“American Folk and Country Festival”

by

bcd16849a

American Folk & Country Festival (Bear Family BCD16849):  2-CD set with 76 page hardcover book

from http://www.ccmusic.com:

Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau began organizing their American Blues and Jazz Festivals in 1962, bringing to Europe American blues and jazz players for a series of successful tours, and in the early spring of 1966 Lippmann and Rau switched gears a bit and brought over a package of the New Lost City Ramblers, the Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Band, Cyp Landreneau’s Cajun Band, Cousin Emmy, and Roscoe Holcomb, billing it as the American Folk and Country Music Festival.

Together, they offer a fascinating glimpse of early American music played with heart and soul. All the artists were still in peak form and gave European audiences their first taste of this side of American traditional music.

Although it was somewhat less fiscally viable than the blues and jazz fests, it was certainly a varied and rewarding show, and thankfully several of the stops were recorded, leading to this wonderful two-disc set featuring generous selections from all of the participating artists.

Among the high points are a haunting, high lonesome version by Roscoe Holcomb of “East Virginia Blues,” the New Lost City Ramblers’ take on “Coo Coo Bird” (based, obviously, on Clarence Ashley’s famous arrangement of the song), Cyp Landreneau’s bayou meets gypsy sound on “La Danse du Lac Charles,” the harmonica and banjo playing of Cousin Emmy, and the sleek yet rustic sound of the Stanley Brothers on “Riding on That Midnight Train,” which, while it is definitely bluegrass in approach, still has an old-timey string band feel to it. Lovingly assembled like all of the Bear Family’s remarkable box sets, and generously annotated, American Folk and Country Music Festival is both a valuable historical document and a fun, even revelatory, listen.

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One Response to ““American Folk and Country Festival””

  1. Jim Nelson Says:

    While this bunch was in Germany, someone put together a TV show called American Country Music. Bear Family released it on DVD a few years ago as American Folk and Country Music. It was quickly pulled off the market for some reason, but is worth tracking down. Great stuff.

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