Longtime readers know many of my little riders and some adults join us at the Little House each week where I teach them songs of the Original Carter Family. I love going to the Carter Fold. The songs that the Carter Family worked up are porch music songs--in fact the reason we have a porch on the tack shed is to have a good place to play music in warm weather. Tonight I was sitting here working at this computer and listening to the two disc collection of Carter Family songs, Wildwood Flower, when I stopped to run through facebook and learned of an important musical project that is in the works.
Several months ago I was rummaging though the computer and I stumbled onto one of the best female voices that I had ever heard. The young lady was also a first rate instrumentalist, particularly on the fiddle. She is part of the Florida band, Jubal's Kin. I was struck in particular by the way she took two old songs, "Buffalo Gals" and "Clementine" and updated the melody a bit and sang each song with respect. My immediate thought was that this was exactly what A.P. Carter did with so many of the songs that he worked up over the years. A.P. Carter was a driven collector, preserver and reviser of ancient songs. Maybelle Carter was an innovative guitarist who could pay anything with strings on it. (I expect that she could have gotten good music out of a yo-yo.) And Sara Carter could sing, and sing, and sing. My second thought was that if Sara enjoyed performing more and looked as happy on stage as Gailanne Aumendsen does a better comparison between the two could be made.
Gailanne is developing an album of Carter Family songs because she says that she wants to bring the music of the Carter Family to a new generation. That would be a worthy goal even if the young lady was not so extraordinarily talented. Today few people truly understand the impact that the Carter Family had on what became American music June Carter Cash once said that there was a time when she could turn the radio on to any country station and in a few songs pick out a few bars of one of the Carter Family songs. It is not that their music was plagiarized so much as it was that their music permeated rural culture.
As my Grandmother said, "Oh people listened to the Grand Ole Opry, but they all talked about the Carter Family music." Just a few hours ago I was listening to "My Home's Across the Blue Ridge Mountains" and I was hearing a tune that sounded much to me like Steve Earle's "Pilgrim". Again, not to suggest that the music was plagiarized It is not. Steve Earle simply was drinking from a well that the Carter Family dug.
Ms Aumendsen needs to have this album preordered to make it a doable project. You can be part of bringing this music to a new generation by preordering yours today. Go to www.iamgailanne.com to look at the preordering packages.
And listen to everything you can find by Jubal's Kin and you will understand what I mean about this young lady. (And I do hope that she does not mind me using this picture of her. Incidentally, do a little research and see if you can find the picture of Sarah as a teenager with curled hair.)