Down Home Radio Is A Hardcore, Unreconstructed, Paleo-acoustic, Folk Music Program. DHR was founded in the summer of 2006. We believe it to be the first show of its kind on the internet.

Down Home host Eli Smith visits Louisiana and is impressed

Eli Smith (host/producer) is a banjo player, writer, researcher and promoter of folk music living in Brooklyn, NY.  Eli is a Smithsonian Folkways recording artist and produces two folk festivals annually, the Brooklyn Folk Festival in the Spring and Washington Square Park Folk Festival in the Fall.  He has appeared on radio stations such as WBAI, WNYC and WKCR in New York and KPFA, KPFK and KUCI in California.  Eli has presented panels and discussions on folk music.  He has performed and recorded with his old time string band The Down Hill Strugglers, as well as with Peter Stampfel and John Cohen. The Down Hill Strugglers were featured on the soundtrack album to the Coen Brothers’ film “Inside Llewyn Davis,” which was produced by T Bone Burnett.

Visit Eli Smith’s music website: www.EliSmithMusic.blogspot.com


What some folks have said about DHR

“Down Home Radio offers innovative coverage you won’t find anywhere else.  An excellent program.” – Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!

“Everyone complains about how the local airwaves suck, but instead of bitching, you should go online to find a Gotham-based program that actually has good roots music—the podcast-formatted Down Home Radio Show..” – The Village Voice

“Keep on!  The people who listen to you really depend on you.” – Pete Seeger

“Down Home Radio presents an  ever-widening  view  of  traditional music today…. It  showcases young  performers of  Old  Time  music  and  Blues, as  well as extraordinary rare recordings  from 78s, and   interviews  with folklorists  and  traditional musicians.  The  program is the  brainchild  of  Eli Smith, a  rare bird who is  as  respectful of   the past as  he  is  concerned with  the present. Being  an  excellent musician himself, he  wanders  widely and   reports  on happenings   all over,  including  California   as  well as   the   downtown music scenes in Brooklyn & Manhattan.  He  is  the  only young  musician I know who is single-handedly reporting on the  present  scene and  documenting its continuity with the past.  His   radio  show will keep you posted on  the gossip, truths  and anecdotes  that course through  this  vital  traditional music panorama.”  –  John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers)

“Keep the faith.” – David Grisman

“… [an] internet-based vernacular music program that I highly recommend for its lucid and coherent thematic perspectives.” – Nathan Salsburg, Curator, Alan Lomax Archive/Association for Cultural Equity.


Guests on Down Home Radio Have Included

Bela Fleck
David Grisman
Pete Seeger
Del McCoury
Jeffrey Lewis
Peter Stampfel
John Cohen
Mike Seeger
The Carolina Chocolate Drops
David Honeyboy Edwards
Elijah Wald
David Rovics
Jody Stecher
Hank Bradley
Larry Hanks
Suzy Thompson
Mat Callahan
Peter Rowan
David Holt
Polly Ferman
The Otis Brothers
Baba & Steven Israel
Daniel Jatta
Feral Foster
Joe Hickerson

(Some of these interviews have not yet been produced as programs. Soon…)

In Memorium: Many early episodes of Down Home Radio were hosted by Professor Henrietta Yurchenco; a veteran folk and world music radio personality and pioneering ethnomusicologist. Beginning her radio career in 1940, she was Leadbelly’s producer on WNYC and was the first person to put Pete Seeger on the radio. She produced and hosted many shows featuring Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and many other now well known folk musicians. Prof. Yurchenco is the primary field recordist and researcher of pre-Columbian Mexican Indian music and has conducted extensive research in all parts of Mexico, as well as Guatemala, Spain, Morocco, Puerto Rico and the Georgia Sea Islands in the U.S. She was Professor Emerita at The City College of New York.

Press Release

Contact: Eli Smith
Email: DownHomeRadio@gmail.com

Statement (from summer 2006)

The program will air via internet streaming from www.DownHomeRadioShow.com and will be archived for future listening. Down Home Radio is a “hardcore, unreconstructed, paleo-acoustic folk music program,” said host Eli Smith, “folk music is America’s cultural public secret.”

Down Home Radio will feature recordings, live interviews and performances from the best artists in the field of traditional folk music of the United States and Mexico as well as music with a political message. This includes old types of blues, old-time country, gospel/spirituals, Mexican and Cajun/Zydeco music which constitute a truth telling attack on our so called “pop” culture and a window into the interior of our culture, from which the public has been systematically excluded. “This music gives reality to our history and to our present by expressing the deepest thoughts and feelings of regular people from different parts of the country, different backgrounds and different time periods,” said host Henrietta Yurchenco. The content of Down Home Radio will be extraordinarily diverse.

Down Home Radio will make this music, often drawn from obscure field recordings or other out of the way sources, readily accessible to the general public. “Listen at the roots, with a mind for detail. Given this information, you will no longer accept stereotypes of or fall for clichés about our cultural past. Let this program be your introduction and a continuing guide to this trove of material. For musicians and fans of music alike you will find a fresh and clear perspective in your evolving appreciation and critique of music,” said Smith.

In times of crisis such as the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the world revolutions of the 1960’s folk music, both as a mirror and a hammer, has come to the fore and played an important role in cultural movements and movements for social and political change. Today, as we are once again in an economic and political crisis, Down Home Radio hopes to offer traditional vernacular music as both a spring board for innovation and as a candid lens with which to view, appreciate and participate in our culture.

For further information, please contact Eli Smith at: