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Songs from My Mother's Hand

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Album Review

Songs from My Mother's Hand may well be the most personal album Mac Wiseman has ever recorded, and it came to be when he was nearly 90 years old — he was 89 at the time he recorded this little gem. As a child growing up in Crimora, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley in the 1930s, Wiseman suffered from a bout with polio and was prone to frequent spells of pneumonia as well, and he turned to music as his solace. Listening to the family's old Victrola radio, his mother would write down the lyrics to songs she heard and liked, most of which were variants of old British folk songs that had filtered into the American folk songbook, and Wiseman and his mother would then play these on the family pump organ. This unassuming, warm, and gentle set revisits his mother's notebooks, the formative songs of Wiseman's childhood. These songs were, and continue to be, at the heart of Wiseman's music, and while he is famous for his time in Flatt & Scruggs' band and as a vocalist for Bill Monroe's Bluegrass Boys, these songs are not bluegrass (which wouldn't appear on the American scene as a genre until the mid-'40s), and neither is this album. It's a folk outing, really, carried by Wiseman's worn but still solid singing, and as a testament to both his mother and to his own considerable musical legacy, it brings him, at 89, full circle.

Customer Reviews

From My Mothers Hand straight to my heart...

I have had the pleasure of hearing this entire CD from top to bottom...It is an incredibly authentic record of this great classic folk tunes...Mac Wiseman is a National Treasure...Love, love ,love this CD!!!!!

Biography

Born: May 23, 1925 in Crimora, VA

Genre: Country

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Famed for his clear and mellow tenor voice, Mac Wiseman recorded with many great bluegrass bands, including those of Molly O'Day, Flatt & Scruggs, Bill Monroe, and the Osborne Brothers; his command of traditional material made him much in demand by bluegrass and folk fans alike. Wiseman was born in Crimora, Virginia and grew up influenced by traditional and religious music and such radio stars as Montana Slim Carter. Wiseman started out working as a radio announcer in Harrisonburg in 1944. At the...
Full Bio