home about store listen collectors contact

Additional Notes

For links to additional information and reviews for the CDs we have, please see below.

Photo Gallery

Take a look at various photos we have related to the CDs here.

2014 CDs

Lee Stoneking (FRC708)

The next day, in the late morning, Ivan said there was someone he wanted us to hear. He took us to a local community center that was hosting a luncheon for senior citizens. When we walked in the door we were surprised to see, on a small stage entertaining the crowd with his fiddling, Lee Stoneking himself. We had no idea he lived in Lowry City, and were delighted to finally meet him.   more>>

Rector Hicks (FRC709)

Rector Hicks was born out in the country around Chloe, Calhoun County, West Virginia in 1914. Although his father played mouth harp, no one in his immediate family was a fiddler. Rector learned from fiddlers in the area, beginning to play the instrument when he was about ten years old. Rector said that he never played for dances, a typical training ground for a country fiddler. Instead, he refined his craft through hours of solitary playing and in sessions with other musicians.   more>>

2009 CDs

The Shelor and Blackard Families (FRC112)

The Shelor and Blackard Families Jesse Shelor (born December, 1894) was the youngest boy of the fourteen children of Reverend William Ellis Shelor. Even though all of Jesse's brothers played fiddle or banjo, it was not their influence, but rather a more startling event that started ten year old Jesse fiddling. One day Jesse's father came home, picked up a fiddle, and played "Callahan". This impressed young Jesse greatly since he had no idea his father played!   more>>

Obray Ramsey and Byard Ray by Eugene Chadbourne (FRC113)

Obray Ramsey is the banjo-picking cousin of old-time music instrumentalist Byard Ray, and the two worked regularly as a duo until they were "discovered" playing at an Asheville folk festival during the folk music revival of the '60s. From that point on, the two men's musical career took a strangely twisted path.   more>>

Union Grove Musicians (FRC114)

Bob Douglas was an old-time fiddle player who, during the 101 years of his life, became something of a legend in southern Tennessee. Born, the son of a fiddle player, in the state's Sequatchie Valley in 1900, Douglas had initially played guitar in the family band and only took up the bow at the age of 23. He won his first fiddling contest just three months later using an instrument presented to him by his father that is now on permanent display in the Museum of Appalachia in Norris, Tennessee.   more>>

Dink Roberts by Eugene Chadbourne (FRC209)

The titles of tunes this historic North Carolina banjo man recorded evoke the rowdy milieu he came out of : "High Sheriff," "Old Corn Liquor," "Black Annie," "Roustabout," "Fox Chase," and so forth. But his importance as a link to Afro-American traditions as well as Appalachian styles means his music has been the subject of intense study by archivists and ethnomusicologists.   more>>

Tommy Jarrell at Pinewoods Camp by Jerry Epstein (FRC211 and FRC212)

I first went to Pinewoods Camp Folk Music Week in 1965 — a life changing experience in more ways than I can count. It was the first time I had an opportunity to live with source traditional artists, and I had enough sense to realize that there was something special here that would not be found on the coffee house circuit. I met Jean Ritchie in 1965, Louis Killen in 1966, and Norman Kennedy in 1967.   more>>

Tommy Jarrell by Ray Alden (FRC211 and FRC212)

Thomas Jefferson Jarrell was born in 1901, the son of Ben and Susan Jarrell. His father was the fiddler for Da Costa Woltz and his Southern Broadcasters, a string band that recorded nine 78 rpm records for Gennett in 1927. Just as his father eclipsed his brother Charlie as a well known fiddler, Tommy would surpass all of his ten siblings in music.   more>>

Dock Boggs in Concert 1966 by Wilson Roberts (FRC312)

Following is a transcript of the spoken part of the concert. Speaking are Dock Boggs, his guitarist, Kate, and Dr. Cratis Dearl Williams, founding Dean of the ASU Graduate School, Now the Cratis Williams Graduate School, who arranged the concert.   more>>

