born in Scotland, or America? Navigate these questions with me for one of the most enduring and well known traditional songs in Bluegrass, Folk, and Old Country music. Entrenched in the old ballads passed on to him before the age seven, a man becomes one of the most beloved preservationist folk singers. A queer evangelist and powerhouse vocalist and guitarist is named the “Godmother of Rock and Roll” influencing Chuck Berry, Elvis, and Eric Clapton. A Chicago mailman finds himself at the right place at the right time to share his timeless and instantly relatable songs, staying out of the mainstream, yet dubbed an American icon. From Texas, by way of New Orleans, a young man defines hard, transient living and grows into one of the finest true country musicians performing today.⁠ Support Independent Programming: Join the Patreon community, or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal Follow: Instagram | Facebook "Shine A Light": Western AF Source Credits: #1: Jopie Bopie Blog | Manhattan Beach Music | Library of Congress #2: Cultural Equity | Independent | Info Please | Cowboy’s Lament #3: NPR | Richmond Mag | Girlboss | Story of Sister Rosetta Tharpe #4: Billboard.com | Rolling Stone | JP Shrine.org | NY Times | Blue Railroad #5: Long Reads | Rolling Stone | The Guardian | Chron.com | The Boot
01:23:06
November 02, 2020
S1:E4 // Hang Your Head and Cry
Season 1, Episode 4 // Hang Your Head and Cry Featured in this Episode: Traditional - “Tom Dooley” (:27) Blind Blake - “Diddie Wa Diddie” (12:23) Woody Guthrie - “Ramblin Around” (23:46) Doc Watson - “Blue Railroad Train” (49:00) Justin Townes Earle - “Lone Pine Hill”(1:08:23) Teaser: A North Carolina murder ballad turned folk tale withstands the tests of time, the true story is still up for debate today. The most distinct blind guitar player to take sounds from ragtime piano and transfer it to guitar, though his life was a short mystery.   A folk singer from Oklahoma becomes the voice of social justice, poverty and failed politics for generations after him. A flat picking blind Appalachian turns the guitar from a background rhythm instrument into a lead in bluegrass, country and folk music during the 60’s, and becomes a pioneer of country blues. Born in the shadow of his father, a young man rises into Americana stardom on his own from a lyrical conviction that many songwriters never acquire, another gone too soon. Follow AS: Instagram | Facebook Support Independent Programming: Join the Patreon community, Venmo or PayPal "Shine A Light": David Holt’s State of Music on PBS Source Credits: #1: True West Magazine | NPR | Kronsell.net - Legend and Facts #2: Oldies | All About Blues | Slim Pickens & Dr. Baz #3: WoodyGuthrie.org | The New Yorker | Texas Observer  #4: Docs Guitar | NC History | NY Times #5: Westword | First Avenue | Rolling Stone | GQ
01:26:59
October 05, 2020
Talkin' Blues // Andy Cohen
I’m so pleased to have my first guest on the podcast, the incredibly gifted multi-instrumentalist, teacher, musicologist and songster Mr. Andy Cohen. You may remember Andy from a mention in Episode 2 of American Songcatcher, as he was the mentor of my mentor, Joan Crane. Once a lead boy soaking in the shadow of Reverend Gary Davis, Andy’s been playing music for 72 years. He’s a virtuoso finger-style guitarist and pianist who has been described as “a walking, talking folk-blues-roots music encyclopedia.” He has devoted his entire life to studying, performing, and promoting traditional blues and folk music, specializing in the pre-World War II era. Country Blues Magazine says, “One thing is for sure, the boy can play. There are few people around today who had a chance to pick it all up from the old generations, get this good at it, and continue to cherish and preserve the old traditions.”⁠  Before we started, I had a load of questions for Andy, but as you’ll hear, he holds the conversation without them. I took a backseat for this history lesson, so there’s not many words from me. Andy plays a few tunes, tells how his librarian set him on a course, about his vast knowledge of many lesser known blues artists, and shares stories about the Reverend Gary Davis that I was unaware of. Fair warning, the audio from our Zoom chat isn’t the best quality, I’m new at this. More on Andy Cohen: Website | Videos | Discography | Biography Riverlark Music Site Facebook Interested in supporting this independent program? Join the Patreon community Subscribe and Share Send a donation through Venmo or PayPal Host Links: Nicholas Edward Williams Facebook | Instagram | Website
46:01
September 18, 2020
S1:E3 // They Call The Rising Sun
