S1:E9 // Twas in the Merry Month of May
Play • 1 hr 30 min

Season 1, Episode 9 // Twas in the Merry Month of May

Featured in this Episode:

Traditional - “Barbara Allen” (:27)

Lead Belly - “Goodnight, Irene’” (11:39)

Joan Baez - “Silver Dagger” (37:50)

Tony Rice - “New River Train” (59:35)

Colter Wall- “Diamond Joe” (1:13:14)


For the last 400 years, the most widely collected ballad from the British Isles is still being recorded today, born out of a unique and puzzling story. A larger than life figure, rumored to have been released from prison due to the diverse musical prowess he carried, and not only became friends with legends like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, he was one of their main influences. her supple soprano voice is one of the most distinct in any genre, she’s graced nearly every traditional ballad with it, and used it during every major civil rights movement moment of the 60’s and 70’s, and continues to do the same today. Responsible for completely altering the confines of bluegrass music, expanding the genre to breathe in folk, jazz, blues and popular music, and is one of the most highly regarded guitarists of the century.  When you hear the deep, husky and timeless voice of this 25 year-old legend-in-the-making, singing folk ballads, westerns and cowboy tunes and dragging them over the plains of his home near the Canada-Montana border, it likely will never leave your memory.

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"Shine A Light":

Basic Folk Podcast - https://cindyhowes.net/basicfolk/

Source Credits:

#1: American Songwriter | Library of Congress | Lizlyle Blog | Native Ground

#2: Cultural Equity | NPS | Houston IA Mag

#3: GQ | Washington Post | Notable Biographies | Rolling Stone

#4: Tony Rice Story | Rolling Stone | NY Times

#5: American Songwriter | Rolling Stone | The New Yorker | The Globe and Mail

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