Roscoe Holcomb Download
May 10, 1963Ash Grove (Los Angeles, CA)
Roscoe Holcomb Download
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Total Length:
14:39
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Roscoe Holcomb Download

$5
$5
Download Concert
What Makes Our Downloads Great

Our downloads are all from master recordings owned by Wolfgang's Vault, an archive built from more than a dozen historic collections spanning a wide spectrum of musical genres and legendary performers.

We have painstakingly restored every tape using the highest quality analog-to-digital converters available and the light engineering touch we’ve come to be known for that makes you feel like you were at the show.

All song files are high-quality 320k mp3s, delivered to you in a single zip file. If you haven't used a zip file before, it’s quite simple. On most computers you can just double-click on the zip file to extract it to a folder containing the mp3 song files, which you can then drag into iTunes or whatever library you use.

Sample this concert
  1. 1Across The Rocky Mountains04:39
  2. 2Rising Sun Blues03:22
  3. 3Graveyard Blues03:28
  4. 4Coney Isle / Instrumental03:10
Artist:
Item Number:
  • 20053369-3737545-AD
Date:
  • May 10, 1963
Venue:
Sample this concert
  1. 1Across The Rocky Mountains04:39
  2. 2Rising Sun Blues03:22
  3. 3Graveyard Blues03:28
  4. 4Coney Isle / Instrumental03:10
Total Length:
14:39
Copyright:
© Wolfgang's Vault

Liner Notes

Roscoe Holcomb - guitar, vocal

Though "high and lonesome" has been popularly applied to many purveyors of bluegrass and folk, one listen to Roscoe Holcomb and there's no mistaking how this sound got its name. With a voice that whines like a hungry hound one moment and cracks like lightning the next, Roscoe delivered authentic Appalachian music to folk audiences around the world after his discovery in 1959.
Unlike many of his contemporaries during the folk revival of the '60s, Roscoe Holcomb was not a professional performer when he was plucked off of his porch in eastern Kentucky to record for the Folkways imprint; his only public performances until then were probably on that porch, or as part of his local church congregation. This unspoiled upbringing is evident both in his choice of songs and their execution. Holcomb was adept on guitar and banjo, but could just as easily wring frightening emotion from his repertoire of ballads and hymns with only his voice. Bob Dylan called it, "a certain untamed sense of control, which makes him one of the best."

This 1963 appearance at Los Angeles' Ash Grove is an outstanding document of just what Dylan meant. The set list is an excellent survey of southern musical styles: The unusual modal and atonal singing heard here on "Across The Rocky Mountains" and "Graveyard Blues" is truly haunting and both convey the deep soulfulness in Holcomb's style of mountain music. His rendition of "Rising Sun Blues" (which listeners may recognize as a precursor to "House Of The Rising Sun) is intense and powerful, while the concluding "Coney Isle" clearly possesses a more sophisticated chord accompaniment that could very well be rooted in ragtime. The most unique element throughout, however, remains Holcomb's tenor, trembling and reedy, yet still confident that it is the perfect instrument for the songs.
Holcomb would record only sporadically throughout his career, as fame was no great appeal to him, but the albums he did make are widely considered the greatest examples of Appalachian music available. Humble though his lifestyle may have been, his sound was rich, complex, profound and haunting, and will always be remembered by scholars and fans alike.

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