Various Artists

Art Of Old-Time Mountain Music

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AllMusic Review by

Northwestern fiddler Kerry Blech selected this 28-track compilation from the Rounder label's voluminous catalog of studio and field recordings of old-time music. The term "old-time" usually denotes a style of country music that is non-commercial and which predates bluegrass. The fiddle is often prominent, and while the five-string banjo is often involved, it is usually played in the older "clawhammer" style rather than the more ornate three-finger bluegrass or Scruggs style. But this album takes the listener far beyond the standard fiddle-guitar-and-banjo instrumentation, and even beyond the Appalachian region, to include unaccompanied singing (Almeda Riddle's "I'm a Long Time Traveling Here Below" is a gorgeous example), cowboy song (Glenn Ohrlin's hilarious "High Toned Dance"), and even one piano solo (Haywood Blevins' arrangement of the old-time standard "Old Molly Hare" that opens the program). There are also a couple of fine examples of the African-American banjo and fiddle traditions from Joe & Odell Thompson and Dink Roberts and, of course, plenty of the kind of old-time fiddling that most listeners will recognize as typical of the genre. Blech's annotations are extensive and insightful. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 2:04
2
1:38
3
3:35
4
3:13
5 2:36 Amazon
6
1:44
7
1:54
8 3:29
9
2:38
10
2:23
11 3:00
12
3:04
13
1:23
14 3:28 Amazon
15 1:50
16
1:11
17 3:51
18
2:32
19
2:41 Amazon
20
1:45
21 2:16
22
2:22
23 3:03
24 1:33
25
3:55
26 2:57
27 3:09
28 4:09
blue highlight denotes track pick