Hi, there... This page is part of the Slipcue guide to old-timey musicians, both old and new. This old-timey guide is part of a much larger Hick Music website. This "guide" is not meant to be comprehensive or authoritative, just a quick look at a few records I've heard recently, as well as some old favorites. Comments, corrections and/or recommendations are are always welcome!
This page covers the letter "H"
Esco Hankins "Rising Sun" (BACM, 2005)
John Hartford - see artist discography
Roy Harvey "Complete Recordings, v.1: 1926-1927" (Document, 2000)
Roy Harvey "Complete Recordings, v.2: 1928-1929" (Document, 2000)
Roy Harvey "Complete Recordings, v.3: 1929-1930" (Document, 2000)
Roy Harvey "Complete Recordings, v.4: 1931" (Document, 2000)
Ginny Hawker & Kay Justice "Come All Ye Tenderhearted" (June Appal, 1995)
Ginny Hawker/Carol Elizabeth Jones/Hazel Dickens "Heart Of A Singer" (Rounder, 1998)
Ginny Hawker & Kay Justice "Bristol" (Rounder, 1999)
That's Bristol, as in, "the Bristol Sessions," the famous 1927 Ralph Peer recording trip which brought to the wide world both Jimmie Rodgers and The Carter Family, laying the foundation for the growth of commercial country over the next decade. This Carter Family tribute is about as rootsy and true to the original wellspring as you could imagine, especially with for New Lost City Ramblers members Mike Seeger and Tracy Schwartz pitching in on autoharp and guitar. Highly recommended!
Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwartz "Good Songs For Hard Times" (Copper Creek, 2000)
Beautiful! '50s/'60s folk scene veteran Tracy Schwartz has, of course, been one of the great champions of old-timey music ever since his days in the New Lost City Ramblers, and Ginny Hawker has been rising through the ranks in recent years... On this early album, they sing fifteen lovely, understated duets, presenting some of the finest, most heartfelt songs in the mountain music canon, including tunes of aching beauty such as "Your Lone Journey" and gospel tunes galore. Their approach to the material is just so right, and so wonderfully unpretentious and filled with sweet, simple harmonies that this disc is a real gem. In later years, Hawker started to exaggerate her twang a bit too much; here she sings in a much sweeter, less craggy style than you may have heard on subsequent releases. Anyway, this album's a keeper, as far as I'm concerned. Highly recommended!
Ginny Hawker "Letters From My Father" (Rounder, 2001)
With old-timey gospel numbers, bluegrass heartsongs galore, and even a bit of Emmylou-ish country harmony, this disc's another real winner. Although Hawker's loyalty to the raspy old-timey melodic structure may make it hard for some folks to get into her work, these are recordings that will richly reward your time. Recommended!
Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwartz "Draw Closer" (Rounder, 2004)
Once again, these two deliver as fine and understated a set of old-timey ballads as you're likely to hear... Really fine stuff! The accompaniment is a delight: straightforward and no-frills, but also very melodic and sweet, a perfect match for their plainspoken vocals. Dirk Powell pitches in playing mandolin on a couple of tunes, but fancy picking isn't the point of this new record, the songs are and that's the way it should be. Includes some standards such as "Poor Willie" and "Katie Dear," as well as a bunch of well-chosen obscurities, and some wonderful gospel tunes. Highly recommended!
Fisher Hendley "...And His Aristocratic Pigs" (BACM, 2005)
Charlie Herald & His Roundup Rangers "Pioneering Canadian Country Group" (BACM, 2005)
The Hodges Brothers "Bogue Chitto Flingding" (Arhoolie, 1971/2003)
A remarkable set of informally delivered "old time Mississippi country music" (as the liner notes describe it), mostly recorded in 1960 on one of many folkloric field trips conducted by Arhoolie Records founder Chris Strachwitz, back at the label's inception. The Hodge Brothers were for-real hicks, longtime radio performers who hailed from Bogue Chitto, Mississippi, pretty much in the middle of nowhere. They were also torchbearers for the old-fashioned country style exemplified by The Blue Sky Boys and other Depression-era acts, with a subtle intertwining of "country" and bluegrass elements. This disc might be a little too "neither fish nor fowl" for fans of one style or another, but hick music connoisseurs should be delighted by it. I found it quite captivating and consistently listenable... raspy and rootsy, but also quite tuneful, and with a nice selection of songs -- either songs that I was unfamiliar with, or odd local variations on well-known songs in the hillbilly canon. Check this record out -- it's a doozy.
Roscoe Holcomb "That High Lonesome Sound" (Smithsonian Folkways, 1998)
Roscoe Holcomb "An Untamed Sense Of Control" (Smithsonian Folkways, 2003)
Hard to imagine anyone raspier and more "high lonesome" than old-timey banjo balladeer Roscoe Holcomb, who wowed the 'Sixties folk revival crowd with his extensive repertoire and uncompromised, rough-edged style. The irregular meters and weird subject matter of old-timey music remained intact in Holcomb's work, right up through the 1970s, despite decades of performing. These recordings are an interesting mix of showmanship and backwoods authenticity... For fans of the style, this stuff is tops!
Roscoe Holcomb "Close To Home" (Smithsonian Folkways, 1975)
Doc Hopkins "...And His Country Boys, v.1" (BACM, 2005)
Doc Hopkins "...And His Country Boys, v.2" (BACM, 2005)
Kenneth Houchins "The Yodeling Drifter" (BACM, 2005)
Hick Music Index