Thursday, 4 January 2018
…i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces
It's been a busy festive period for your old pal The Swede. I've accepted every shift offered to me, worked bloody hard and, it has to be said, enjoyed practically every minute of it. After seven years sat on my backside behind a keyboard, it's been a tonic for body and soul to get out into the real world again. The available hours are tailing off now though and soon I'll be back to just picking up the odd shift here and there, which is much as I suspected it would be, so over the next few days I'll be starting to dip into the many blog posts I've missed while I've been otherwise engaged. Meanwhile, as a reward for all my efforts, I thought I'd treat myself to a very special release that's been high on my wish-list for over five years.
Long term readers will know of my fondness for vintage photos (a daily blog of photos from my own collection, Before the Streets Were Aired, is now into its third year of business) and old-time American music. In 2011, the wonderful Dust to Digital label (think a 21st Century, ever expanding version of Harry Smith's 'Anthology of American Folk Music') issued '… i listen to the wind that obliterates my traces: music in vernacular photographs 1880-1955', a 184 page hardback book which features 150 old photos plus two compact discs containing 51 vintage tracks, all transcribed from 78rpm records (dust to digital, geddit?) recorded between 1925-55. This terrific set was put together by Steve Roden, a man who has trawled the flea markets of America for over 20 years, searching for interesting antique photos and fascinating shellac oddities. It's a true labour of love and the whole package is even better than I dared to imagine it would be. Here are a few peeks inside the book (click any photo to enlarge) and a couple of samples of the music on offer.
Lew Childre - It Don't Do Nothing But Rain (1936)
Sylvester Weaver - Damfino Stump (1927)
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