The Music of Walter Raleigh Babson (1900-1987) by Andy Cahan (FRC313)

Walter Raleigh Babson was among the few banjo and fiddle players from coastal North Carolina still living in the late twentieth century. Originally from Ash, in Brunswick County, he lived at Wrightsville Beach for about the last 25 years of his life. He worked for many years as a carpenter and was a skilled woodworker as well. In earlier times he worked in various trades and occupations around Ash and Wilmington.   more>>

The Nee Ningy Band by Bob Hudson (FRC610)

If a band is defined more by its sound than by its songs, then the Nee Ningy Band was in a class by itself. Most old-time or blues bands, while unique in their own way, sound at least a little like every other old-time or blues band. While the musical influences on the Nee Ningy Band are easy to distinguish\blues, Cajun, Celtic, and so on\they just didnft sound like anyone else. Not then, not since.   more>>

2008 CDs

The Cajuns, Balfa and Abshire (FRC111)

Singing in French. A fiddle adds plaintive drones and harmony. A boisterous accordion, all staccato attack and ornate rolls, provides lift and bounce. Beneath this trinity of voice, fiddle and accordion, a rhythm guitar and a great iron triangle jangle out a rude chanky-chank. The result is the quintessential sound of the South Louisiana prairies and bayous, Cajun music.   more>>

John Wesley Summers: A Historical Sketch of My Father by Rev. John K. Summers (FRC310)

How do you go about writing about a "master" of his profession? My father was not only a perfect farmer, but without a doubt, the finest interpreter of Irish jigs and reels and old Scottish schottisches via the violin. He was self-trained, having started when he was just 2 years old. His father, my grandfather, Simon Summers, took this small toddler on his lap, put a violin under his chin and held his hand as he pulled the bow across the strings. That lad was to grow up loving the violin and the music of yesterday.   more>>

John Summers by Joel Shimberg (FRC310)

Mr. Summers' old friend, Judge Dan White, had gone on vacation to a dude ranch in Colorado. He met a young couple from Los Angeles, Dan and Lorna O'Leary, who admired his fiddling. He told them that they should hear his friend, Dick Summers, and sent them these recordings.   more>>

Bill Owens Biographies from various sources (FRC409 & FRC410)

William A Owens, folklorist, author, and professor, was born in the Lamar County hamlet of Pin Hook about twenty miles northeast of Paris on November 2, 1905. He was the son of Charles and Jessie Ann (Chennault) Owens. His father died within a few days after Owens's birth, and the boy spent his early years helping his mother and his older brothers scratch a living from the worn-out red soil of Lamar County.   more>>

Play-Party Songs and Dances in Texas from Bill Owens "Tell Me a Story, Sing Me a Song" (FRC409 & FRC410)

In Texas, as in other parts of the frontier west of the Alleghenies, the settlers were generally liberal in matters of personal belief and religious freedom. Paradoxically, the freer they were in congregational governance, the stricter, the more conservative they were in rules of personal conduct, especially in those that dictated acceptable forms of entertainment.   more>>

Texas Fiddle Tunes and Square Dance Calls by Dan Foster (FRC409 & FRC410)

Here is some stuff about old time fiddling in my native state, any time. Have tried to find out much as I can about the early days and do enjoy the current contest fiddling as well. As for Parker County, T.U. Taylor in the June 1937 article mentioned tunes favored at dances in the 1870s in North and Central Texas. Sally Gooden, Cotton-Eyed Joe, Billy in the Low Ground, Drunkards Hiccoughs, Rare Back Sallie Gal, Curly Headed Negro, Black Jack Grove.   more>>

Texas Fiddlers recorded prior to 1942 (or so) Researched by Guthrie T. Meade (FRC409)

An extensive list of Texas fiddlers.  more>>

P.T. Bell by Dan Foster (FRC410)

