How it was done; the 1930s

78project coverIn 2009 I went to the University of Mississippi for a three-day symposium on the history of blues field recording projects. In the field of roots music John and Alan Lomax pretty much set the standard as they travelled the rural America in search of our music. They found and recorded music wherever it lived using simple tape machines and primitive 78 rpm disc recorders. Others followed in their footsteps and their efforts paid off by giving the world the likes of Leadbelly, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Son House, John Hurt, Honeyboy Edwards, Muddy Waters, R.L. Burnside, The Carter Family, Jimmy Rogers, and so many more.

I recently came across The 78 Project, an effort to bring today’s performers to the public using the same raw and rough field recording conditions employed by the pioneers. So, if you enjoy this music as I do I thought you’d enjoy seeing a sample of how it came to us. Additional samples can be found by following the Vimeo links at the bottom of the video.

The 78 Project: Justin Townes Earle: “Memphis in the Rain” from The 78 Project on Vimeo.

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