Ballads, Blues, & Breakdowns, Vol. 1: Old-Time Music of West Virginia

Ballads, Blues, & Breakdowns, Vol. 1: Old-Time Music of West Virginia



During the 1920s and 1930s, record companies and radio stations began to recognize old-time music as potentially commercial. This music would indeed become profitable, and lay the groundwork for country music. Few thought about preserving this music, however, and it has been left to dedicated record labels like County to accomplish this task. Old-Time Music of West Virginia is a good compilation of a number of early artists performing both instrumentals and songs in sparse settings. A number of revealing pieces include the guitar work of Frank Hutchison and Dick Justice. Hutchison's style on "West Virginia Rag" and "The Miner's Blues" resemble a Piedmont style that was unusual for white players during this time period. Justice plays his guitar runs beside fiddler Reese Jarvis on "Poco River Blues" and "Muskrat Rag." The guitar team of Roy Harvey and Leonard Copeland combine bass string runs and fingerpicking on "Beckley Rag" and "Underneath the Sugar Moon" to create wonderful duets. Blind Alfred Reed sings the sentimental "Explosion in the Fairmount Mines," about a girl who warns her daddy to stay home from the mines because of a bad dream she has had. He does, and an explosion occurs that buries 200 men alive. There are many other worthwhile cuts, including the Fruit Jar Guzzlers' "Stack-O-Lee" and "Kentucky Bootlegger" and vivacious versions of "Gonna Die With My Hammer in My Hand" and "Warfield" by the Williamson Brothers & Curry. The overall fidelity is very good. This fine collection gives a good overview of the overabundance of talent in West Virginia during the earliest days of country music.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/10/2000
Label: County Records
UPC: 0009001351821
catalogNumber: 3518

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Clark Kessinger   Fiddle
Blind Alfred Reed   Vocals,Track Performer
Leonard Copeland   Guitar
Roy Harvey   Guitar
Frank Hutchison   Guitar,Vocals,Track Performer
Ernest Williamson   Guitar
Kessinger Brothers   Track Performer
Luches "Luke" Kessinger   Guitar
Tweedy Brothers   Track Performer
Dick Justice   Guitar
Arnold Williamson   Fiddle
Arville Reed   Guitar,Vocals
Fruit Jar Guzzlers   Track Performer
Williamson Brothers   Track Performer
Cleve Chaffin   Banjo,Guitar
Fred Pendleton   Fiddle,Vocals

Technical Credits

Joni Mitchell   Composer
Christopher [1] C. King   Liner Notes

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