Art of Field Recording: Vol.2 Fifty Years of American Traditional Music

Compiled by Lance Ledbetter and Art Rosenbaum, Art of Field Recording Volume II is a four disc set with a 96 page book that contains essays and annotations by Art and over 100 illustrations and photographs by Art and his wife Margo. Art took a similar approach to Harry Smith in assembling the music: the discs are divided into Accompanied Songs and Ballads, Unaccompanied Songs and Ballads, Sacred, and a Survey disc that has a little bit of everything.

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Description: Contents and Packaging (Four Disc Box Set with a 96 Page Book)
Publication Date: January 6, 2009
Availability: In Stock
Recognition: USA Today: “Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music for a new generation…”

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Disc: 1
1. La Grondeuse (The Scolding Woman)
2. Blues
3. 12th Street Rag
4. Danish Galop
5. Broke Down Engine
6. J’Ai Passé Devant Ta Porte
7. Colinda
8. Garfield
9. The Devil Song
10. Unnamed Tune
11. Going Across the Prairie
12. Muddy Roads of Georgia
13. Georgia Blues
14. Billy Staffer (The State of Arkansas)
15. Cindy in the Summertime
16. General Lee’s Surrender
17. Shortnin’ Bread
18. Free Little Bird
19. The Soldier and the Lady
20. Big Road Blues
21. Harlan County Farewell Tune [Rambling Hobo] 22. Marmaduke’s Hornpipe
23. Jonah
24. Turkey in the Straw
25. Paddy on the Turnpike
26. Play Party Songs: In This Ring/I’d Rather Be a Farmer’s Boy [Medley] 27. Mulberry Gap/Cumberland Gap [Medley] 28. Fred Rogers’ Reel
29. Goin’ Where the Monon Crosses the Yellow Dog

Disc: 2
1. Welcome Home
2. The River of Jordan
3. Brother, You Ought T’ve Been There
4. New Prospect
5. No Man Can Love Me Like Jesus
6. He’s Calling Me
7. Out of My Bondage
8. Mother, Tell Me of the Angels
9. No Room at the Hotel
10. Let’s Have a Family Prayer
11. Over in the Glory Land
12. A Charge to Keep I Have
13. How Long the Train Been Gone?
14. Lord, Remember Me
15. Eve and Adam (Pickin’ Up Leaves)
16. There’s a Man Going Around Taking Names
17. Savior, Don’t You Pass Me By
18. Oh That Terrible Day
19. I Know I Got Religion
20. Dry Bones
21. Walk with Me

Disc: 3
1. I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground
2. Going to Georgia
3. Southern Texas
4. Raise a Ruckus Tonight
5. The Rambling Boy
6. Want to Go to Cuba, Can’t Go Now
7. The Boat’s Up the River
8. Hog Drivers
9. As I Walked out One Morning in Spring
10. Devilish Mary
11. Barbara Allen
12. Steamboat Bill
13. John Henry
14. John Henry
15. John Hardy
16. Old Joe Clark
17. The Miller’s Will
18. On Top of Old Smoky
19. Last Payday at Coal Creek
20. The Wreck on the CC&O Road
21. Quit That Ticklin’ Me
22. Going Up the Country [Some Kind of Blues] 23. Talking Blues
24. Don’t Go Riding Down That Old Texas Trail
25. Ring Ching Ching

Disc: 4
1. Fair and Tender Maidens
2. The Bird’s Song
3. The Elfin Knight
4. Gypsy Davy
5. Black Jack Davy
6. Black Jack Davy
7. The Battle of Stone River
8. Froggy Went A-Courting
9. The Factory Girl
10. I’m a Noble Soldier
11. The Young Man’s Lament
12. The Butcher’s Boy
13. Lady Lye
14. Lullabies
15. Utah Carl
16. Billy Button
17. Ring Plays
18. Mohawk Love Song
19. Shenandoah
20. Two Little Boys
21. Down in the Arkansas
22. I’ll Drink and Be Jolly
23. We’ll March Around the Wall
24. John Came Home
25. The Farm Out West
26. Frankie and Johnny
27. The Farmer’s Son
28. The Famous Wedding
29. Sail Away, Lady/Greenback [Medley] 30. The Lame Soldier
31. Pearl Bryan


Listen to samples at BandCamp.


Blog Critics: “Art Of Field Recording Volume ll is an amazing collection of music and people that can’t help but make you feel better about the world. There are fewer and fewer people today who play music because of what the song means to them in terms of their family’s history or the people who taught it to them. To have the opportunity to experience listening to that type of music is a rare treat and one that might not be available to us for that much longer..”