Peter Tumlinson Bell was born. February 26, 1869, near Gallinas Creek, Atascosa County, Texas. His grandfather, Jonathan Bell had come to Texas from Mississippi in 1853 and settled 60 miles southeast of San Antonio. Jonathon Bell was killed in a gunfight the following year, leaving his young son Marion "Mace" Bell to be raised on the frontier by an older brother Bill.   more>>

The Horse Flies by Judy Hyman (FRC602)

The Horse Flies came together in 1979 in Ithaca, NY. The initial lineup (Judy Hyman and Mike Scott fiddles; Jeff Claus, guitar; John Hoffmann, banjo; and Molly Stouten, bass), played fiddle tunes and old songs at regional festivals and square dances. By the early 980s they settled into a 4-piece quasi-traditional old-time string band with Judy Hyman on fiddle, Richie Stearns on banjo, Jeff Claus on guitar and banjo uke, and John Hayward on upright bass.   more>>

Reviving the Revival: The Ithaca Music Scene by Luke Z. Fenchel (FRC602)

In the late 1970s and early 80s, bands like Joy Division, Talking Heads and Public Image Limited dared to take punk and pop and "rip it up and start again." While those groups were reworking Anglo-American popular music, another group of artists were exploring the sonic possibilities of an even more established genre: old-time fiddle music. The Ithaca area was a focal point in this tradition's redefinition. In 1985, The Tompkins County Horseflies released a split LP with Boston-based Chicken Chokers. Called Chokers & Flies, the record offered two takes on old time music: the traditional yet whimsical approach of the Chicken Chokers complemented the experimental efforts of the Horseflies who incorporated percussion and island rhythms into traditional forms.   more>>

Richie Stearns Autobiography (FRC602 & FRC605)

I got into playing music at 14 in junior high, with a pack of like-minded hippie kids. (A typical beginning, eh?) Except the kind of music we were exposed to was string band and jug band music. Locally there were some very active bands in these genres, while on our record players we had Lou Reed, Bob Marley, the Beatles, the Stones, Doc Watson, Jimmy Rogers, Hank Williams and the Skillet Lickers.   more>>

The Chicken Chokers (FRC603)

The Chicken Chokers were an old-timey string band from the Boston area who intersected their roots influences with reggae, punk, and rap. Fiddler Chad Crumm and multi-instrumentalists Paul Strother, Taylor Smith, and Jim Reidy released two albums on Rounder, 1987's Shoot Your Radio and Old Time Music in 1990.   more>>

The Hurricane Ridgerunners (FRC604)

Bios of Mark Graham and Paul Kotapish.   more>>

The Complete History of the Plank Road String Band and the Lexington, VA Music Scene By Brad Leftwich, Al Tharp and Odell McGuire (FRC606)

In the early 1970s it seemed like communities of people who loved and lived old-time music and dancing were popping up like mushrooms all over the country. One of the most vibrant was in Lexington, Virginia.   more>>

The Indian Creek Delta Boys (FRC607)

Known for the many fine and obscure fiddle tunes learned from senior players in their own geographical area, the Indian Creek Delta Boys of Charleston, Illinois were an influential string band from the 1970s through the 1990s.   more>>

Rambling Reminisces of How I Came to Play Old-Time Music by Chirps Smith (FRC608)

While growing up, I was exposed to both classical and folk music. Like many of my generation, I liked rock music the most in my junior high & early high school years (I remember watching the Beatles' appearance on Ed Sullivan, Wow!), but I also enjoyed classical, blues, jazz, folk, etc.   more>>

2007 CDs

Esker Hutchins plays Cumberland Gap by Jody Stecher (FRC107)

Esker Hutchins. What a great name; sounds like someone taking a bite out of a fiddle. His music did have a lot of bite and crunch actually, and when he had a good band behind him, Esker Hutchins of Surry County, North Carolina played some of the most exciting music I've ever heard.   more>>

The Ashby Family and Friends of Fauquier County Virginia by Sandy Hofferth (FRC108)

