Across The Blue Ridge - Episode 5 (The High Lonesome Sound)

Across The Blue Ridge - Episode 5 (The High Lonesome Sound)

11:42am Jan 30, 2016
Vocal coach and singer Charles Williams is one of the guests who helps us understand the “high lonesome sound” of southern mountain and country singing in context, in a lively visit with Across the Blue Ridge host Paul Brown.
Paul Brown

Southern mountain and country singing often sound high, keening and intense.  Some people like it, some don’t. But how are those sounds made? And why is the style often referred to as “high and lonesome”?  On this edition of Across the Blue Ridge, we find out a little about a very big topic.  We’ll hear some great singers of old time, gospel, blues, and bluegrass.  And we’ll visit with vocal coach Charles Williams, who sings everything from opera to traditional gospel and loves it all.  Finally, John Cohen of New Lost City Ramblers fame tells us that he coined the term “high lonesome sound” after meeting Kentucky singer Roscoe Holcomb. He explains why.  Along the way, he draws some interesting and perhaps unexpected stylistic connections between what Mr. Holcomb sang and singing in other traditions. 

Episode 5 Playlist

  1. Sugar Hill – Tommy Jarrell
    Album: June Apple
     
  2. Ducks In the Millpond – Kyle Creed
    Album: Clawhammer Banjo Volume 1
     
  3. Winkin’ Eye – Fields & Wade Ward
    Album: Fields & Wade Ward – Old Time Country Music
     
  4. Working on a Building – George Pegram
    Album: George Pegram
     
  5. Cripple Creek – George Pegram & Walter Parham
    Album: Good Old Mountain Dew – Banjo Songs of the Southern Mountains
     
  6. Ruby – Cousin Emmy
    Album – Cousin Emmy & Her Kinfolks 1939-47
     
  7. Georgie Buck – Aunt Jenny Wilson
    Album: FRC Aunt Jenny Wilson

    BREAK 1
     
  8. Music:   Salt River – Benton Flippen
    Album: Benton Flippen – Old Time, New Times
     
  9.  Sophronie – Jimmy Martin
    Album: You Don’t Know My Mind
     
  10. Pretty Bird – Hazel Dickens
    Album:  A Few Old Memories
     
  11.  Na ti, mome dzivri (Take Those Slippers, Maiden) – Pirin Ensemble
    Album: Bulgarian Folk Ensembles and Songs
     
  12.  Those Brown Eyes – Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz
    Album: Draw Closer
     
  13.  Climbing High Mountains – Charles Williams
     Across the Blue Ridge field recording
     
  14.  Johnson Boys – Paul Brown
     Across the Blue Ridge studio recording

    BREAK 2
     
  15. Music: Roxanna Waltz – Kenny Baker
    Album: Kenny Baker, Master Fiddler
               
  16. Trouble in Mind – Roscoe Holcomb
    Album: The High Lonesome Sound – Roscoe Holcomb
     
  17. Moonshiner – Roscoe Holcomb
    Album: The High Lonesome Sound – Roscoe Holcomb
     
  18. Salve Sancta Parens
    Album: Gregorian Chant – Songs of the Spirit
     
  19. In the Pines – Roscoe Holcomb
    Album: The High Lonesome Sound – Roscoe Holcomb
     
  20. In the Pines – Bill Monroe and His Blue Grass Boys
    Album: In the Pines – Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys