The Sentinel

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Category Archives: Appalachian Folk

Jim O’Rourke – There’s Hell in Hello, But More in Goodbye

This is from O’Rourke’s 1997 album ‘Bad Timing’; a beautiful album that has any seasoned listener coming to the realisation that Jim is a big John Fahey fan, as there is a huge influence from the Appalachian folk/Indian raga/ Bluegrass maestro on this work. Jim makes music as hauntingly affective as Fahey’s for sure, and the opener ‘There’s Hell In Hello But More In Goodbye’ is a perfect example of that, while possibly being the least like a strict homage.

Starting off in pure John Fahey style, the track then moves into the kind of territory that Tortoise traversed at their most minimal, as well as inspired. Of course, Jim had close dealings with Tortoise so the comparison isn’t that much of a surprise.

Brilliant piece of music from a beautiful album.


John Fahey – A Raga Called Pat Part One

Some low tech field recordings give way to some haunting bluegrass that quickly evolves into a kind of Hillbilly raga dervish. Amazing stuff from his brilliant 1967 album ‘Days Have Gone By’.

Henry Flynt – Sky Turned Red

Avant-Garde Hillbilly music from Mr. Flynt. Yeehaa!

Dock Boggs – Sugar Baby

Appalachian Folk/Blues crossover from the mercurial Dock Boggs. This was released on the 2002 collection’Classic Mountain Songs from Smithsonian Folkways’; most likely circa 1920’s.

Dock Boggs – Oh Death

Dock takes on this American folk standard in his inimitable style back in the 20’s.  This was possibly the first recording of the song.

John Fahey – Wine & Roses (Live)

The man himself playing live in Hamburg, 1978. Truly magical.

John Fahey – When The Fire & Roses Are One

Pure magic from Fahey here, as ever. Incredible stuff from one man and his guitar; from his 1973 album ‘Fare Forward Voyagers’.

Dock Boggs – Prodigal Son

Dock Boggs with his irresistible mix of Blues and Appalachian folk from the late 20’s/early 30’s.

Roscoe Holcomb – Darling Cory

Here’s Roscoe with that high, lonesome sound again.

Roscoe Holcomb – Hills Of Mexico

Some primo Appalachian Folk Music from this Kentuckian Banjo player. Although not strictly a Bluegrass performer, Roscoe’s music was described as ‘the high lonesome sound’; which is now attributed to Bluegrass. English ballads, Irish and Scottish traditional music, hymns, and African-American blues are all to be heard swimming around in amongst the Appalachian sound. This tune is possibly from the 50’s. This tune can be found on the collection ‘An Untamed Sense of Control’ (released 2003).

Laurence Johns

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