November 18, 2008 by gadaya

With this blog, i want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore american folk music. I’ ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the web to make this work-in-progress enjoyable and educational the best i can. Any suggestions, additional informations, comments and critics are welcome…

I’ll use Harry Smith’s numerical order starting from the number one performance in the Anthology, “Henry Lee” by Dick Justice and end (someday…) with “Fishing Blues” by Henry Thomas. Each time, i’ll try to collect interesting links on the artist and on the song performed. There will be other performances by the artist and different versions of the selected song that i have access to. You’re invited to download and enjoy the selections but please, as much as you can, try to support the efforts of the small records companies and the living artists by buying their records.


91 thoughts on “Welcome

  1. great stuff you’re doing here. it’s a daunting, large project, but perhaps no moreso than my roots of fahey…

  2. gadaya says:

    Hi, Pirate, yes indeed it’s going to take me some times but it’s fun and “the old, weird America” is a fascinating territory to explore…

  3. Paul McEvoy says:

    This is awesome!! BUT these download links are really weird. Do you think you could put them all in a zip file at the end of each posting? I’m not even sure how they are working…mediafire seems to be opening mp3s, but I can’t download them straight from your blog? It’s a little confusing. But thanks!! Amazing stuff.

  4. gadaya says:

    Thanks Paul;You’re right about the downloading, i’ll work on another way, maybe the one you suggest.

  5. dcat in the cornpatch says:

    Thanks for the interesting music and blog you are beginning here. I wish you much success and kudos from the community. Cheers!

  6. inthealley says:

    Thanks so much for this from London England. I am a great fan of Harry Smith and this is a wonderful idea to expand on his original collection. I only wish this stuff could be heard more widely, and we could get back to that old wierdness a bit more …..

  7. Raine says:

    I absolutely love this idea. I do this a lot in my student radio show, combining recurrent themes in a lot of folk music taken from the Anthology and before/onwards. I’m definitely going to follow this blog. 🙂

  8. Martin says:

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing your finds.

  9. kami says:

    great idea mate, looking forward to seeing what you dig up for us.

  10. kamholj says:

    So far, you are off to a wonderful start! The entries are fun and truly interesting. Keep up the great work.

  11. KennyTheDee says:

    This is a fabulous idea for a blog, and the posts so far are unbelieveably good.

    Thank you so much.

  12. This is an extraordinary project you are undertaking, and as one who has only relatively recently discovered the Anthology, I am really very excited about following your progress! Good luck 🙂

  13. Mr.Moto says:

    This is a very beautiful project and I enjoy your comments on the individual songs and the traditions tremedendously. Thank you from Berlin, Germany.

  14. MFAP says:

    Absolutely amazing treasure trove of facts, information and music…you deserve a prize for this effort!

  15. inthealley says:

    Hi there …… I’m not one for replying to blogs (shame on me) let alone twice. This collection is amazing and a hugely appropriate tribute to all of Harry Smith’s begging swaps in the interests of posterity, clambering through disused record plants, haunting thrift stores and the like. To be put alongside the great scholarly work by the people over at Smithsonian/Folkways. Thank you again SO MUCH!!

  16. Matt says:

    This is brilliant, remarkable stuff. What a great project. Thanks so much.

  17. Nicolas L says:

    Excellent projet !
    Il y a visiblement une autre personne en France qui s’intĂ©resse Ă  cette musique
    C’est sympa, on se sent moins seul

    • gadaya says:

      Salut Nicolas, c’est vrai qu’il n’y a pas beaucoup d’amateurs de la vrai musique folk americaine par ici, c’est pourquoi j’ecris en anglais… Ton blog a l’air chouette…

  18. TBS says:

    Just found three 1 hour radio programs on AAFM, and thought they might be of interest to your readers:
    AAFM episodes are eps. 4-6.
    Keep up the good work!

  19. This is just really incredible. Thanks a lot for sharing your work with us.

  20. mmagus says:

    Votre blog est vraiment formidable, gadaya. Merci mille fois d’Aust. Occidentale.

