I am Tom Freeland, a lawyer in Oxford, Mississippi. The picture in the header is my law office. I'm on Twitter as NMissC

Missing Posts: If you have a link to a post that's not here or are looking for posts from Summer of 2010, check this page.


Madonna records bluegrass album for Cracker Barrel

Mandolin Cafe has the most interesting report of the day:

Lebanon, Tenn. — Cracker Barrel and pop legend Madonna have announced collaboration on a new project entitled Bluegrass Material Girl, a collection of traditional acoustic string band music featuring her vocals in the style of Bill Monroe.

Backed by some of the finest […]

Earl Scruggs has died at 88

Earl Scruggs revolutionized banjo playing while in Bill Monroe’s band in the 1940s, and then, with Lester Flatt, formed one of the greatest country, string, or bluegrass bands of all time.  He died at age 88 today.

Here are Flatt and Scruggs, “Rolling in My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”

and “Lonesome Road Blues”

Here he […]

“You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing.”

Bill Monroe credited as a profound influence his Uncle Pen Vandiver, and wrote one of the greatest bluegrass songs about Uncle Pen’s fiddle playing.

There are no recordings of Uncle Pen, and artifacts from his life are rare.  The International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro Kentucky has discovered and is displaying the first two […]

RIP Wade Mainer

Today would have been Bill Monroe’s 100th; there was a great NPR story last night.  Listen to it in particular for Del McCoury’s account of how Monroe showed him the importance of the words to Monroe’s song about his parents.

And, as the headline notes, Wade Mainer died at home in his sleep […]

How to sing…

I wanted to put a few more Hazel Dickens recordings from youtube.  These are just sound, but well worth a listen.

Hazel Dickens, great singer of Appalachian music, has died

Hazel Dickens, one of the great singers of American traditional music, has died at 75.  I’m going to post a couple of clips below, one showing her live in a benefit for the Pittston, Tennessee coal miner’s strike in 1989-90, singing a song about the Mannington Mine disaster in West Virginia in 1968, and […]