Tyler Childers Long Violent History Vinyl LP
"My first introduction to Kentucky roots music came from the Smithsonian Folkways recordings of folklorists like John Cohen, Mike Seeger and Art Rosenbaum. During my time in college, the seminal 7-CD box set Kentucky Mountain Music was released on Yazoo Records and I was able to get a copy from my public library.
This eventually led me to learn more about the musical styles of Roscoe Holcomb, Pete Steele, Burnett and Rutherford, Buell Kazee and a host of other early Kentucky songsters. I have always found Kentucky music to be intriguing because I found so many of the melodies to be what are known in old-time circles as "crooked" tunes, meaning that they add and subtract beats from standard musical notation.
"One of the most amazing aspects of learning traditional southern string band music is that in the most ideal situation it is not written down, it is played until it is correct. Like a massive mountainous landscape carved over generations by a strong and consistent river current, string band music isn't particularly a style that is discussed in terms of ‘right' and ‘wrong'. Once the fiddler sets the melody into place, the banjo finds a counterpoint and then the guitar picks out the mid-range bass notes or just strums the rhythm. This leaves a lot of room for a musician to find their place in the song so that their own style can develop naturally without any outside influences.
In the same way that singers from a church background gain a strong knowledge of tone, pitch, and rhythm from singing in choirs, the musician who learns their instrument in a rich string band tradition can advance to a competent and even expert level in a relatively short period of time.
"By the early 20th century, large events around the equestrian trade such as the Kentucky Derby featured black string bands, jug bands and jazz musicians playing in the stands. This interchange between the musical influences of the north, south, east and west of Kentucky brought on a rich influx that influenced its fiddle music tradition.
Not only did players have access to the long standing Indigenous, African, and European-American fiddle traditions, access to the Mississippi River brought a new wave of popular music coming from New Orleans, Mississippi, Memphis, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Chicago, St. Louis, Minneapolis and Iowa. The ragtime, jazz, and blues melded together with the existing string band music to become a new type of American music, both rooted in the past and forged by the present.
Tyler Childers Long Violent History Track Listing:
1. Send in the Clowns
2. Zollie's Retreat
3. Squirrel Hunter
4. Sludge River Stomp
5. Midnight on the Water
6. Camp Chase
7. Jenny Lynn
8. Bonaparte's Retreat
9. Long Violent History
top of page
bottom of page