News and Notes
The Complete Rich-R-Tone 78s
Bristol, Virginia, 1948: In a deliriously high-pitched croon, the singer relates the sorrows of an itinerant existence. He steps from the mic and a keening fiddle takes over, swallowing the melody in mournful swoops, itself superseded by lightning-paced runs up and down a mandolin fretboard. Old-school hillbilly sounds encounter their radical, upstart cousin, bluegrass. The collection is keening and lovely, by some of the true originators of American music.