Various Artists

Close to Home: Old Time Music From Mike Seeger's Collection (1952-1967)

  • AllMusic Rating
    6
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

Collected by Mike Seeger from 1952 to 1967 as he roamed around the Appalachian Mountains, Close to Home is one of the better detailed sets of authentic old-time Southern American music to be found. Though mostly recorded at the musician's home on a single, hand-held microphone, the warmth and charm of the performances captured make up for any supposed lack of recording quality, as Seeger no doubt took great pains to document these archaic stylings before they died with their performers. Of the 38 tracks featured, some legends like Sara and Maybelle Carter of the Carter Family fame, Elizabeth Cotten, and fiddler Eck Robertson appear, though the majority are simply local legends or unknowns. As such, it might come as some surprise to hear the level of accomplishment reached by these common folks, as a few were even said to have been badly out of practice when recorded. A majority of the tracks are lively fiddle or banjo instrumentals, though a few harmonica workouts, gorgeous autoharp and dulcimer tunes, and a cappella tracks appear, as well. This is very honest music, without a hint of pretension, and one can only wonder how many similar talents lived and died without ever having shared their talents outside of their local community. Excellent liner notes composed by Seeger himself give a wonderfully detailed commentary on how he came about to record the featured artists, and also place the performers within their historical context. There might be more complete collections on the market, but for the single-disc price and the amount of quality music here, Close to Home is highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 1:21 Spotify
2
2:38 Spotify
3
1:58 Spotify
4
1:13 Spotify
5
1:41 Spotify
6
1:26 Spotify
7
3:21 Spotify
8 2:13 Spotify
9
0:48 Spotify
10
2:15 Spotify
11
0:50 Spotify
12
1:38 Spotify
13 2:24 Spotify
14
2:26 Spotify
15
1:20 Spotify
16
2:11 Spotify
17
2:10 Spotify
18
1:33 Spotify
19
1:20 Spotify
20
1:40 Spotify
21 1:07 Spotify
22
2:33
23
1:41 Spotify
24
0:56 Spotify
25 2:18 Spotify
26
4:54 Spotify
27
0:49 Spotify
28
3:00 Spotify
29
1:58 Spotify
30
0:57 Spotify
31
0:47 Spotify
32 2:39 Spotify
33
1:44 Spotify
34
3:06
35
2:17
36
2:34 Spotify
37
2:53 Spotify
38
1:32 Spotify
blue highlight denotes track pick