Season 1, Episode 3 // They Call The Rising Sun Featured in this Episode: Traditional - "Rising Sun Blues" or "House of the Rising Sun" (1:37) Bessie Smith - "Tain't Nobody's Business" (16:46) The Carter Family - "Wildwood Flower" (40:30) Townes Van Zandt - "Pancho and Lefty" (1:04:17) Blind Boy Paxton - "Nobody Cares For Me" (01:22:42) Teaser: Was there ever a “house of the rising sun” in New Orleans or elsewhere, or was it a myth brought from the UK? Raised by her sisters in deep poverty, a Chattanooga girl rises to be known as “Empress of the Blues” right before The Great Depression, gone too soon.  How did one family become responsible for making mountain and country music mainstream in America? A Texas songwriter whose life paralleled the tragically poetic songs he wrote. Today, a young man who grew up in LA transports audiences to soundscapes of the 20’s and 30’s. Supporting independent programs! Join the Patreon community, or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal "Shine A Light": www.BalladofAmerica.org Source Credits: #1:  American Blues Scene | The Vintage News | LA Times #2: My Black History | NNDB | History.com #3: NPR | Encyclopedia Virginia #4: Traces of Townes | Texas Monthly #5: The Bluegrass Situation | Village Voice
01:39:30
September 04, 2020
S1:E2 // I Could Root That Mountain Down
Season 1, Episode 2 // I Could Root That Mountain Down Featured in this Episode: Traditional | Bascom Lamar Lunsford - “I wish I was a Mole in the ground" (:27) Mississippi John Hurt - “Spike Driver Blues” (13:50) Reverend Gary Davis - "Slow Drag” (28:23) Norman Blake - "Church Street Blues” (42:26) Willie Watson - "James Alley Blues” (56:08) Teaser: A North Carolina mountain banjo player dubbed the "Minstrel of the Appalachians" helps create America’s first folk festivals and preserves history as one of the country's earliest song collectors. A sharecropper is discovered as one of the founding fathers of folk blues, nearly 40 years after his first recordings. A blind virtuoso has a hard upbringing, turns into a reverend, and goes on to teach generations of some of the finest guitar players. A 16 year old boy quits school to pursue music and becomes one of the most decorated guitar players in history, with wife equally as talented. After landing success with Old Crow Medicine Show, a man goes alone and discovers his path of preserving old songs. Interested in supporting this independent program? Join the Patreon community, or donate through Venmo or PayPal Follow: Facebook | Instagram  "Shine A Light": Pickin’ for Progress Web Source Credits: #1: Ballad of a Mountain Man | NCpedia | Blue Ridge Heritage #2: MJH Foundation | MS Blues Trail | MJH: His Life, His Times, His Blues #3: Cultural Equity | NCPedia  #4: The Bluegrass Situation | NPR #5: Lyric Magazine | OCMS | Red Line Roots | Chicago Tribune
01:16:56
August 16, 2020
S1:E1 // If She Heard My Guineas Clink
Season 1, Episode 1 // If She Heard My Guineas Clink Featured in this Episode:  Traditional - "Peggy O" (:28)  Jimmie Rodgers - "Waiting For a Train" (8:01) Elizabeth Cotten - "Shake Sugaree" (15:23) Dave Van Ronk - "Green, Green Rocky Road" (25:40) Gillian Welch - "Everything is Free"  (35:26) Teaser: A traditional Scottish song survives over 300 years, traveling thousands of miles before filtering through the Appalachian Mountains and becoming a folk "pass along" tune. “The Singing Brakeman” comes alive after witnessing the yodeling of Swiss emissaries, creating the original country music sound. A woman in her 60’s falls into a household worker position for the Seeger Family, and they discover a talent left behind 30 years ago that would inspire generations of guitar players. A man who was bigger in person than the myths that followed him, personifying emotion through old songs. And a living legend, who punctures holes in hearts with her incomparable songwriting, transformed by The Stanley Brothers. Interested in supporting this independent program?  Join the Patreon community, or send a one-time donation through Venmo or PayPal Follow: Facebook | Instagram  "Shine A Light": GemsOnVHS Source Credits:  #1: WhiteGum | Weeping Willow Guitar | The Jovial Crew #2: Bluegrass Today | Official Website #3: Folkways | Rainbow Quest #4: The Vinyl District | Folkways | Elijah Wald | Guitar Workshop #5: The Guardian | The New Yorker | Rolling Stone 
51:18
July 28, 2020
S1:Trailer "American Songcatcher"
Tracing the roots of American music from its cultured past to artists playing it forward, join folk musician Nicholas Edward Williams in the audio documentary-style podcast series, American Songcatcher. Each episode uncovers the lesser-known journey behind one traditional song, followed by four stories of musicians in American roots music, up to someone carrying tradition today. From European and British isles immigrants who brought their music to Appalachia, to songs of the South: Gospel, Ragtime, Blues, Country, and the Folk music derived from it all. We’ll go behind the curtain of legends, and shine the limelight on many integral lesser-known artists who have influenced generations, such as Bessie Smith, Ola Belle Reed, Blind Blake, Odetta and Dave Van Ronk. Here’s to the songs of old, may they live on forever. Find American Songcatcher, available wherever you get your podcasts.
02:04
June 30, 2020