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
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From the Library: Folk Music of North America

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by Elrik Merlin on Monday, 12 April, 2010

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 that formed the roots of bluegrass and country music and were collected in the Appalachians by song-catchers of the early 20th century; 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; a wealth of 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 many others including several famous – and not-so-famous – names.

From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme now at http://main.radioriel.org – or click here to link straight to your player if your browser is set up to do so. Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.

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