Skip to content

Alan Lomax’s field recordings, Matt Jones’s River Street Anthology, and you

2016 February 16
by Mike Vial

AFC40thThe American Folklife Center is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary this year, and they are hosting a showcase performance of folk musicians redoing songs from Alan Lomax’s field recordings at Folk Alliance this weekend.

I’ve been rearranging a song Lomax recorded at Beaver Island in 1938, the same year Natalie and my house was built. The song’s called, “Don’t Judge a Man by the Clothes that He Wears” sung by A. Gallagher.

I was thinking about that trip Lomax took, that ambitious journey; how Matt Jones is doing the same.

Attending Folk Alliance? Here are my Folk Alliance showcases appearances.

Alan Lomax didn’t need permission to go out and start taping. He just did it. Matt Jones started recording artist for fun in his basement with lo-fi equipment, without a major idea of his project’s goal. But then project grew into the River Street Anthology, capturing many songwriters from Michigan.

My wife wrote one of the first stories about Jones’s River Street Anthology here.

And we don’t need permission to create own projects, nor do we need to know where we are going when we start.

The closer we get to a destination, the more obvious it appears.

Having a vision is simply looking at something long enough to see what potential awaits.



Comments are closed.