A Century of Heritage Guitar Music CD coming in June

Virginia’s Crooked Road, an agency that uses traditional mountain music and culture as a tourism draw for the southwestern parts of the state, has announced a June release for A Century of Heritage Guitar Music. This 2-CD set will feature a mix of archival and new recordings featuring more than 50 guitarists either from or closely connected to the region.

These include well-known artists like Maybelle Carter, Pop Stoneman, James Alan Shelton, Wayne Henderson, and Wyatt Rice plus dozens of first rate pickers who are only recognized closer to home. The package will also contain a booklet with information on all the various players on the CD.

Project consultant Ted Olson, a professor in the Appalachian Studies program at ETSU, lauds the guitar’s unique place in the history of traditional music.

“The guitar has become the ever-present instrument in many American music genres, and that is certainly the case in heritage music. Guitarists from this region have been making invaluable contributions to the artistry of guitar music for many years, perhaps none more famous than Mother Maybelle Carter with her iconic ‘scratch’ guitar style playing of Wildwood Flower.

The CD set is expected to be released in time for the Crooked Road’s Mountains Of Music Homecoming celebration, June 9-17, with concerts, food, and culinary functions scheduled throughout the western part of the state. Two shows during that time are set as Guitar Masters Concerts, where some of the players featured in these recordings will perform.

John Kilgore, president of The Crooked Road, says that this release is a fine tribute to all the guitarists throughout the 20th century who contributed to the development of what we know today as acoustic guitar music.

“Current musicians from the region continue to find amazing ways to innovate with the guitar, adapting unusual music to it and taking the level of technical ability to new heights all the time. We hope this project will not only document the region’s guitar music, but also help many more people learn about the artists here.”

Pre-orders can be placed on KickStarter, where patrons wishing to support this project can make donations. Various premiums are offered to donors at different levels of support.

Check it all out online.

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John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.