Label: Rounder Records.
Release Date: June 19, 2001.
Recording Time: 70 minutes.
Release Info: Compilation Studio Recording.
Recording Date: August, 1942 - October, 1963.
Styles: Appalachian, Field Recordings, North American Traditions, Old-Timey, Bluegrass, Traditional Folk, Folk Blues.
Those who have followed the remarkable career of Alan Lomax are likely already familiar with the work of Hobart Smith. Smith's virtuosity on a variety of folk instruments, including banjo, guitar, and fiddle, have graced many a Lomax collection, as has his salt-of-the-earth voice. Listeners may be familiar with his readings of "Ellen Smith" or "Railroad Bill." Smith's output was prodigious, but many of the records were made for companies that no longer exist. Finding his records has been a problem. What a joy then to have many of his songs collected here. Perhaps best known for his song "The Cuckoo Bird," Smith was a professional musician who performed across the country with his wife, and, as his profession demanded, could play just about anything on anything. This disc does an admirable job of summarizing his remarkable career, including both searing instrumentals and sardonic vocal performances to give the initiate some idea of the scope of this man's talent. This disc should revive interest in a man whose influence on the folk revival of the '60s cannot be underestimated. - Review by Rob Ferrier.
Credits: Moses Asch - engineer; Matthew Barton - production coordination, series editor; Anna L. Chairetakis - collection; M. Christian - composer; Paul Clayton - engineer; John Cohen - editing, notes editing, photography; Adrian Cosentini - disc transfers; Gideon d'Arcangelo - series consultant; Jeffrey A. Greenberg - collection; Diane Hamilton - engineer; Ellen Harold - associate editor; Bess Lomax Hawes - series consultant; John Lee Hooker - composer; Sam Hopkins - composer; Mississippi John Hurt - composer; Phil Klum - mastering; Alan Lomax - engineer, photography; Carole McCurdy - editorial consultation; Bill Nowlin - series coordinator; Mike Seeger - tape transfer; Charlotte Smith - primary artist; Dorothy Smith - primary artist, vocals; Hobart Smith - banjo, composer, fiddle, fretless banjo, guitar, guitar (electric), piano, primary artist, spoken word, tuning, vocals; Maud Smith - performer, primary artist; Traditional - composer.
Tracks: 1) The Devil's Dream 2) Drunken Hiccups; 3) The Cuckoo Bird; 4) Banging Breakdown; 5) Arkansas Traveler; 6) Railroad Bill; 7) Claude Allen; 8) Hangman, Swing Your Rope; 9) Wayfaring Stranger (feat. Charlotte Smith, Dorothy Smith, Maud Smith); 10) Sourwood Mountain; 11) Going Down the Road Feeling Bad; 12) Pateroller; 13) Chinquapin Pie; 14) Last Chance; 15) Jim Along; 16) Two Brothers (The Little Schoolboy); 17) Ellen Smith; 18) Graveyard Blues; 19) K.C. Blues; 20) Unidentified Electric Guitar Tune; 21) Cindy; 22) At an Old-Time Dance (Interview); 23) Cindy; 24) The Thrill of Dance Music (Interview); 25) What Did the Buzzard Say to the Crow; 26) Buck Dance; 27) Old Joe Clark; 28) Dixie; 29) Sourwood Mountain; 30) Hawkins County Jail; 31) Rocky Mountain.