Skip Ashby, a winner at the 2005 Appalachian String Band Music Festival at Clifftop, WV, is the latest in a long line of fiddlers going back several generations and a link in a chain of musicians in the Warrenton area of Fauquier County, VA, that goes back a century and a half. The Free State Ramblers, one of the longest running bands ever, started in the 1930s and are still active today, playing for private parties, fairs and festivals in Fauquier County.   more>>

Ashby Family History by Ms. Nancy M. Sessions (FRC108)

Here is my personal Family History, and memories that have been told to me, by my Mother, Mrs. Agnes Adelia Ashby Sessions, as well as her Sister, my Aunt, Mrs. Marie Elizabeth Scott Ashby Small, as well! I have a good, and a long memory! I am only very happy that it serves a wonderful purpose; to give out history about my Dear Uncle John C. Ashby!   more>>

Dewey Balfa (FRC207)

Dewey Balfa was born in Mamou, Louisiana on March 20, 1927. Balfa was one of nine children in a family of sharecroppers such; when not picking cotton, he learned to play the fiddle from his father, and taking early inspiration from the music of Leo Soileau, Harry Choates and Bob Wills. Playing fiddle and singing with the Balfa Brothers (which included Dewey, Rodney, Burkman, Harry, and Will, the latter of whom spelled his surname Bolfa), he became a seminal figure in the revival of traditional Cajun music.   more>>

The Dixie Hummingbirds by Jerry Zolten (FRC208)

No group is more revered in the history of black gospel than the Dixie Hummingbirds. With a career spanning 75 years, the Birds truly embody the changes that defined the genre as it evolved across the decades of the 20th Century. From a cappella spirituals to guitar-driven gospel to mainstream pop – the Dixie Hummingbirds have always operated at the leading edge of the curve and were masters of it all.  more>>

The Ross County Farmers by Betty Seymour interviewed by Sue Goehring & Lynn Fredericks (FRC307)

The recordings were each cut into a recording disc on an "Ultratone," from Audio Industries of Michigan City, Indiana. The suitcase-size machine could record either from an external microphone or from a built-in radio receiver. It was owned by young Chillicothe, Ohio fiddler Lonnie Seymour and used to record home musical performances of family and friends, radio broadcasts of them and others from local station WBEX, and even euchre games and other silliness. Betty Seymour still has the "Ultratone" and recordings at her and Lonnie's home, just a few houses away from where Webb and Minnie lived.  more>>

Dennis McGee & Sadie Courville by Jack Bond, Jean Stewart, Barry Ancelet &Tracy Schwarz (FRC308)

The hands were what I noticed first about Dennis (they all say DenOOSE) McGee the day of our first meeting: enormous brown paws they are, that would seem to crush a fiddle if they even barely touched so small and slender a thingcSady (Say-DEE or Suh-DEE, the Cajuns say) Courville later told us that he'd seen him cry sometimes, play the fiddle and cry at the sadness and I imagined the great crocodile tears, like those hands. And they were never still: if we were sitting in a room and Sady and Bessie Courville or Leo and Eva Soileau were reminiscing about the old days, those hands could not have been more bored, they flexed and twitched and idled in his lap, played with the fiddle strings, the bowcI watched until I was sure their restless energy would burn itself out if it weren't immediately yoked to the harness of that thin wooden box  more>>

A 1982 Interview with Joe Birchfield by Frank Weston (FRC1002 – DVD) (FRC201 – CD)

JOE: I was born April 13th, 1912. There was eight of us, four girls and four boys, practically all of them played music. My youngest brother Ellik, he played with us for a while and he took a heart attack and died. He played the banjo. And that boy of mine [Bill] plays the guitar. I've got another boy that can play the guitar, but he won't play. He's 'shamed, sorta, you know. I ain't ashamed to play before a million.  more>>

2006 CDs

The Kimble and Wagoner Families by Ray Alden (FRC106)

Many years ago, while at a conference on Old Time Music at Brown University, I heard Alan Jabbour describe the music deriving not from a single pure source but behaving more like river in which many currents mingle and churn together to produce a song or a tune. So too, when I look at the Kimble family tree, I see a meandering stream of personalities and musical abilities flowing into the blood of Taylor Kimble and his children.  more>>

