Traditional Music Classics

Traditional Music Classics on VHS. Featuring Doc Watson, Roscoe Holcomb, Buell Kazee, Kilby Snow. 1997.

Traditional Music Classics on VHS. Featuring Doc Watson, Roscoe Holcomb, Buell Kazee, Kilby Snow. 1997.

From the VHS box:

Few areas have been as expansive with their treasures of traditional song as the Appalachians. The isolated small towns, villages and hollows in the section running from Virginia through North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee is nearly unsurpassed as a repository of old-time music and ballads reaching back to the time of settlement. Traditional Music Classics presents rare archival performances by four legends of traditional music from this region.

Doc Watson was born into a musical family with a repertoire of old time songs and ballads. His father taught him how to play the five string banjo when he was young, and Doc later taught himself guitar and mandolin. His warm appealing vocals and consummate flat picking have earned him a wide following and helped expand the appeal of traditional Southern music. He is joined by Fred Price (fiddle) and Clint Howard (guitar), neighboring Tennessee farmers from musical families who joined Doc after the death of Clarence “Tom” Ashley, the musician with whom they commenced playing college concerts in the 1960s. Includes Maggie Walker Blues, Traveling Man, Lee Highway Blues, St. James Hospital, and more.

The musical style of Roscoe Holcomb, the banjo/guitar player from Hazard, Kentucky, represents the collective heritage of local musicians, combined with his Baptist upbringing and exposure to the blues. The intensity he brings to traditional performance illustrates the uncompromising musical attack that led Eric Clapton to call him “his favorite country musician.” Includes Free Little Bird, Fair Miss in the Garden, Graveyard Blues and more.

Buell Kazee was an exceptional singer and superb traditional banjoist from Kentucky who recorded over 50 songs in the 1920s, many of them ancient ballads. He later became an ordained minister and continued to collect traditional mountain music. Includes The Orphan girl, John Hardy and more.

John Kilby Snow was an outstanding autoharpist who was virtually unknown until discovered by Mike Seeger, who was responsible for bringing him to a wider audience in the 1960s. Kilby mastered an unusual signature technique of playing the autoharp, strumming left-handed below the chord bars and utilizing what he called “drag notes,” which he demonstrates in this video. Accompanied by Mike Seeger, Kilby plays Ragged But right, Greenback Dollar, Pretty Polly, What A Friend We Have In Jesus and more.

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