Elizabeth Cotten

Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs

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Recorded in 1957 and early 1958 by Mike Seeger, Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes collects the influential debut sides cut by a then-62-year-old Elizabeth Cotten; even decades after their first release, they remain a veritable primer in the art of finger-picked style guitar playing. The quaint, homespun quality of the material -- much of it recorded at Cotten's home with her grandchildren looking on in silence -- adds immensely to its intimacy and warmth; the sound quality varies wildly from track to track, but the amazing instrumental work shines through regardless on tracks like the opening "Wilson Rag" and the now-standard "Freight Train."

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