Emigrants from the British Isles took their music with them on the long sea voyage to America, and wrote more in the same vein, influenced by their experiences. Once there, the strains of British folk music became mixed with a host of other influences – notably African and French ones – to weave an even richer tapestry.
In today's programme we feature a wealth of traditional American folk and the music it has become today, from ancient melodies and lyrics collected in the Appalachians by song-catchers of the early 20th century, which formed the roots of bluegrass and country music; to modern artists who have built on that tradition with songs and arrangements of their own.
Thus today we'll hear from some country artists, though not performing their usual material; tunes from the Civil War; and some classic recordings from the past. We'll also hear the Be Good Tanyas (whose recordings sound as if they were collected with a phonograph in the wilds of BC); Cordelia's Dad; Fiddle Fever; Stan Rogers; and also the remarkable talents and deeply moving, impressive songs and arrangements of Hem – among others.
• This programme is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life, and presented by Elrik Merlin. For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.
• You can listen to the programme now at http://music.radioriel.org, or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.