Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Lost Train Blues (Preview) (John and Alan Lomax - Rare Early Folk Music Recordings)

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(more after the Jump)

In my opinion, it is next to impossible to overestimate the cultural importance of Alan Lomax. Before there was Americana, there was American folk music.  Music made for the joy of making music - made to tell stories and share experiences.  This is music that might have been lost to time if not for the incredible work of Lomax and the field recordings he made over the middle decades of the previous century.  His work in exposing this hidden treasures played a vital role in the American and British folk revivals of 40s, 50s, and 60s. The music of these years continues to influence musicians and songwriters to this day.

Alan Lomax would have turned 100 years old back in January, and in observance of this anniversary, Brooklyn-based is unveiling a 22 selection release (vinyl and digital). Twelve on the songs on this collection have never been released before.  The release on Friday April 8, will coincide with the opening of the Brooklyn Folk Festival.  I have had the chance to listen to this album, and it is a remarkable piece of musical history and an incredible listening experience.

I am pleased to preview three of the selections from the release.  I have included the promotional information about the release below.

Pre-order information is available using the widgets above

"Brooklyn's Jalopy Records has rebooted its homegrown folk music record label with a brand new release, 'Lost Train Blues: John & Alan Lomax and the Early Folk Music Collections at the Library of Congress.' This collection, curated by Brooklyn Folk Festival producer Eli Smith, was compiled for the centennial of famed folklorist Alan Lomax's birth. It will be released on vinyl and via digital download on April 8, coinciding with opening night of the Brooklyn Folk Festival. Twelve of the songs are never-before-released.

The record features 22 selections from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, most of them have never been issued before. The record includes work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo and fiddle music and Native American vocal music.  These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress, now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them with the context of other important early field workers.

The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci.  Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro for the best possible audio fidelity.

Jalopy Records has partnered with well known Oregon based vinyl label Mississippi Records to manufacture and distribute this and future releases.  Jalopy Records is the record label of the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, a grass roots cultural center for traditional music, located in Red Hook, Brooklyn."

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