JOHN LOMAX AND ALAN LOMAX
Born in 1867, John A. Lomax is the person who put the Archive of American Folk Song on the map with his field recording trips. Under adverse circumstances he, and later his son Alan, were responsible for a singular achievement in preserving roots music. They published a number of song books, most of which are out of print. A few have been reprinted recently: John Lomax and Alan Lomax, Our Singing Country : Folk Songs and Ballads (Dover, 2000) and John Lomax and Alan Lomax American Ballads and Folk Songs (Dover, 1994).
Alan Lomax remains an enigmatic figure in the history of American roots music. Few can but be in awe of the amazing legacy of field recordings that he made in America and around the world. Rounder Records is in the midst of an amazing project with the Alan Lomax Archive to release 150 volumes of his field recordings in their Alan Lomax Collection. Already dozens have been released in various series. Of special interest is the Deep River of Song series which focuses on African American field recordings from 1933 to 1946. The latest two are stunning, Deep River of Song: Georgia (Rounder) and Deep River of Song: Alabama (Rounder) The four CD collection, Sounds of the South (Atlantic) from Lomax's 1959 trips through that region is another great sampler of his work. Alan Lomax also produced a five part PBS Television series American Patchwork, that over a decade ago looked at Delta Blues, Cajun music, jazz parades in New Orleans, Appalachian old time music and the contribution of elder songsters to roots music that is now available on video from Vestapol.
Dance and techno artist Moby sampled several Lomax field recordings for his platinum- selling album, Play (V2) bringing these recordings to ears that would have never sought them out.
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