The Harry Smith Project: Anthology Of American Folk Music Revisited
One of the seminal accomplishments in American recorded music is undoubtedly Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Originally released in 1952, the anthology gathered together great American music from the folk, blues, and roots traditions recorded in the 1920s-1930s. Rather than just another throw-away compilation album, Smith's anthology has over five decades come to be a pivotal work that inspired generations of artists to revisit the traditions of American music. For more on the Anthology of American Folk Music, check out Wikipedia.
To honor that work and the man who assembled it, Harry Smith, Shout! Factory will release The Harry Smith Project: The Anthology of American Folk Music Revisited on October 24. Over 4 CD's and DVD's, the set will feature live performances of contemporary artists taking on the standards featured on the anthology. Artists involved include Wilco, Lou Reed, Elvis Costello, Beth Orton, Sonic Youth, Beck, Petra Haden, Nick Cave, and others. This thing is bursting at the seams. You can find the full list of artists involved at the project's official site. If you're passionate about this music, it's probably worth the $52 price tag. Here are a couple of tracks from the release for your listening pleasure:
Wilco - James Alley Blues
Beth Orton - Frankie
If video is your thing, you can also download a live performance of "John the Revelator" by Nick Cave courtesy of Shout! Factory.
The entire bundle is available for purchase from Sony or Amazon, but Sony is a couple bucks cheaper.
For good measure, here are the original versions of the tracks above, as featured on the Anthology of American Folk Music:
Richard Rabbitt Brown - James Alley Blues
Mississippi John Hurt - Frankie
Anybody else amused that this now appears on the same page as Leonard Nimoy and Mastodon? I am.
Nobody sent in any Mark Hamill goodness, but here's a nifty little Hank Williams cover for y'all anyway:
Beck - Your Cheatin' Heart (Hank Williams cover)
Have a great weekend!