The Smithsonian Folkways will release an album of previously unreleased and hard-to-find cuts from the likes of Bob Dylan, bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, and ragtime guitarist Reverend Gary Davis to a
The Smithsonian Folkways will release an album of previously unreleased and hard-to-find cuts from the likes of Bob Dylan, bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe, and ragtime guitarist Reverend Gary Davis to accompany a collection of photographs by John Cohen. The disc, due Nov. 6, is coming at a time when roots music is enjoying a renaissance of sorts, thanks to the Mercury soundtrack to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" and a forthcoming roots-themed boxed set from Palm Pictures.
The Smithsonian album will in fact contain a rendition of "Man of Constant Sorrow," featured heavily in "Oh Brother," by banjo artist Roscoe Holcomb.
The 23-track set, entitled "There Is No Eye: Music for Photographs," will also feature rare recordings from Woody Guthrie, fiddler Eck Robertson, and bluesman Muddy Waters, among others. Dylan's take on the traditional song "Roll On John," recorded in 1962 and never before released commercially, will be promoted as the centerpiece of the set.
The disc will be released with a compilation of Cohen's photographs entitled "There Is No Eye." The book, compiled and produced by the filmmaker/folklorist/musician, is meant to document Cohen's immersion into the multi-faceted New York folk scene of the '50s and '60s.
Cohen, who directed 15 documentaries (including one on Holcomb) and recorded numerous albums of his own with revival band the New Lost City Ramblers, will offer newly written notes for each song on the album.
Here is the complete track listing:
Gospel Church of Harlem, "Thank You Lord"
Reverend Gary Davis, "If I Had My Way"
Yvonne Hunter, "Have You Ever Been Mistreated?"
Muddy Waters, "I Can't Be Satisfied"
Bob Dylan, "Roll On John"
Roscoe Holcomb, "Man of Constant Sorrow"
Doc Watson and Gaither Carlton, "Hicks Farewell"
Carter Stanley, "Come All You Tenderhearted"
Mary Townsley, "Young But Growing"
Alice Gerrard and Hazel Dickens, "TB Blues"
Bill Monroe, "John Henry"
Eck Roberston, "Sally Goodin"
Sidna Myers, "Twin Sisters"
Charlie Higgins, Wade Ward, and Dale Poe, "Sally Johnson"
David Amran Quartet, "Pull My Daisy"
Rufus Cohen and Wader Paterson, "So Long: Go"
Last Forever, "Who'll Water My Flowers"
Elizabeth Cotton, "Oh Babe, It Ain't No Lie"
Woody Guthrie, "Ramblin; Round Your City"
Alan Lomax, "Love My Darling-O"
New Lost City Ramblers, "Buck Creek Girls"
Sacsamarca's Huayno String Band, "Paloma Blanca"
Sweets Mill Band, "Kitchen Girl"