Pitchfork: “…Rosenbaum’s work will make you yearn for childhood lullabies, for— precious as it sounds— the songs that you keep in your heart.”

Review on by James Calemine

On the heels of the GRAMMY-winning Art of Field Recording Volume 1, Volume 2 ranks as another timeless Dust To Digital release. Like Volume 1, Volume 2 contains 4 discs, a 96-page book, over 100 songs and many photographs, drawings and illustrations by Art Rosenbaum.

Like all Dust To Digital recordings, this music is good for the soul. It’s spiritual music played in the most traditional fashion; in Rosenbaum’s words-“ever-renewing contexts, embodying time past in time present”. Cultural musical elements of this collection preserve traditional, old-time, bluegrass and country idioms in finest form.

Disc 1 (Survey) contains 29 tracks. Highlights on this CD include Tony Bryant’s cover of his friend Blind Willie McTell’s “Broke Down Engine, Jake Staggers’ “Garfield”, Bobby McMillon’s “The Devil Song”, John & James Patterson’s “Muddy Roads of Georgia”, Cecil Barfield’s “Georgia Blues”, Bret Hare’s “Jonah”, and Chester Hounchell’s fiddle classic “Paddy On The Turnpike”.

Disc 2 (Religious) reveals some of the greatest religious recordings from the South…many recorded in the church. One must remember, most of these recordings are one-take spontaneous numbers. Some of these indelible songs resonate in ways one cannot forget. A few of the recordings contain a spoken introduction by one of the artists. Gems of this disc include Brown’s Chapel Choir’s “Welcome Home”, Otha Cooper’s “No Room At The Hotel”, The Traveling Inner Lights’ “Let’s Have A Family Prayer”, The McIntosh County Shouters’ “Eve And Adam”, Cora Thompson’s “I Know I Got Religion” and the Silver Light Gospel Singers’ “Dry Bones”.

Disc 3 (Accompanied Songs and Ballads) These tracks contend as some of the most down-home, organic recordings one can find. Very little audio tinkering with these recordings…no tricks…straight from the strings and voice into the recording microphone. Heart-felt ballads sang by inspired singers without any attention of accolades or attention other than that of their Maker. Personal favorites on this disc include The Chancey Brothers’ “I Wish I Was A Mole In the Ground”, George Gibson’s “Southern Texas”, Ola Belle Reed’s “The Boat’s Up The River”, Tanner/Miller’s “Devilish Mary”, Jack Bean’s “Steamboat Bill”, Lawrence Eller’s “John Henry”, Pete Steel’s “Last Payday At Coal Creek” and Mabel Cawthorn’s “Going Up the Country. However, each song serves as a beacon of musical light.

Disc 4 (Unaccompanied Songs and Ballads) preserves some of the finest vocal recordings in the south. No tricks here either as far as tinkering with sounds or multi-layered tracks to conceal any flaws. This CD serves as a lineage to the oldest folk traditions…oral storytelling or the lone singer singing a story. Pound for pound, songs on this disc rank as the most impressive since it only contains the human voice. Honorable mentions include Mary Lomax’s “Fair And Tender Maidens”, Doc Parks’ “The Battle of Stone River”, Jim Cook’s “I’m A Noble Soldier”, Anna Underhill’s “The Young Man’s Lament”, Ollie Gilbert’s “Lady Lye”, Alice Gerrard’s “Shenandoah”, Bonnie Loggins’ “I’ll Drink And Be Jolly”, Della Mae Reedy’s “The Farmer’s Son” and Stan Gilliam’s “Sail Away Lady”.

Expect Art of Field Recording Volume 2 to be considered for a 2009 GRAMMY. This collection deserves eternal recognition…

Online Reviews

“The second volume of American vernacular music is also excellent: The first volume got excellent reviews and was often compared to the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music. These field recordings have a very different origin though, from, well, field recordings, rather than from rare 78s. The feel is therefore different, songs on this collection often end with laughter and the intimate feel of the musicians performing live. Probably not literally on the front porch, but the feel is there.

The track selections are excellent, covering many genres and styles with varying levels of technical ability and “folkiness.” Both collections, volume one and volume two, are well recommended, despite their price!” — Michael A. Duvernois, Amazon Reviews

“This is a lovely compilation of traditional and attributed songs from an incredibly diverse pool of performers. The insert is full of interesting information and photos. If you like blue, traditional, old thyme music, you will really enjoy this volume.” — Maria, Amazon Reviews