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The High Lonesome Sound

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Though this album was released in 1965, Kentucky singer/banjo man Holcomb plays tunes that reach back to—and sometimes even predate—the earliest days of country and folk. His rough-edged tenor is a master marksman’s bullet tearing straight into the heart of old spirituals (“A Village Churchyard”), traditional folk (“Darling Corey”) and string-band tunes (“Free Little Bird”). Whether those plaintive, almost mournful pipes are accompanied by Holcomb’s own butt-kicking banjo picking or he’s delivering soul-piercing a cappella tunes, the album’s title is borne out in no uncertain terms.


Born: 1911 in Daisy, KY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s

One of the most noted Appalachian old-time musicians, banjo player and singer Roscoe Holcomb spent most of his life in the small town of Daisy, KY, and was one of the most authentic exponents of American mountain folk music. Indeed, he never had any professional ambitions but become a recording artist and participant in the folk revival circuit after being recorded for the first time in the late '50s. Holcomb's style is stark, epitomizing the keening, at times pained vocals associated with Appalachian...
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