Southern Mountain Hoedowns

Woody Guthrie

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Southern Mountain Hoedowns Review

by William Ruhlmann

Stinson Records' Southern Mountain Hoedowns consists of traditional country tunes performed in an offhand manner by Woody Guthrie (who alternately plays guitar, fiddle, and mandolin) with his friends Cisco Houston (guitar) and Sonny Terry (harmonica). These tracks were recorded by record executive and producer Moses Asch in the 1940s for his Asch and Disc Records labels, but Asch lost control of the master recordings in a dispute with Stinson. The sound quality is questionable, with lots of surface noise, but these are historic recordings of some powerful material by accomplished performers. And if Guthrie's performances as a traditional country artist are not up to the level of his original compositions, they nevertheless have a casual charm.