It’s tempting to think of field recordings as time capsules. Sound and story are indelibly etched into wax, shellac, or acetate—only to get rediscovered
a century later. But walking alongside the blackberry brambles before a concert at the Sylvester Manor Educational Farm on Shelter Island last summer, it occurred to me that field recordings are more like heirloom seeds. A visionary farmer from a bygone era stores seeds in the hopes that some future cultivator might come along and make a discovery. Dig some earth, plant some seeds, and behold: Georgia Streak tomatoes, Persian Star garlic, White Wonder cucumbers!
In this age of monoculture, it’s no wonder that many of us seek nearly-forgotten artifacts from the past: an antique Radio Flyer wagon, a dog-eared first edition, a hymn as old as dirt. But I’m no collector, nor am I particularly nostalgic. I revel in the act of discovery. I want 331⁄3 revelations per minute. I crave collaboration. So I gathered together fellow keen-eared musicians to help blow the dust off these carefully chosen songs, uncover their hidden histories, and till fresh soil to see what might spring forth from these sturdy seeds.
Now these songs are yours, too. Sing them, plant them in your yard, graft them to your own musical tree. Keep them watered and even if they lie fallow for a spell, they’ll revive. Folk songs are perennials.
released April 7, 2017
Jayme Stone (banjo, voice)
Moira Smiley (voice, accordion)
Sumaia Jackson (fiddle, voice)
Joe Phillips (bass, voice)
Felicity Williams (voice)
Denzal Sinclaire (voice)
Nick Fraser (drums)
Dom Flemons (voice, guitar, quills)
Ron Miles (cornet)
Produced by Jayme Stone & David Travers-Smith
Recorded, mixed and mastered by David Travers-Smith
Recorded at Canterbury Studio, Toronto, Canada