1959 recordings present the vigorous music of Kentucky mountain
people. They sang and played with a terrific energy that is
almost unheard of now....Their musical memories provide us
with a glimpse of a pattern which had endured for centuries...
Roscoe Holcomb remembered: "I've played for square dances
till the sweat dripped off my elbows. Somebody'd start his
old instrument, guitar or banjer'r something'r other, 'n just
gang up in the middle of the road 'n have the awfullest square
dance right out in the middle of the highway."
Mountain Music of Kentucky
recordings were initially intended to document the different
ways Appalachian musicians tune the five string banjo. The
search for tunings served as an entree into the musicial memories
of the old-time banjo players; as the strings were re-tuned,
a rush of old memories was recollected and precise sound patterns
were remembered beyond the comprehension of deliberate consciousness.
The changing of the note intervals unlocked some closed doors.
Alongside these banjo tunes, seldom sung songs and ballads
appeared, and were recorded as well...It was a great privilege
to document these performances and to feel the individuality
of each musician's style: they had unusual ideas about timing,
pronounced ways of ornamenting the voice, odd tonal and harmonic
choices. Singers adjusted the songs to conform to their own
of the distinctive sounds on these recordings derive from
Inca traditions. However, 400 years of colonialism have integrated
Inca and Spanish cultures, particularly in the huayno music.
Yet among the separate communities of the Andes, distinct
indigenous elements remain, reflecting regional differences
that existed even prior to the Incas.... Since 1982, the second
generation of Andean emigrees in Lima have created Chicha
music, which combines huaynos with electronic instruments
and "tropicale" pop rhythms from Cumbia."
Mountain Music of Peru, Vol 1.
may be the first collection offering Peruvian Criolla music
and the black Peruvian traditions which shaped it, alongside
some superb examples of Andean music...On the original record
labels of the 78s and 45s which the company (Discos Smith)
released, the producers or musicians indicated the style or
rhythm of each performance, which was not only a useful marketing
ploy but also gave the the outsider a guide to what might
be heard in the grooves of each record....Discos Smith probably
saw Criolla and Andean as two distinct markets. Yet their
catalog can also be read as a musical thread following the
path of Andean people's migration from the mountains to the
From The Mountains to the Sea, music of Peru, the 1960s
long ago, sharing a tight elevator in lower Manhattan with
a guy delivering messages, the silence was getting big. So
I asked him, "How ya doin?" He replied, "I'm
going down the road....feeling bad." Since I knew a song
by that name I asked him, "Where'd ya hear that?"
"Jerry," he said as we left the elevator. I don't
remember what he looked like, but I was glad to know that
the song was still alive and that the tradition goes on.
Jerry (Garcia) was a young man in Palo Alto he sang folksongs,
bluegrass and old-time music with his early bands. Playing
folk songs in the early 1960s was different from today. At
that time, before the Beatles and the rock 'n' roll revival,
to be a folk singer was to admit you were an outsider, and
it meant that you rejected mainstream music in favor of this
separate music from far away places with another outlook on
Jerry Garcia & David Grisman "Shady Grove"
is a side of us all which goes about trying to make the world
over in our own image. There is another side--where one searches
to encounter his own image in the world. In this process one
examines all kinds of elements which come in his path."
The New Lost City Ramblers, Vol 1. 1958