  21. This is quite incredible! I came across your site thanks to The Celestial Monochord – you’re doing a magnificent job! I’ve posted and linked at http://iwentdowntostjamesinfirmary.blogspot.com/


  22. toomuchidiotwind says:

    I love what you are doing here….thank you so much. I’m excited to browse through what you are doing. I linked here through Setting the Woods on Fire. I’ve just started a blog and interestingly enough made reference to this very idea of The Old Weird America after listening to R.E.M.’s Reckoning. I plan to make reference to your blog and project in my next post.

  23. l. says:

    wow. thanks.

  24. Mr. Lee says:

    Fantastic site — thanks!!!

  25. Manofpeace says:

    This is truly amazing.Thank you for sharing and for all your care and dedication

  26. JD Lynn says:

    I think I have a photo of the actual FFV wreck – don’t see your email – write and I’ll try to send it

  27. Ejler Svendsen says:

    Thank you very much!
    A very nice, .. useful work.
    Thanks here from Copenhagen.

    Looking for John Greenway’s “Talking Blues” LP/CD?

  28. Greg Vandy says:

    Best Blog EVER! Thanks
    I’m from Harry’s hometown (one of ’em) of Bellingham WA and host a weekly radio show on KEXP-FM in Seattle. http://www.kexp.org.
    I visit The Anthology every Thanksgiving on the show and will definitely use and spread your amazing work!

  29. Jim Ozzcat says:

    Thanks for a fascinating site! Truly what the Net is all about. I hope you get a heap of pleasure from your efforts.

  30. Olaf says:

    Amazing project, thanx a lot for sharing this music. greetings from germany.

  31. Ole fellah says:

    Thank you for such very interesting ‘deep’ stuff.

  32. Bob says:

    I love the site, but am having trouble downloading your MP3 files. When they unzip, I get song titles with 0 kb that won’t open with any of the audio programs I have (Windows Media Player, Real Player, iTunes, Adobe Audition). What am I doing wrong?

    • gadaya says:

      I don’t know what to say, it seems some people have problems downloading, some don’t…Can you tell me which tracks won’t open?

      • magus says:

        I’ve never had any problems opening any of your files – for all of which I’m grateful.

  33. Bob says:

    I downloaded the zip files for Buell Kazee’s World, Coley Jones’ World, and Dick Justice’s World. The unzip program shows the various files and indicates that the files have been uncompressed (it shows how many kbs the files were when zipped and unzipped), creates a folder for the files, saves the files (song tuitles), but each song is shown with 0 kb in the folder and will not open.

    • gadaya says:

      I don’t understand why it doesn’t work… You’ll have to be patient because i don’t have access to my own computer on vacation so i’ll try to solve this problem (if i can…) later…

  34. Adam says:

    Fantastic blog. I’ve been following for a couple of months and the posts just get better as you go. Keep up the great work!

  35. Matusalem says:

    Amazing work here.
    I’m a metalhead from Portugal but i love folk and world music too. I’m more in the celtic and the nordic european folk music but i will discover the roots of american folk music. 🙂
    Keep the good job here. Cheers!

  36. Dennis Flannigan says:

    Remarkable work. Thank you. I have an extensive collection of early American string band music, as well as other genres. If you’re looking for something by an early artist, let me know. I do post material on WesternSwing on 78 website. Dennis

  37. Mike Anderson says:

    Thanks very much for expanding the anthology to present alternate recordings of these wonderful songs. I just found your site today and I envision many happy hours reading and listening.

  38. AJ Russo says:

    I came across your site while doing some sunday afternoon research on the origins of Omie Wise and I have spent the last day and a half pouring thru your websites — really amazing!

    Thanks so much for all the great work!

  39. Paul McEvoy says:

    Happy New Year!

    I just caught up with all your posts…this an amazing resource. Can’t believe it.

    There are a few files that don’t seem to be working.
    The Carter Family’s World #17
    John Hardy 1
    Charles Guituea
    Edward L Crain
    Cole Younger

    Is it possible you could re-up them?

    Can’t thank you enough for doing this!

