Sunday, July 09, 2006

Highwoods String Band

During the folk revival of 1950's, 60's, and 70's, the resurgence of interest in the traditional music of Appalachia resulted in many bands playing Old Time music to try to sound "authentic". The emphasis was almost academic, more as a re-enactment of times past. Something to please the folklorists and music collectors.
Thankfully, there was a small handful of bands that were playing the traditional music not as an act of preservation, but just because it was good music. You can tell the difference in their recordings. Two bands that come to mind when I think of the string band revival of the late 60's and early 70's are The Red Clay Ramblers and The Highwoods String Band.

Out in San Francisco in the late 1960's the streets were alive with all sorts of music. The Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Santana, Credence Clearwater Revival ..., and the Highwoods String Band (at the time they went by the name Fat City.)

The Highwoods String Band played Old Time music because it was fun, good music and they had fun with it. Throughout the 1970's the Highwoods String Band appeared at many of the festivals that were popping up across the country. It was at one of those festivals that I first heard them and picked up my first copy one of their LPs.

In 1994 Rounder Records compiled choice cuts from the three Highwoods LPs and issued "Feed Your Babies Onions: Fat City Favorites". The title refers to fiddler Walt Koken's frequent introduction, "Feed your babies onions so you can find `em in the dark", just before breaking into another hot fiddle breakdown.

The Highwoods String Band and the Red Clay Ramblers have influenced every string band to come down the pike since. Good time, hard driving music.

Buy a copy at Rounder Records.

Highwoods String Band - Sleeping Lulu.mp3

Highwoods String Band - Way Down the Old Plank Road.mp3


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now if this don't get your feet to a tappen something don't work right for you


July 10, 2006 7:01 AM  
Anonymous Lucy said...

Great tunes!! I agree with ya Joey; if somebody can sit still listening to these, they've got something seriously wrong with 'em!

Good way to start the week, Ed. Good job, as always.

July 10, 2006 7:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really amazing! Useful information. All the best.

July 22, 2006 12:29 AM  

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