The Hammons Family

Traditions of a West Virginia Family & Friends

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This long-overdue reissue combines the original Library of Congress double album A Study of a West Virginia Family's Traditions and the Rounder LP Shaking Down the Acorns, two groundbreaking recordings released in 1973. Accompanied by an astounding 120-page booklet of transcriptions, family and cultural histories, photographs, and lengthy song notes, the new edition includes all 40 tracks on two CDs and encompasses fiddle and banjo tunes, unaccompanied ballads, riddles, and stories. The project, divinely conceived by Alan Jabbour and Carl Fleischhauer, delves deeply into the traditions of a single family, integrating performance, oral history, and masterful contextual notes. For the new edition, the song sequence is rearranged, and some bibliographical and discographical references, along with a few of the original photographs, are unfortunately cut; such absences are hardly noticeable, however, in light of the remaining breadth of the documentation and the power of the performances themselves. The collection is easily dominated by fiddler Burl Hammons and ballad singer Maggie Hammons Parker, both of whom provide family stories and commentary on the songs; excellent banjo performances by Sherman Hammons and Lee Hammons (the latter a friend and neighbor, though apparently not related) add nicely to the tone and scope of the project, and three fiddle tunes by Mose Coffman close the set. Produced with unusual academic insight and precision as well as a profound compassion for their subjects, the Hammons Family releases remain the only commercially issued recordings of their kind or stature. Enormously influential both for their content and their production, the original LPs retain all of their force in the new packaging. For the true student/lover of old-time music or American folk culture, these recordings are invaluable.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
feat: Burl Hammons
1:47
2
feat: Burl Hammons
4:10
3
feat: Burl Hammons
2:10
4
feat: Burl Hammons
1:51
5
feat: Burl Hammons
4:05
6
feat: Burl Hammons
1:58
7
feat: Burl Hammons
2:32
8
feat: Burl Hammons
6:53
9
feat: Burl Hammons
1:13
10
feat: Burl Hammons
1:28
11
feat: Burl Hammons
1:33
12
feat: Burl Hammons
1:42
13
feat: Burl Hammons
0:48
14
feat: Burl Hammons
6:59
15
feat: Burl Hammons
2:13
16 2:04
17
feat: Burl Hammons
1:48
18
feat: Burl Hammons
2:08
19 1:10
20 3:14
21 8:40
22 5:11
blue highlight denotes track pick