Kilby Snow and His Influential Music Style by Joe Riggs (FRC205)

Much has been written about the life and music of Kilby Snow, an autoharp player of the old tradition of playing below the chord bars. Most folks who know his music and style think first of his famous gdrag notes,h a technique he developed to simulate a guitar slide or run on the autoharp, caused when he drags the pick upward from lower strings to higher strings.  more>>

Simon St. Pierre by Joe Wilson (FRC206)

Simon St. Pierre is a fascinating and elusive figure in Maine fiddling, more heard about than actually heard, a north woods lumberjack skilled in an array of music learned in logging bunkhouses. He came to the French festival in the company of Fred Pike, a stunning guitarist from Maine, and a force of nature almost as elusive as his fiddling partner.  more>>

Dock Boggs by Reed Martin (FRC305)

Upon arriving, we talked a little and then I took out my banjo. It was Larry Richardson's old 1928 RB-3 ballbearing flathead with a newer tonering and no more a ball-bearing. It was a lot like Doc's banjo. He looked at it and 'bout had a stroke when he saw what I had done with the windings on the third and fourth strings. "You're a-gonna ruin that banjo by doin' that." He stared at the peghead again.  more>>

Corbett Stamper by Frank Weston (FRC306)

I was born James Corbett Stamper in Grayson County, Virginia, in the 9th district 13th December in 1910. My father was Matt Stamper, he played fiddle and picked banjo just about all his life. And my uncle, his eldest brother played fiddle. My father's father also named Matt he's buried down here in this cemetery was a fife player in the civil war and he also played organ and piano. I was six years old when he died I just barely remember seeing him.   more>>

Manco Sneed and the Indians by Blanton Owen (FRC505)

… Manco Sneed was born on February 18, 1885, in Jackson County, North Carolina, which lies on the eastern slopes of the Smoky Mountains. Prior to Andrew Jackson's Cherokee removal in 1838, Manco's grandfather, an English trader, moved from Charleston, South Carolina, into the North Georgia area of the Cherokee Nation where he married a full-blooded Cherokee. Sometime prior to 1885, Manco's parents, John and Sara Lovin Sneed, moved to Jackson County from Hiawassee, Georgia, which lies just across the state line. John Sneed, who was half Cherokee, had a wide reputation as a showman fiddler.   more>>

Manco Sneed by Dakota Brewer (daughter of Manco) (FRC505)

Manco Sneed was born in Graham County Feb.18-1885, the son of John Harrison and Sarah Lovin Sneed, but later moved to Cherokee and lived in the "Sneed Gap" section all of his life where he and my mother Rosebud Beck Sneed raised their family of seven children. He died at age 89.   more>>

2005 CDs

Clyde Davenport by Jeff Titon (FRC103 & FRC104)

Kentuckian Clyde Davenport is a master old-time fiddler and banjo player. His large repertory of traditional tunes, many of them rare, makes him an important source musician. At 85, he still plays wonderfully well. For almost twenty years old-time fiddlers and banjo players have made pilgrimages to his home in Monticello, Kentucky, to share in his music. Clyde is amused and pleased by all the attention he has received but it hasn't seemed to change him or his music.  more>>

Ola Belle Reed by Thomas Polis (FRC203)

Ola Belle Reed was born Ola Wave Campbell on August 17, 1916, in Lansing, North Carolina. She was one of thirteen children born to Arthur Harrison Campbell and Ella May Osborne Campbell. The Campbell family ancestors had moved to the New River Valley of Western North Carolina sometime around the 1760's.  more>>

Buddy Thomas' Autobiography by Mark Wilson (FRC303)

We growed up real poor, so poor that even the poor folks said we were poor. There were ten in our family and we had to raise most everything we ate and work in logwoods and stuff like that. My dad worked all the time, but he was sick and had to doctor so much, that I don't see how he could have made it if it hadn't been for us.  more>>

