Roscoe Holcomb

The High Lonesome Sound

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Twenty-one tracks from his Folkways album, including his accomplished, somber renditions of standards such as "House of the Rising Sun," "Moonshiner," "Trouble in Mind," and "Motherless Children." Holcomb is a big favorite among musicians and folklorists -- Bob Dylan, for one, is a big fan -- yet it must be said that this is probably too authentic for most listeners to play for pleasure. It's straight from the bone, with high, at times harsh vocals that make no concession to popular clich├ęs to make things easier on the ear. That's one thing which makes the parallel to Dylan easy to see. The banjo playing is impressive, and the anthology is embellished by lengthy liner notes and recollections by John Cohen.

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