Nehi Records, a British label dedicated to producing audiophile quality remasters of early American folk music, has released a three-disc set titled My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean: British Songs In The USA. It contains 75 tracks captured from roughly 1920 through to 1945.
Included are offerings of songs that would be familiar to folklorists and fans in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, recorded by US artists like Bill Monroe, Riley Puckett, Charlie Poole, Ernest Stoneman and many others. The tracks are sequenced chronologically, and the accompanying booklet provides details like the session date, additional personnel, and song notes where appropriate.
Anyone interested in the earliest days of recording in the United States will find this a treasure trove. There is as much blues as there is hillbilly or old timey music, with selections from Leadbelly, Blind Willie McTell, Big Bill Broonzy, Blind Blake and more. Pre-bluegrass fans will be pleased to see offerings from The Carter Family, The Blue Sky Boys, Gid Tanner, Bradley Kincaid, Clarence Ashley, and The Carolina Tar Heels.
Serious collectors of this era may already have all of these recordings, but having them all together – and presented sequentially – makes for a perfect introduction to this period.
Nehi is shipping My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean worldwide from its headquarters in Surrey for £17.99, plus shipping. That is $19.68 at today’s rate, $23.25 with shipping. That’s a value for anyone interested in this seminal period of American folk music.
More details – including a complete track list – can be found online.