#3635: New Looks at Old American Folksongs

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Listen to arrangements of American folk music and their spin-offs for this New Sounds. Hear three arrangements of the murder ballad, “Pretty Polly,” including one from the husband-and-wife team of virtuoso banjo players Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn. There’s also music by Princeton University-based composer Paul Lansky, a computerized recreation of “Pretty Polly” from his record called “Folk Images,” which also takes on the beloved American Folksongs, “Wayfaring Stranger” and “Tender Ladies.”

Listen to contemporary compositions based on American folk music as well. There’s a work by Julia Wolfe, one of the co-founders of Bang on a Can, and her piece based on the legend of John Henry, “Steel Hammer.” Plus, Carla Kihlstedt’s take on the traditional tune, “50 miles,” as done up by her trio, 2 Foot Yard. That, and more.

PROGRAM #3635, a new look at old American songs (First aired on 9/10/2014)  

Darol Anger, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Edgar Meyer
Pretty Polly, excerpt [1:00]
Heritage: New Interpretations of American Roots Music
Six Degrees #314 524 434 
sixdegreesrecords.com

Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn- Pretty Polly [3:45]
Béla Fleck & Abigail Washburn
Rounder Records 
rounder.com 


Last Forever (Dick Connette, Sonya Cohen) - In the Pines [2:35]
Last Forever
Nonesuch #79447
Out of print. 
Streaming at dickconnette.com
The rest of Last Forever's records are at storysoundrecords.com 


Carla Kihlstedt - 50 Miles [6:10]
2 Foot Yard
Tzadik #7706 
tzadik.com


Paul Lansky- Pretty Polly [3:15]
Folk Images
Bridge #9060
bridgerecords.com

Paul Lansky - Wayfaring Stranger [4:54]
Folk Images
Bridge #9060
bridgerecords.com

Bang on a Can All-Stars, Trio Medieval
Julia Wolfe: Steel Hammer-Mountain [8:50]
Julia Wolfe: Steel Hammer
Cantaloupe 21099
cantaloupemusic.com


Erik Friedlander’s Bonebridge - Nostalgia Blindside [4:57]
Nighthawks
erikfriedlander.com


Darol Anger, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Edgar Meyer
Pretty Polly [8:43]
Heritage: New Interpretations of American Roots Music
Six Degrees #314 524 434 
sixdegreesrecords.com


Tim Sparks - I’ll Fly Away, excerpt [2:40]
Chasin' the Boogie
Tonewood 
cdbaby.com