    All the best

  40. Aktivista says:

    EXTREMELY INTERESTING PROJECT, as someone says. I will link you to my blog of old music on WORDPRESS.

  41. ben says:

    wonderful project. i’m trying to educate myself on the ‘old, weird america’ and the Anthology right now and coming across your blog was a windfall. thanks!

  42. Conor says:

    I love the variations posts that you do. It’s always been a minor obsession of mine to collect every version I can find of “Stack O’ Lee” or whatever. Lately I’ve been wanting to get a hold of versions of “The Twa Sisters”/”Cruel Sister”/”Dreadful Wind and Rain” If you’ve got any takes on that one I’d really like it if you’d make a post.

  43. Lloyd says:

    Thanks so much for doing this – chasing down the intricate interconnections of all this music. It is always a pleasure to come see what you’ve found.

  44. john says:

    A fancy new facelift?
    We love ya no matter how you look!

  45. video2000 says:

    Thank you for this beautiful Anthology extension!

  46. Davey Bob says:

    Just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your efforts here. I am fascinated by the HS anthology and am enjoying the opportunity to delve into the work of the wonderful artists represented more deeply.

    Thankyou very much from the deep south (Australia)!

  47. Rob Walsh says:

    This is a great resource, wonderful site.
    Can’t wait for the James Alley Blues / Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown section – my favourite track on the Anthology – do you have access to any more songs by Mr Brown?

  48. Ed says:

    Howdy. Just came across your blog. looks like great work. look forward to exploring the content. thanks, ed.

  49. Zer0_II says:

    Greetings. I wanted to let you know that I’ve added your blog to the Country/Western/Bluegrass category of the Digital Meltd0wn Blogroll/Aggregator @ http://music-bloggers.blogspot.com and my newly created “Recent Blog Updates” feed, which can be found here: http://feeds.feedburner.com/dmblogroll

    Basically what I’m trying trying to do is put together the most comprehensive list of music blogs available. I focus on blogs which feature out of print or otherwise unavailable music, as well as those which share podcasts, or sample mp3 files. I’ve categorized them as best I could so that you can easily find exactly what you are looking for.

    If you would like to help me out, you can do so by linking back to my blogroll. It certainly isn’t required in order to be listed, yet I would greatly appreciate it if you were willing to. Thanks for all the hard work and time that goes into maintaining this blog, and especially for the great music you share. Take care.


  50. Ignatz says:

    This is WONDERFUL. I just ran across your blog from a search of “Fatal Flower Garden” and I am floored by this site. Thank you for doing it.

  51. Bernie Stocks says:

    Shame you’ve put this amazing blog on hold. Hopefully you’ll get going again after a break. Thanks anyway. B.

  52. Roldo says:

    First, thank you. I often find myself compelled to trace the history of a song or tune and your efforts make that much easier.
    Second, that’s what I’m doing here now. Today I’ve been hunting through Cyberia for antecedents to Pete Stampfel’s “Spring Of ’65” with its intriquing Golden Bough hints. I located the original Kentucky version but that led to a song called “in 1845” recorded by Harry Tufts but your Error Duck says its not here. Fortunately much else of worth and interest was.
    Third – thanks again.

  53. Great Blog!!! You would really enjoy the new Old Weird America radio show on KUCI 88.9 Irvine, CA 2-4pm PST. You can listen online if you aren’t local. You can see the set lists on the Tumblr site. Enjoy!

  54. tad richards says:

    Just found this site today, and am enthralled. It’s my new favorite website, and I’ll be spending a lot of time here.

  55. stevie says:

    just stumbled on this today! i only wish my dear old dad could have lived into the age of the internet. he would have loved this even more than me.

  56. Brendan says:

    Gadaya–Thank you for your incredible work on this and your other blogs. I’ve learned so much about the Anthology and old time music in general. I recently started a blog, The Vanished Hand, which incorporates old time music, historic photos, and videos. Check it out if you have a chance. Thanks!

