Close To Home by Roscoe Holcomb

Label: Folkways Records.
Release Date: 1975.
Recording Date: 1969.

Styles: Appalachian, Country Blues, Field Recordings, Folk Blues, North American Traditions, Old-Timey, Traditional Folk.

Without attempting to slight any other Appalachian or old-time artist, many critics have decided the solo recordings of Roscoe Holcomb produced in the '60s by John Cohen represent some kind of pinnacle for this genre. Every quality that is important in this music is represented here in the fullest dimension, by a man who sings like a philosopher while keeping a rhythm going on several stringed instruments that would make a metronome envious. And then there's his voice. He seems to reach with some held notes as if attempting to establish a resonance that will allow him to actually enter a listener's skull. Holcomb didn't make that many recordings, so those who appreciate his music will want them all. This contains 11 pieces and it is hard to decide what is his best, his banjo or guitar playing. Some may put the haunting unaccompanied ballad "The Village Churchyard" ahead of it all. A great talent of Holcomb's is his ability to present material bordering on devastating emotionally in a way that is uplifting and rhythmically intoxicating. It makes for memorable music. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

2004 Smithsonian Folkways Recordings / 1975 Folkways Records (FW02374 / FA 2374)
Recorded in Holcomb's home in eastern Kentucky, this album portrays the music of a master musician whose identification with his songs is intense, innate, and above all, honest. It's not for nothing that John Cohen, the man who recorded Close to Home, coined the phrase "the high lonesome sound" to describe Holcomb's voice.

Credits: John Cohen - recorder, producer, photographer (cover); Roscoe Holcomb - banjo, guitar, primary artist, vocals; Traditional - composer.

Tracks: 1) Motherless Children; 2) Mississippi Heavy Water Blues; 3) Train That Carried My Girl from Town; 4) Milk Cow Blues; 5) Frankie And Johnny; 6) In London City; 7) Roll On Buddy; 8) Got No Honey Baby Now; 9) Darlin' Cory; 10) The Village Churchyard; 11) Walk Around My Bedside.