GALAX GEMS 'The Field Recorders' Collective - From the collection of Andy Cahan'   FRC-309-CD

GALAX GEMS 'The Field Recorders' Collective - From the collection of Andy Cahan' FRC-309-CD

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Field Recorders Collective has become the foremost vehicle for getting music by master old-time musicians into the hands of listeners. As such, they have become in essence a public archive of recordings made during the old-time revival by exceptional collectors and musicians. Times have changed a lot since our friends were recording the traditional bearers back in the 1960s and 1970s, and they have changed since FRC produced its first CD. FRC, therefore, is now making some of their classic early CDs available as digital downloads.

Tommy Jarrell is the Grateful Dead of traditional fiddle recordings. Everybody seemed to record both, and those recordings seem to be everywhere, but the fans still want more. Even though, like his son Benny, we know what he is going to say and what he is going to play, we eat it up. During the last year of TommyÕs life, Paul Brown took him to Massachusetts for the Pinewoods Music Camp. Just like at home, TommyÕs ÒteachingÓ consisted of him playing and sometimes singing, often expertly accompanied by Paul and Mike Seeger. New Yorker Jerry Epstein captured much of the Òclasses.Ó Tommy Jarrell, Vol. 2 (FRC212) is the second collection drawn from those tapes. The album collects 30 tunes, which helps it stand out from the field. With the 27 selections on Vol. 1, they form a comprehensive collection of Tommy repertoire. Vol. 2 include the ÒhitsÓ such as ÒBreaking Up ChristmasÓ and ÒJoke on the PuppyÓ and less heard pieces such as ÒWhen Sorrows Encompass Me AroundÓ and ÒRochester Schottische.Ó

Albert Hash remains a legend in the old-time world as fiddler, tradition bearer, band leader, and luthier. Unlike the other two projects here, the music on Albert Hash, Vol. 2 (FRC707) comes from multiple sources including Wayne Henderson, the Spencers, and the Augusta Heritage Center. Delightfully, several of the 31, yes, 31 tunes include spoken comments by Hash. He plays plenty of the old familars, his original ÒMy Whitetop Mountain Home,Ó and a cover of the pop song, ÒLove Letters in the Sand.Ó With the variety and intros, this is essential for any Hash fan.

Less well known, and thus even more important to have been recorded, are the The Kimball and Wagoner Families (FRC-06). Fiddler Taylor Kimble (1892-1979) raised two children who are recorded here with his first wife and then remarried at 76, to banjo player Stella Wagoner, also heard here. Ray Alden began recording them in 1972. This release is derived from a double cassette Ray released from those tapes. The set contains far more singing than the other two sets but is more important is what it tells us about the roles of family, place, and time in traditional music. For example, we find the Oak Ridge BoysÕ hit ÒThe Baptism of Jesse TaylorÓ and ÒSilver Threads and Golden NeedlesÓ from Wanda Jackson and Linda Ronstadt in among ÒDonÕt Let Your Deal Go DownÓ and ÒGeorgia Buck.Ó Other titles have morphed such as ÒDuncan and BradyÓ becoming ÒBrady Why DidnÕt You RunÓ and taking on some aspects of ÒOtto Wood the Bandit.Ó

If you love the old music and understand about the fidelity of field recordings, youÕll live the Field Recorders Collective catalog.

Includes Mabel Dalton (piano), Ray Vass (fiddle), George Pegram (banjo, vocal), FredÊCockerham (fiddle, vocal), Ambrose Lowe (banjo, vocal), Joe Caudill (fiddle),ÊBert Dickens (banjo), Dan Williams (guitar), Norman Edmonds (Fiddle), Charles Hawks (Banjo), JohnÊEdmonds (Guitar),ÊWade Ward (banjo),ÊHerbert Higgins (Fiddle), Kyle Creed (banjo), Junior Higgins (guitar),ÊOscar Ramey (fiddle), Tom NormanÊ(banjo).

The front cover, showing the exuberance with which George Pegram entertained crowds at the Galax FiddlerÕs Convention, gives some idea of the liveliness and energy of Galax musicians in the 1960s. In those days Fred Cockerham often joined Pegram, and tracks 12-17 are as strong as anything Fred played with the Camp Creek Boys. In order to locate these recordings, Boyd Hawks told Andy Cahan Òjust look in the back of my TV repair shop.Ó Only after hours of climbing over mountains of discarded electronic parts did Andy finally find the tapes. Tracks 1-9 were discovered deeply buried among AndyÕs Norman Edmonds tapes (FRC301-2). As luck would have it, you donÕt have to undergo any of these obstacles, you have but to put this CD in your player to unlock these treasures.ÊÐ Ray Alden

Track Listing:

  • Cacklin’ Hen (1:57)
  • Little Birdie (1:29)
  • Ragtime Annie (1:35)
  • I Don’t Love Nobody (1:20)
  • Christmas Times A Coming (1:28)
  • Up Jumped Trouble (1:08)
  • Down Among the Budded Roses (1:20)
  • Over the Waves (1:31)
  • Walking In My Sleep (1:41)
  • Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane (4:15)
  • The Old Country Church (1:55)
  • Cotton Eyed Joe (2:08)
  • Pretty Little Girl (2:42)
  • Texas Gals (3:34)
  • Cumberland Gap (2:06)
  • Carroll County Blues (3:00)
  • Fire On The Mountain (1:43)
  • New River Train (2:08)
  • Old Joe Clark (2:11)
  • Old Rattler (2:05)
  • Wreck of The Old 97 (1:49)
  • Beneath The Weeping Willow (1:20)
  • Molly Put The Kettle On (2:34)
  • Jake Gillie (2:18)
  • Skip To My Lou (1:32)
  • Monkey On A String (2:17)
  • Ducks On The Millpond (3:04)
  • Barlow Knife (2:47)
  • Liza Jane (0:34)
  • Molly Put The Kettle On (0:42)
  • Shoo Fly (0:48)
  • Sugar Hill (0:44)
  • Two Little Orphans (0:45)
  • Fall On My Knees (1:50)
  • Old Dad (1:05)
  • Sally Ann (2:08)
  • John Henry (2:11)