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Shenandoah - Fall 2006

  • Issue Number: Volume 56 Number 2
  • Published Date: Fall 2006
  • Publication Cycle: Annual

American folk music enthusiasts will want to check out this issue devoted to traditional music of the Appalachian region. It includes interviews with Janette Carter and Mike Seeger, whose families have long performed and preserved mountain music and culture. Other essays highlight the careers of fiddlers J.P. Fraley and Tommy Jarrell, as well as guitarist and singer Elizabeth Cotten. Among the poems in this volume, several honor particular performers (Jeffrey Harrison’s “Homage to Roscoe Holcomb” and Ron Rash’s “Elegy for Merle Watson”), while others evoke the songs themselves (Candice Ward’s “Ballad Child” and George Scarbrough’s “The Old Man”), or explore their power over listeners (Judy Klass’ “Conundrum and Fiddle” and “The Tao of Twang” and John Casteen’s “Insomnia”). An excerpt from the novel Fiddler’s Dream (SMU Press, 2006), about a young musician who wants to play bluegrass and find his missing musician father, amply demonstrates Gregory Spatz’s ability to write lyrically about music and music makers.

[www.shenandoahliterary.org]

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Review Posted on December 31, 2006
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