Though it sounds for all the world like an authentic document of the Appalachian Mountains tradition of the Carter Family of the 1930s, this album (reissued from an original 1956 LP release) was made by two New York City-born college students in 1956. Ellen and Irene Kossoy, accompanying themselves on guitar and banjo and backed on the same instruments by Erik Darling, sang a set of traditional material heavy on murder ballads. Lacking any particular emotional connection to the subject matter, they were able to recreate the direct, amateur sound of the people who sang these songs as a part of their culture, making the lyrics all the more chilling for the matter-of-fact way in which they were rendered. A genuine oddity, this.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann