Archive for February 2011

On the West Coast… with John Cohen! Feb. 26th-March 12th…

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

[The Dust Busters with John Cohen, Fall 2010.]
About to head out on tour with The Dust Busters again!  We are very very pleased to be doing a tour of the West Coast with our friend from New Lost City, John Cohen.  John Cohen is a founder of the legendary old-time string band The New Lost City Ramblers, one of our very favorite bands and big inspirations.  John Cohen is a musician, photographer and film maker who has released more than 16 documentary films.  His latest is entitled “Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky.”  The film follows Roscoe Holcomb, the singer, banjo and guitar player, construction worker and coal miner whom John encountered in 1959 while doing field work in Eastern Kentucky.  John befriended Roscoe and through John, Roscoe Holcomb was able to tour and play shows around the United States and in Europe, becoming known as one of the truly unique and essential voices of American folk music. It’s a beautiful film and a wonderful tribute to Roscoe Holcomb.  We will be touring up the West Coast from Berkeley all the way up to Vancouver, BC, playing shows and screening the film.  See below for all the dates and information.

“Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky” recently premiered at the Margaret Meade Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History together with a retrospective of John’s work and also just won the award for Best Documentary Short at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Below are the dates for our upcoming tour.  See ya out in the world!

Sat. Feb 26th, 2pm
Instore appearance at Down Home Music Store
10341 San Pablo Ave
El Cerrito, CA – 94530
(510) 525-2129

Sat. Feb 26th, 5pm
Workshops at The Freight & Salvage
2020 Addison Street

Berkeley, CA 94704

Info:
Old Time 5-String Banjo Workshop w/ John Cohen – Saturday, February 26, 5:00-6:00 pm ($25**)
Old-Time Country Fiddle Workshop w/ Craig Judelman – Saturday, February 26, 5:00-6:00 pm ($25**)
Old-Time Guitar Workshop w/ Eli Smith & Walker Shepard – Saturday, February 26, 5:00-6:00 pm ($25**)
Old Time String Band Sounds & Styles w/ John Cohen, Craig Judelman, Eli Smith, & Walker Shepard – Saturday, February 26, 6:15-7:15 pm ($25**)

**There is a discounted fee of $40 if you sign up simultaneously for one of the 5:00 workshops and the 6:15 Old Time String Band Sounds & Styles.

Mon. Feb 28th, 7:30pm
Show at The Freight and Salvage
2020 Addison Street

Berkeley, CA 94704

- The show starts at 7:30pm with a showing of John’s new Roscoe Holcomb film, then at 8pm the great Bay Area bluegrass band Kleptograss and then The Dust Busters with John Cohen.  We will also be joined on this show by our friend Frank Fairfield!

Tuesday March 1st, 9pm (more…)

Interview with Robert Crumb

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011


[Crumb interviewed by Eli Smith.  Photo by Eden Brower, 2010]

On today’s show I speak with Robert Crumb.  R. Crumb is best known as a cartoonist and illustrator, but what a lot people don’t know about him is that he is a very talented old-time mandolin player and a very serious collector of 78rpm records!  I caught up with Robert Crumb at John and Eden (The East River String Band)’s apartment over on the Lower East Side in Manhattan.  We had a good talk about Crumb’s interest in the old music and his early experiences finding old 78rpm records in the same junk shops where he searched for old comics as a kid. He has traveled extensively in search of records! meeting interesting personalities in strange places, from Delaware and Cleveland all the way to Argentina and Uruguay.  Robert Crumb plays live on the show together with Eden and John’s East River String Band.

Tracks played on today’s episode (a lot of this stuff has never been reissued!):
Thanks to John Heneghan for supplying much of the music for this program.

Shook It Up This Morning -  Joe Evans & McClain
KWKA Blues – Eddie & Sugar Lou’s Hotel Tyler Orchestra
Happy Days & Lonely Nights – Charlie Fry And His Million Dollar Pier Orchestra
Ginseng Blues – The Kentucky Ramblers
Sacalelo Desparejo – Trio Odeon (Iriate/Pesoa/Pagez)
Your Soul Never Dies – Smith’s Carolina Crackerjacks
Risonha – Luperce Miranda
Farethee Blues – East River Stringband w/ R. Crumb
Hy Patillion – East River Stringband w/ R. Crumb


And don’t forget to check out our good friends at the Old Time Herald Magazinewww.oldtimeherald.org – lots of great articles, reviews and more!

Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Just a word to let everyone know that John Cohen’s new film, “Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky” is out now!  It has been released by Shanachie Video and is available for purchase by CLICKING HERE.

The film has been packaged by Shanachie as “The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb.”  The DVD includes John’s new film about Roscoe as well as his classic 1962 film about Holcomb, “The High Lonesome Sound.” You get both!

“Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky” recently premiered at the Margaret Meade Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History together with a retrospective of John’s work and also just won the award for Best Documentary Short at the Woodstock Film Festival.

Also, a very nice piece about John Cohen and the new film just aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition: CHECK IT OUT

Here’s a synopsis that I wrote for the program guide of the Woodstock Film Festival:

“John Cohen explores the life, philosophy and music of Eastern Kentucky banjo player, coal miner and construction worker Roscoe Holcomb. Holcomb has been injured on the job and forced into early retirement. He discusses his life and music and plays a number of traditional songs from his region. Using intimate footage of Holcomb at home as well as footage of his family, community and region, Cohen presents a remarkable and visually beautiful portrait of Roscoe Holcomb, a man who despite economic hardship and changing times has maintained a powerful and authentic personal music and philosophy.”

John used old footage from the early 60′s that he couldn’t use for “The High Lonesome Sound” because the technology didn’t exist at that time to put the film footage and audio into sync.  But now that is possible and was accomplished in expert fashion.  For this new film John also used really awesome color footage that he took of Holcomb and his family in the 197o’s.  It’s a beautiful film and a wonderful tribute to Roscoe Holcomb.

[Roscoe Holcomb with John Cohen, 1964]

Recent  reviews of the  film “Roscoe Holcomb: from Daisy, Kentucky.”
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