Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Return of the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of

"Too often we reflexively think that music is born when it is recorded, that it simply comes into existence fully formed. But every riff, every melody, every harmony has its own rich history. When it comes to the American songbook, taking rides through the deeper parts of that history can be as thrilling and immediate as seeing a live concert. This is the wonderful calculus of 'The Return of the Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of,' a two-disc set with great documentation that travels back to the 1920s and unearths some of the earliest recordings of homegrown American music. Here's the Fruit Jar Guzzlers (best band name ever?) doing a prehistoric version of the 'Stack-O-Lee' ballad. Here's blues legend Charley Patton going deep into the Delta. Here's a fiddler named Elder Golden P. Harris sounding like something coming through the open windows of a 19th-century Southern church as he twangs out 'I'll Lead a Christian Life.' Other traditions are represented, too: Two Eastern European tracks are welcome additions to the mix, jarring in the most evocative way amid all the country and blues. A great American musical lesson that puts the best of emerging legends alongside the long-forgotten – just as record collectors might dream of" (Ted Anthony, "Overlooked Albums 2012," Huffington Post, 1/3/13).

View catalog record here!


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