The North American Traditions Collection

The Field Recorders’ Collective is proud to present:

A Survey of Traditional Music

Over a span of nearly 4 decades, a small group of friends (the North American Traditions Group) recorded many hundreds of hours of traditional music over large swaths of the Appalachians, the Canadian Maritimes, the Ozarks and the American West. Styles within the NAT collection range from unaccompanied ballads to vocal quartets; virtuoso fiddle solos to string bands; blues to gospel to topical songs. The FRC and the NAT Group are proud to present the 15-volume Survey of Traditional Music from the North American Traditions Collection! This presentation is also unique in that each volume is accompanied by extremely detailed notes by Mark Wilson, Norm Cohen and other experts that attempt to situate this music within the historical fabric from which it emerged.  Links to these explanatory notes are provided below.

What an amazing project. Can’t wait to stuff it all into my ears! —Charlie Walden

Excellent sound, copious notes, and more photographs that anyone would think possible. A great project! —Tom Carter

This scope of this collection is completely mind-blowing…just incredible! —Brad Leftwich

An important window into times past that we won’t see again. —Bruce Molsky

    • 15 Volumes plus a Preview album
    • Over 530 tracks
    • More than 350 (65%) previously unissued tracks
    • Over 150 artists (some well-known, but some surprises!)
    • Extensive contextual PDF notes (~150 pages) for each volume
      • Copious historical illustrations and valuable commentaries by the artists themselves and various experts, including Mark Wilson and Norm Cohen. With rare photos and other graphic images.
    • Produced by Mark Wilson and John Schwab
    • Unparalleled geographical coverage.
    • Outstanding sound quality


30 Great selections from the NAT Archive, two representing each volume of the Survey (but not duplicated within the Survey).

For more info and to purchase please click here.

Tracklist for the Preview Disc- FRC800

  1. The Merrimac at Sea – Almeda Riddle
  2. The Lady Gay – Buell Kazee
  3. Kitty Puss – Buddy Thomas
  4. Storm – Dwight Lamb
  5. No Sorrow Will Be There – Ola Belle Reed
  6. My Heart Is Broke Since Thy Departure – Theresa Morrison
  7. Old Aunt Adkins – Owen “Snake” Chapman
  8. God Don’t Like Ugly – Sam Chatmon
  9. Newsy Women – Nimrod Workman
  10. McKinley March – Fields Ward
  11. Wink the Other Eye – Lonnie Robertson
  12. I Tickled Her Under the Chin – Asa Martin
  13. Old Age Pension Check – Nova & Lavonne Baker
  14. The Jam on Gerry’s Rocks – Wash Nelson
  15. The Dying Cowboy – Hobert Stallard
  1. Make Me a Cowboy Again For a Day – Glenn Ohrlin
  2. Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand – E.C. & Orna Ball
  3. God Moves in a Windstorm – Sarah Gunning & Jim Garland
  4. Tally Ho! – Blanche Coldiron
  5. Old Bill Rolling Pin – Bessie Jones & schoolchildren
  6. Galleynipper – J.P. & Annadeene Fraley
  7. Bostony – Roger Cooper
  8. Piedmont – Art Galbraith
  9. Sourwood Mountain – Bob Holt & Bill Conley
  10. New Market Reel – Jerry Holland
  11. Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie – Paddy Cronin)
  12. The Bee’s Wing Hornpipe – Carl MacKenzie
  13. The Bell Piano Strathspey – Theresa & Marie MacLellan
  14. Good Morning This Morning/Tobacco Poem – Nimrod Workman
  15. Cowboy, Go Union – Van Holyoak

Volumes Comprising the Survey

Preview of the Survey

NAT Set 1: Volumes 1-5
Vol. 1: From British Tradition
Vol. 2: A Melodic Melting Pot
Vol. 3: Songs of Melancholy and Sorrow
Vol. 4: The Anglo-African Exchange
Vol. 5: Grown on American Soil

NAT Set 2: Volumes 6-10
Vol. 6: Between City and Country
Vol. 7: Songs of Labor and Recreation

Vol. 8: Under Western Skies
Vol. 9: Religious Life
Vol. 10: Songs that Children Like

NAT Set 3: Volumes 11-15 (coming soon)
Vol. 11: In Old Kentucky
Vol. 12: The Great Midwest
Vol. 13: Way Down East
Vol. 14: Gaelic in the Bow
Vol. 15: In Our Own Words

The FRC wishes to express gratitude to The Southern Folklife Center for their cooperation in providing copies of recordings and documents that are critical to our work. The Southern Folklife Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (SFC) safeguards, preserves, and restores (as necessary) many important collections of recorded music and related documentation, while at the same time providing public access (subject to permission, as required by the donors of these collections). Among the collections housed at the SFC are the original materials of the NAT Collection, including audio recordings, photographs, and notes.