It's a three-day holiday weekend here in the UK; the sun is shining, the hills are turning green, and wildflowers are blooming in the woods. I'm starting the morning with a strong cup of coffee, essays by Anne Fadiman, and a mix of bluegrass, Appalachian, & new folk music from North America...
Above: "Banjo Pickin’ Girl/Hunting Around The Hill," performed by bluegrass musicians Molly Tuttle & Rachel Baiman, who are currently touring the British Isles. Tuttle is from San Francsico, and Baiman is based in Nashville, Tennessee.
Below: "Good Enough," written and performed by Molly Tuttle, from her solo album, Rise (2017). I love this song, which is timely for me right now...and perhaps also for you.
Above: "Too Long (I've Been Gone)," written and performed by bluegrass musician and historian Dom Flemons, co-founder of Carolina Chocolate Drops. The song is from his first solo album, Prospect Hill (2014).
Below: "Going Down the Road Feelin' Bad," from Flemon's terrific new album Black Cowboys, which "sheds a light on the music, culture, and complex history of the golden era of the Wild West."
Above: "Woman of Constant Sorrow," a traditional Appalachian song performed in an untraditional manner by Rhiannon Giddens, another orginal member of Carolina Chocolate Drops. The track and video is a collaboration with electronica musician Sxip Shirey, and appears on his new album, A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees (2018).
Below: "Far and Wide," a very beautiful song written and performed by Ruth Moody, from Winnipeg, Canada -- best known as a member of the Wailin' Jennys trio. She's recorded several albums with the trio, as well as three lovely solo albums.
Illustration by Helen Stratton (1867-1961)