A Tribute to the Music of the Southern Appalachian Mountains
March 28, 2017
Spring has sprung! For our last @ Noon session of the month, we are pleased to present a three-part tribute to the rich musical and cultural traditions of rural Appalachia. We will be screening two short films, along with a live cameo performance by Edmonton’s premiere (and possibly only) old-time stringband, The Strawflowers.
The feature presentation is a documentary by John Cohen – “Roscoe Holcomb from Daisy, Kentucky” (2010). During a sojourn to eastern Kentucky in 1959 in search of local musicians, Cohen met Roscoe Holcomb (1911-81). Impressed by his powerful and unique singing and playing style, Cohen was instrumental in introducing Holcomb to a broader audience in North America and beyond.
Cohen’s evocative film reveals a man whose music was shaped by the harsh demands of life in a region experiencing difficult times. In an effort to place Holcomb’s playing and singing within that cultural context, Cohen provides us with an unvarnished glimpse of life in coal country during the early 1960s, together with sampling of music and dance forms from the region. Roscoe Holcomb was a Folkways recording artist, as is John Cohen, who was a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers. Craig Evans is an independent filmmaker. His DVD series on banjo builders is now part of the Smithsonian Folkways catalogue.
We will also be screening a short film by Craig Evans on the celebrated annual Appalachian Stringband Festival, AKA ‘Clifftop’. Along the way, The Strawflowers will play a few of their favourite tunes from the southern mountains, both traditional and modern.
This @ Noon event is free and open to the public! Light refreshments will be served and popcorn will be provided courtesy of the Faculty of Law.