Various Artists

Shady Grove [Video]

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This video collection presents solid and exciting musical performances by four highly expressive and individualistic makers of traditional old-time country music. Although Kilby Snow, Dock Boggs, Tommy Jarrell and Roscoe Holcomb played vernacular music that in some ways was indigenous to the regions in which they spent their lives, they were also at times quite inventive, sometimes astonishingly so. There is a strong blues flavor throughout much of the music in this video. Here is the only known footage of Dock Boggs singing his classic mountain blues and playing his signature banjo style; the intense and original 'high and lonesome" singing of Roscoe Holcomb, playing both banjo and guitar; Kilby Snow's moving vocals and brilliant autoharp playing, and the keening fiddle and sprightly banjo work of Tommy Jarrell, both solo and accompanied by Mike Seeger and Blanton Owen. Footage of Snow filmed in 1970 brings performances of "Troubles," "Cindy," "Raggedy Ann," "You Are My Flower," "Two Timing Blues" and the title track to this collection. Roscoe Holcomb's renditions of "Black Eyed Susie," "Pretty Polly" and "Old Smokey" are thoroughly charming, and 1976 footage of Tommy Jarrell brings performances of "Bonaparte's Retreat," "Cumberland Gap," "The Boll Weevil Song," "Old Jimmie Sutton," "Forked Deer," "Sail Away Ladies," "Cripple Creek," "Breaking Up Christmas" and "John Brown's Dream" to the mix. But the true centerpiece of this collection is the ultra-rare footage of Dock Boggs and his banjo performing "Country Blues," "Pretty Polly" and "I Hope I Live," performances both poignant and exciting.