A Season of Songs is a type of Fun-A-Day project that I plan to do throughout this spring. I’ll hit shuffle on the ol’ iPod and see what comes up. I’ll then write a bit about that song, the band, the record, whatever. Enjoy!
Today we get a completely different style of song from where we’ve been so far. Our song is from the King of the High Lonesome Sound – Roscoe Holcomb – with an acapella number called “Born and Raised in Covington“. This song is included on the “An Untamed Sense of Control” collection from Smithsonian Folkways.
I met my true love walking
With another boy through town
I drew my old revolver
And a shot that poor boy down
This is one of those records I got out of the library and copied the songs. Some of the tracks come up occasionally but I don’t think i’ve ever really listened to it extensively. I honestly don’t know too much about Holcomb. Definitely just one of those Appalachian musicians who made a living as a coal miner until the 60’s folk revival gave them a boost and let them record music and perform in their later days. A quick review of his Wikipedia page shows that Holcomb wouldn’t record any music until 1958 when he was already in his late 40s and would perform and record throughout the next 20 years.
I also learned that this song’s style, where it is more of a metered chant than straight singing is heavily influenced by the lined-out hymnody of the Old Regular Baptists. Here’s another good sample – “I am a poor pilgrim of sorrow“.
The CD is a great collection of banjo based numbers and some more of these acapella bits. Definitely worth a listen if this type of traditional Appalachian folk music interests you.