I'm starting my week with American music rooted in the Appalachian, bluegrass, blues, and gospel traditions. At troubled times, it's just good to hear songs from home....
Above: "And Am I Born to Die" by husband-and-wife banjo masters Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn, from their first duo album Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn (2014). Washburn is from Illinois and D.C., and Fleck from New York City. This video is worth watching full-screen for the sheer beauty of the landscape its filmed in.
Below: "Don't Let It Bring You Down," from their second duo album, Echo in Valley (2017).
Above: "Don't Let Nobody Get You Down" by master blues guitarist Eric Bibb, performed in Maryland in 2008. Bibb grew up in New York City in a family of musicians and civil rights activists, and now makes his home in Stockholm, Sweden.
Below: "With My Maker," from Bibb's fifteenth solo album, Booker's Guitar (2010).
Above: "I'm On My Way" by the brilliant bluegrass musician Rhiannon Giddens, from North Carolina, with Italian jazz musician Francesco Turrisi. The song appeared on their collaborative album There is No Other (2019).
Below: "Cuckoo Song" by Rising Appalachia (sisters Leah and Chloe Smith), from Georgia and New Orelans. The song appeared on their seventh album Leylines (2019).
Above: "Louise" by Mipso (Jacob Sharp, Wood Robinson, Joseph Terrell, and Libby
Rodenbough), from North Carolina. The song appeared on their first album, Dark Hollow Pop (2013).
Below: Gillian Welch's beautiful song "Hard Times" covered by bluegrass mandolin master Chris Thile, with Emily King, Rich Dworsky, Chris Eldridge, Brittany Haas, Paul Kowert, and Ted Poor. Hard times ain't gonna rule my mind no more....