Folk Visions and Voices: Traditional Music and Song in North Georgia

Sampling virtually all of the old-time styles within the musical traditions still extant in north Georgia, Folk Visions and Voices is a collection of eighty-two songs and instrumentals, enhanced by photographs, illustrations, biographical sketches of performers, and examples of their narratives, sermons, tales, and reminiscences.

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Text, drawings, and paintings by Art Rosenbaum
Photographs by Margo Newmark Rosenbaum
Musical transcriptions by Béla Foltin Jr.
Foreword by Pete Seeger

Paperback: 260 pages
Publisher: University of Georgia Press; Reprint edition (October 1, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0820346136
ISBN-13: 978-0820346137
Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds



The Rosenbaums have made a splendid contribution to our understanding of both southern culture and history. (Georgia Historical Quarterly)

This book shows its editor in the roles of interviewer, interpreter of socialscientific data, annotator, discographer, and artist; he plays them all with great success. From the beginning of his artistic career, Rosenbaum has specialized in American folklife scenes. These paintings, depicting the lives and aspirations of the informants, give the collection an expressiveness we hardly meet in folksong books. (Ethnomusicology)

An outstanding documentation of some strong and persistent traditions, prepared with understanding and deep respect for folk music and its performers. (Appalachian Journal)

Online Reviews

“Excellent stories and song samples: Rosenbaum has a reputation as a musician, artist, and collector of traditional music, especially in Georgia. I feel like Georgia is under-represented in the body of collected Appalachian music — more effort has been put into Tennessee, North Carolina, and the Virginias. It’s nice to see a collection like this specifically focused on Georgia.

The book features stories and interviews with about twenty musicians (individuals or groups). There is a nice mix of black and white performers, religious and secular, guitar and banjo, folksong and blues, well-known and obscure. And then Howard Finster, who is a genre unto himself. The introduction to each performer is based around interviews and conversations, and Rosenbaum works in a little historical background.

Rosenbaum has collected from each performer a few sample songs, including standard musical notation and lyrics (most of the pieces are vocal). Four or five have accompanying banjo tab; one or two have guitar tab. A few of the pieces are original compositions by the performers, but most are widely known. Rosenbaum, in the brief sentences that introduce each piece, often notes how the version he collected compares to other performances in other geographic areas. Some recorded versions of the songs are listed if applicable.

The book is illustrated by photographs and by Rosenbaum’s original paintings and drawings. The photographs are very welcome, the original paintings and drawings less so. Rosenbaum is a Renaissance man, but I think he’s a better musician and writer / collector than an artist. That’s a personal opinion, of course; I’m more interested in the music.

This is an excellent book to become acquainted with the diversity of traditional music in North Georgia. It’s not a comprehensive overview or exhaustive song catalog, but the representative artists and musical selections are interesting and instructive. I respect what Rosenbaum has done, and I think he’s given us a very valuable book.” — Tim Westover, Amazon Reviews