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date: 27 January 2020

New Lost City Ramblers, thelocked

  • Ray Allen

Extract

American old-time string band. The New Lost City Ramblers were pioneers in the old-time music revival that paralleled the great folk music boom of the 1960s. The city-born and suburban-bred Ramblers specialized in recreating the sounds of rural southern string band and early bluegrass music at a time when the folk music scene was dominated by commercial singers and political singer/songwriters.

Mike Seeger (1933–2009), John Cohen (b 1932), and Tom Paley (b New York, March 19, 1928; d Brighton, UK, Sept 30, 2017) formed the original trio in 1958, with Tracy Schwarz (b 1938) replacing Paley in 1962. Following a successful appearance at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, the group spent the next two decades touring colleges, coffee houses, and folk festivals. They introduced their northern and West Coast audiences to the southern folk music they had learned from hillbilly records of the 1920s and 30s, from Library of Congress field recordings, and from recordings of traditional musicians they had made themselves. Playing a variety of instruments including fiddle, banjo, guitar, mandolin, autoharp, and harmonica, they performed a diverse repertoire ranging from fiddle tunes and bluegrass breakdowns to ballads, blues, and gospel songs. Their approach to southern folk styles is well represented on their ...

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