  57. Ian says:

    This is an amazing project, thank you for continuing to share all of this music. It’s given me a greater appreciation for songs that I already know, and has driven me to learn so much more music. Thank you!

  58. Chris Barry says:

    Thank you! I just discovered your site and I can tell I will be spending lots of time browsing through. A great idea for a site and very well executed. Thank you again.

  59. Dennis Flannigan says:

    Thank you is too little to say. Remarkable effort, wonderful mission, extraordinary research and sympathy for the music and the musicians. Few make time, a few make magic. You’re documenting the magic of early blues, old timey and life. Again, thank you. df

  60. James says:

    Just wanted to say how much I admire your efforts here. This is a superb project, and I have spent many happy hours browsing through and learning. We need more people like you around!

  61. Brandon Lyon says:

    There’s not much I can say that hasn’t been said, but still, you’re efforts here are very appreciated. Glad to have your blog around, keep it up!

  62. Mike Fink, King of the Keelboatmen says:

    This really is a masterwork. I plan on drawing from your site for projects of my own and will give you proper attribution and linking. Keep doing what you are doing, clearly you are being recognizing for your excellent work if the posts above mine are any indication.

  63. joey parlett says:

    yes….this site is incredible. i’m really excited to dive into this treasure.

  64. tad richards says:

    Are you going to pick it up again? I’ll gladly send a donation if it will help.

  65. afterbach says:

    Thanks… THANKS!!! VERY VERY VERY!!!! for all this jewels

    You are doing an excellent work


  66. Davey O'Hoolahan says:

    Just wanted to say thank you for all your hard work on this and your other blog projects.

  67. Perry Tow says:

    Thanks for your explorations! This has led me down many interesting musical paths and will continue to for a long long time!!

  68. mattydog says:

    I’ve been here several times and really enjoy it. This is a great, great site. What you are doing is really worth while. I’ve still a lot to learn, but you are helping/guiding me along the road. Thanks.

  69. Sara says:

    This blog is appreciated. Keep it up!

  70. sshaver says:

    My writing is based in the age of Woody Guthrie. What a shame if that voice were lost to future generations!

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  72. tierney says:

    I am overwhelmed by this site! So much wonderful music! Many, many thanks!

  73. Right now it sounds like Expression Engine is the preferred blogging platform available right now.
    (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?

  74. Awesome blog you have here but I was wondering if you knew of any discussion boards that cover the same topics talked about here?

    I’d really love to be a part of online community where I can get responses from other experienced individuals that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Appreciate it!

  75. Max says:

    FANTASTIC Website!
    One can learn so much about the roots of rock n roll and so many other
    musical styles here. A TREASURE of music for all mankind everywhere!

  76. JD says:

    come back to us with more of this fantastic blog . . . don’t let it end with a whimper and not a bang, to paraphrase the poet . . .

  77. inthealley says:

    Dear Gadaya ………

    I think everyone who looks here knows the huge amount of work you have put into this blog – it is a HUGE achievement. It is now a long time since Poor Boy appeared (one of MY favourites btw) and I wonder if there ever is the possibility of you finishing? I introduce friends to the Anthology all the time and, when they become enthused, point them here, and they are amazed. Please don’t feel pressurised but let us know if you are now done – it will be sad, but I am sure that others will, like me, be thankful for what we have …… Brian

    • gadaya says:

      Hi Brian, thanks for your kind words. I’m not sure yet how to proceed with this blog. As you surely know, All the links were put down by Mediafire and it would be a lot of work to make them available again.I lost the patience it needs to work on this kind of things! But I’m glad many people discovered the music of “the old, weird America” through my blog.
      All the best,

      • DW says:

        Please don’t give up just yet. Just as you’ve given to this community, I’m sure those who have been faithful readers and downloaders would be happy to help restore those lost links (I know I would help out in any way I could) in order for this to continue on.Even without the links at present, please consider going on . . . this project is important on so many levels.

  78. DW says:


  79. DW says:

    Here’s hoping 2015 marks a comeback year for this blog . . . I am ever hopeful.

  80. DW says:

    Another year, another hope that all is not yet lost for this blog . . .

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