The Lost Recordings of Banjo Bill Cornett by John Cohen (FRC304)

Bill Cornett was born in East Kentucky in 1890. He started playing banjo at age eight. His musical flair, he reported, was inherited from his mother who sang ballads to him. He operated a country store two miles outside of Hindman. It is said that he’'d rather sit and pick his banjo than wait on customers. In 1956 he was elected to the Kentucky State Legislature, representing Knot and Magoffin counties.  more>>

Review of The Lost Recordings of Banjo Bill Cornett by Art Rosenbaum (FRC304)

The Field Recorders' Collective FRC304 CD is a self-recorded legacy of Banjo Bill Cornett, giving us what is arguably the finest very early-style mountain singing to banjo ever recorded. Cornett did play for others and in public—he played his "Old-Age Pension Blues" on the floor of the Kentucky Legislature, and according to John Cohen, “"died while entertaining at a restaurant in Frankfort," but he emerges as being an introverted solitary artist.  more>>

Lonnie Seymour by Betty Seymour (FRC403)

Lonnie was born June 15, 1922. Lonnie's grandpa, John Seymour, played the fiddle, so when Lonnie was about five years old, grandpa would put him on the bed with his fiddle and let him play it. Lonnie watched how Grandpa worked his fingers and bow, that is how he learned to play the fiddle. He came from a family that loved the fiddle, including his dad, Webster, and Uncle Lon, both who were fiddlers.  more>>

Review of the Santford Kelly CD by Kerry Blech (FRC503)

Santford Kelly was born in Lawrence Co., KY in 1898 but was living at Spaw's Creek, near West Liberty, in Morgan Co., KY when Peter recorded him in August of both 1961 and 1963. Mr. Kelly passed away in 1973. For as much as I'd heard of Santford, also known as "Fiddlin' Sam" Kelly, and the tunes others played who attributed them to him, it was years before I ever heard his playing on tape.   more>>

Soldier's Joy According to Fulton Myers by Jody Stecher (FRC504)

Printed versions of "Soldier's Joy" are found as early as the mid eighteenth century and it seems the tune is older than that. The most intriguing version I have heard was played by Fulton Myers, a modest man from Five Forks, Virginia, a little place not far from Galax and Hillsville.  more>>

Review of the Sidna & Fulton Myers CD by Kerry Blech (FRC504)

I absolutely love how Sidna and Fulton Myers sound together. They could be a model for anyone wanting to learn how the banjo and fiddle can fit together so seamlessly. I am extremely pleased that this beautiful collection has been made available.  more>>

2004 CDs

Fred Cockerham by Ray Alden (FRC101)

Fred Cockerham, one of the seven children of Elias and Betty Jane Cockerham, was born on November 3, 1905. He was the only one from the Round Peak community to attempt the difficult life of a professional rural musician. The way that Fred began playing the fiddle is similar to the way many country musicians began. more>>

Jimmy Wheeler by Jeff Goehring (FRC401)

Found Jimmy and two of three sisters sitting under awning between house and shop/garage, smoking cigarettes and drinking old milwaukee in red and white cans, a welcoming wave. Jimmy didn't remember my name though I'm positive he remembered me. His sisters Dottie and Merle were friendly. Dot remembered me, Merle didn't. more>>

Jimmy Wheeler by Henna R. Armstrong (FRC401)

I was tickled to read on the web page about the trip down to Portsmouth to get Jimmy on tape. You see, Jimmy Wheeler was my father's first cousin. Jimmy's mother, "Aunt Em," was a sister to my grandmother, Nell Odell. I was raised in Portsmouth but we rarely visited the Wheelers and I don't remember Jimmy and his sisters at all. My dad told me about going there one time after I had left Portsmouth and Jimmy had a guitar of Bob Dylan's that he was working on. He let my dad play it a little. Don't tell Bob. more>>

^ back to top

home | about | store | listen | collectors | notes | contact