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 "M"
Mac & Bob "Songs For Country Home Folks, v.1" (BACM, 2005)
Mac & Bob "Songs For Country Home Folks, v.2" (BACM, 2005)
Uncle Dave Macon "Country Music Hall Of Fame Series" (MCA, 1992)
Uncle Dave Macon "Travelin' Down The Road" (County, 1995)
Uncle Dave Macon "Go 'Long Mule" (County, 1995)
Uncle Dave Macon "Keep My Skillet Good And Greasy: The Complete Recordings" (Bear Family, 2004)
A 10-CD (!) box set covering all of Macon's work... Yow.
Uncle Dave Macon "Classic Sides: 1924-1938" (JSP, 2004)
Uncle Dave Macon "Classic Cuts, v.2: 1924-1938" (JSP, 2006)
Uncle Dave Macon "Uncle Dave At Home" (Bear Family/Spring Fed, 2002)
J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers "The Golden Age Of J. E. Mainer's Mountaineers" (Binge Disc, 2000)
If you thought old Bill Monroe sounded rough and rowdy back when he started the bluegrass sound way back when, then you gotta check these guys out! Mainer and his family enjoyed a healthy career revival in the 1960s and '70s as the old-timey folk scene unearthed them... Their latter day recordings were all quite nice, but this collection of material from the 1930s and '40s is flat-out awesome. When they play fast, there's no one more clattersome and rambunctious, and when they play slow and sentimental, few folks are more hearfelt. For fans of squeeky, scraping fiddles and grizzled old-man vocals, this is the disc to check out.
J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers "1935-1939" (BACM, 2005)
Ernest Martin "...And His Gospel Melody Makers" (BACM, 2005)
Harry McClintock "The Great American Bum" (BACM, 2005)
Frank & James McCravy "Old Time Harmony Singing" (BACM, 2005)
Clayton McMichen "The Legendary Fiddler, v.1" (BACM, 2005)
Clayton McMichen "The Legendary Fiddler, v.2" (BACM, 2005)
Bob Miller " 'Leven Cent Cotton Forty Cent Meat" (BACM, 2005)
Polk Miller "...And His Old South Quartette" (Tompkins Square, 2008)
We're talking deep old South here, like a bunch of pre-jazz, pre-ragtime, Antebellum "plantation Negro" music, drawn from a traveling show that Virginia-born performer Polk Miller toured with in the 1890s... This collection comes from some cylinder recordings from 1909 and 78s recorded two decades later. Polk himself apparently did not perform in blackface, but the cultural context is much the same, so you have to be open to filtering out the negative connotations in order to see the historical value of these old songs. Cool stuff, but it's part of a long, sometimes troublesome, historical narrative.
Bruce Molsky & Bob Carlin "Take Me As I Am" (1990)
Bruce Molsky "Lost Boy" (Rounder, 1996)
Bruce Molsky "... & Big Hoedown" (Rounder, 1997)
Fiddler and banjo picker Bruce Molsky may be the preeminent old-time musician of his generation -- he's certainly one of the most highly regarded, and his fab albums on Rounder will show you why. Working here with a fiesty trio, Molsky perfectly captures the raspy, bouncy playfulness of old-timey music. His song selection is all first rate, and the record is captivating from beginning to end. Highly recommended.
Bruce Molsky "Poor Man's Troubles" (Rounder, 2000)
Another wonderful album. Here Molsky takes some of the twang out, replacing it with a sorrowful drone, akin to some of Norman Blake's best stuff. The song selection is uniformly great, and the playing -- with high-powered assistance by the likes of Darol Anger, Martin Hayes and Dudley Connell -- is first-rate. Smooth, captivatingly melodic and accessible, but undeniably and richly authentic. Recommended!
Bruce Molsky/Michael Doucet/Darol Anger/Rushad Eggleston "Fiddlers 4" (Compass, 2002)
Molsky's old-timey fiddling rubs up against the eclectic bowings of cajun music legend Michael Doucet, spacegrasser Darol Anger and classical wunderkind Rushad Eggleston... It's a pretty classy crossover operation, which glides from style to style. The sugary excesses of newgrass fusion and the raspy clatter of the old-timey are both toned down a bit, and this disc is nice and listenable from beginning to end. A fiddle fan's dream.
Bruce Molsky "Contented Must Be" (Rounder, 2004)
Traveling from triumph to triumph, Molsky has come out with yet another that fans must laud as the best one ever. This time around the talented multi-instrumentalist mainly sticks to the fiddle (for twelve songs out of seventeen), and plunks and picks some mighty fine banjo and guitar on the other five tracks. The material is all old-time stuff gathered by folklorists of years gone by, and able acoustic accompaniment is provided by Darol Anger, Dudley Connell and others, including Irish-American icon Mick Moloney (veteran of numerous top-flight Celtic bands.) Retaining the antiquated rasp of authentic American mountain music, while introducing a compelling melodic sweetness, Molsky has once again set the standard for the genre. Highly recommended!
Bruce Molsky "Soon Be Time" (Compass, 2006)
Fiddler/guitarist/banjo plunker Bruce Molsky is one of Americana's finest "old-timey" musicians, fully in command of the style's history and repertoire, and gifted with an immensely charismatic presence... On this disc, his sound has notably softened, moving away from the uncompromising traditionalism that so many favor in the old time scene into a more fluid, tranquil tone. There's a lot more "give" to his performance, and thus a lot more soul. From start to finish, this is a lovely album, one that will compel repeat auditions. The material ranges from backwoods standards learned from elders such as Ed Haley, Sam McGee and Tommy Jarrell to Scandanavian and Slavic folk, and a bit of the Delta blues... There's only one Molsky original on here, and yet he manages to make all these tunes utterly his own. This is a mighty fine album.
Bill Monroe -- see artist discography
The Monroe Brothers -- see artist discography
Spencer Moore "Spencer Moore" (Tompkins Square, 2007)
A nice set of modest, modern recordings by an old-timey elder... Guitarist Spencer Moore started his musical career in the 1930s, and in the 1950s was captured in field recordings by folklorist Alan Lomax. Here, at eighty-eight years of age, Moore runs through a set of old-timey tunes, including standards such as "Little Rosewood Casket," "Wildwood Flower" and "Great Speckled Bird," as well as several less well-known songs from his extensive repertoire. If you enjoy old-coot recordings (I do) this one's pretty nice. Nice that they managed to get one of the precious few living links to the Depression-era music scene back in front of the mic to bring the old music back.
The Morris Brothers "Salty Dog Blues" (BACM, 2005)
Hick Music Index