A Survey of Traditional Music: Preview – FRC800


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The North American Traditions group (NAT) was a small set of friends who recorded a large amount of traditional music between 1972 and 2008, encompassing significant parts of the Appalachians, the Canadian Maritimes, the Ozarks and the American West. Most of the original recordings were intended for release by Rounder Records. Loosely organized by myself, the other central members of this group were Lou Curtiss, John Harrod, Morgan MacQuarrie, Gordon McCann, and Gus Meade, although many others contributed to specific projects. None of us were employed by Rounder Records but mailed our materials to the company, where the releases were overseen by Bill Nowlin. All in all, about 85 projects were published by the group. When Rounder was sold in 2010, I retained the ownership rights, with the intention of rendering the entire archive publicly accessible (see fieldrecorder.org/nat). Norm Cohen and I then envisioned a large, annotated survey of the collection’s contents, and we were pleased when the Field Recorders’ Collective agreed to publish (and improve upon!) the 15 volumes we had contemplated. This preview CD consists of 30 additional selections, chosen to illustrate the 15 categories into which the survey itself is divided. We hope that modern audiences will enjoy hearing these songs, tunes and stories as they were actually performed, unfiltered through the ears, fingers, and voices of later generations. Doing so strikes us as the best way of remembering the wonderful people who were kind enough to allow us to make these recordings.—Mark Wilson


Track List

A Survey of Traditional Music: Preview – FRC800

Detailed Track Notes

  1. The Merrimac at Sea – Almeda Riddle (4:05)
  2. The Lady Gay – Buell Kazee (5:14)
  3. Kitty Puss – Buddy Thomas (2:21)
  4. Storm – Dwight Lamb (1:38)
  5. No Sorrow Will Be There – Ola Belle Reed (0:48)
  6. My Heart Is Broke Since Thy Departure – Theresa Morrison (2:51)
  7. Old Aunt Adkins – Owen “Snake” Chapman (1:53)
  8. God Don’t Like Ugly – Sam Chatmon (2:36)
  9. Newsy Women – Nimrod Workman (2:00)
  10. McKinley March – Fields Ward (1:41)
  11. Wink the Other Eye – Lonnie Robertson (1:40)
  12. I Tickled Her Under the Chin – Asa Martin (2:47)
  13. Old Age Pension Check – Nova & Lavonne Baker (1:59)
  14. The Jam on Gerry’s Rocks – Wash Nelson (2:19)
  15. The Dying Cowboy – Hobert Stallard (1:12)
  16. Make Me a Cowboy Again For a Day – Glenn Ohrlin (4:20)
  17. Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand – E.C. & Orna Ball (3:24)
  18. God Moves in a Windstorm – Sarah Gunning & Jim Garland (3:15)
  19. Tally Ho! – Blanche Coldiron (1:38)
  20. Old Bill Rolling Pin – Bessie Jones & schoolchildren (4:20)
  21. Galleynipper – J.P. & Annadeene Fraley (1:45)
  22. Bostony – Roger Cooper (2:21)
  23. Piedmont – Art Galbraith (1:51)
  24. Sourwood Mountain – Bob Holt & Bill Conley (1:19)
  25. New Market Reel – Jerry Holland (2:06)
  26. Jenny’s Welcome to Charlie – Paddy Cronin (1:56)
  27. The Bee’s Wing Hornpipe – Carl MacKenzie (4:32)
  28. The Bell Piano Strathspey – Theresa & Marie MacLellan (4:42)
  29. Good Morning This Morning/Tobacco Poem – Nimrod Workman (0:53)
  30. Cowboy, Go Union – Van Holyoak (1:11)