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music recor· Reviewed by GavinJames Campbell, MusicEditor Roscoe Holcomb, The High Lonesome Sound Smithsonian Folkways, 1998 cd 40104, $14 This cd highlights material from three previously released recordings ofRoscoe Holcomb (19 1 1—198 1 ), a native of Daisy, Perry County, Kentucky. Brought together and put into context byJohn Cohen, the material reflects Holcomb's talents as both instrumentalist and singer. Holcomb merged elements ofcommercial blues, Old Regular Baptist singing, and traditional eastern Kentucky vernacular styles to create what Cohen describes as a "high lonesome sound." One listen to this cd will underscore the aptness of Cohen's label. The soaring, haunting vocals , whether a cappella or accompanied by banjo or guitar, starde the listener into attention, and Holcomb never lets go. Particularly noteworthy is a stunning rendition of"Willow Tree": "It's ifI were some litde sparrow / had litde wings, and I could fly / It's I would light by the side of my own true lover / and there I'd sit till the day I die." A delightful banjo piece, "little Gray Mule," and a version of "House of the Rising Sun" make this a wonderful recording. Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs, 1960-1966 Smithsonian Folkways, 1997 cd 40084, $21 Reviews ? 1 1 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-1488
Print ISSN
1068-8218
Pages
p. 111
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-04
Open Access
No
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