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All deep things are song. It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls! - Thomas Carlyle

Author Topic: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb  (Read 1100 times)

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Offline uncle bud

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The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« on: January 24, 2013, 01:08:35 PM »
John Cohen has a new book out on Roscoe Holcomb called The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb. It's from the same publisher that did the Lead Belly book, A Life in Pictures.

http://www.steidlville.com/books/1178-The-High-and-Lonesome-Sound.html

Text by John Cohen
with a DVD with two films about Roscoe Holcomb
and a CD with music of Roscoe Holcomb
Book design by Gerhard Steidl
and Katharina Staal

The Steidl website lists a hardcover. Amazon seems to list a paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Lonesome-Sound-Legacy-Roscoe-Holcomb/dp/3869302542/

If you buy through amazon, use the weenie search boxes in the left column of this site! Helps pay for weenie's server space.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 01:11:05 PM by uncle bud »

Offline Stuart

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 02:46:52 PM »
Thanks for the heads up, Andrew. It appears that Amazon only sells this one through its Marketplace sellers. I checked the first one--The Book Depository in the UK--and they list it as being a hardback:

http://www.bookdepository.com/High-Lonesome-Sound-John-Cohen/9783869302546?b=-3&t=-20#Fulldescription-20

Same ISBN(s) listed. The Steidl page says it's sold out which raises questions re: the press run. If it's a "must have," it might be a good idea to jump on this one.



Offline Stumblin

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2013, 01:36:33 AM »
I watched the DVD from a friend's copy recently, a very atmospheric and satisfying presentation with some great music.

Offline jostber

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2013, 03:16:50 PM »
The description makes it look like an interesting read:

In 1959 John Cohen travelled to East Kentucky looking for what he calls "old music." Cohen asked for names at local gas stations but soon ran out of leads, and drove off the highway onto the next dirt road. Here he stumbled across Roscoe Holcomb playing the banjo and singing on his front porch in a way says Cohen, "that made the hairs on my neck stand up on end." And so by pure chance began the life-long friendship that is the background for The High and Lonesome Sound. Cohen visited Holcomb frequently over the next three decades, and made many photographs, films and records of his music. In time Holcomb, a poor coal miner by trade, became a regular feature on the American concert and festival circuits. The "strange beauty and discomfort" of his music - a mixture of blues, ballads and Baptist hymns, and unique through his high strained voice - was exposed to a larger audience. Nevertheless Holcomb died alone in a nursing home in 1981. The High and Lonesome Sound combines Cohen's vintage photos, film and musical recordings as well as an anecdotal text into a multimedia tribute to this underappreciated legend of American music whose every performance was in Cohen's words "not just a rendition of music, but a test of something to be overcome."

Offline uncle bud

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The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2013, 06:42:13 AM »
The DVD is undoubtedly the 2 Cohen films on the Legacy DVD. Don't know about the cd. Anyone know if there's new stuff on it?

Offline Stuart

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2013, 09:23:57 AM »
There's almost nothing in the libraries--a copy at Fordham U in the Bronx, NYC and the other in The British Library--so we're probably going to have to rely on someone actually purchasing a copy and posting some first hand info.

Offline banjochris

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The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2013, 10:14:52 AM »
I ordered it yesterday so will give a report when it arrives.

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2013, 12:33:09 PM »
Same ISBN(s) listed. The Steidl page says it's sold out which raises questions re: the press run. If it's a "must have," it might be a good idea to jump on this one.

John Cohen said on facebook that the publisher would have it for sale on the site soon, so I assume the "sold out" text is either a glitch or means not in stock yet. But given the quality of the Lead Belly book's paper, printing etc., I imagine the press runs are not cheap, so I agree, I wouldn't expect this to stay in print forever.

Offline Stuart

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2013, 03:02:53 PM »
It's difficult to know what goes on behind the scenes. In today's wired world where seemingly everything is linked electronically, items can appear to be for sale, for example:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/15856625

Note that the publisher is given as "Innovative Logistics Llc," not Steidl. A couple of clicks reveals that:
http://www.innlog.net/ is probably the distributor / fulfillment service used by some of the web retailers.

I've done business with The Book Depository in the past and have never had a problem, so they are a known quantity--to me, anyway. It looks like Elderly has it in the pipeline as well:

http://elderly.com/books/items/542-355.htm


Offline RB

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2013, 05:07:35 AM »
I guess it's not so much about this book--which I will enjoy reading some time--but I saw Holcomb perform--in something like a science classroom--at Philadelphia's University of Pennsylvania about 1970 or so (maybe even slightly later), introduced by Cohen, about 20 in attendance. 

I felt good about what I'd seen and heard.  I recall I drove out to my parent's falrly opulent home in the prosperous suburb (about a block from where 'Skip' James is buried) and told a dinner party there--that seemed interested--how impressive Holcomb (and Cohen, too, to some extent) was.

Offline banjochris

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #10 on: February 08, 2013, 10:24:44 AM »
Got the book (hardcover) yesterday. DVD is the original High Lonesome Sound plus the 2010 documentary; nothing new on the CD that I could see from a quick perusal of the track list, and Smithsonian Folkways get a thank you for the tracks.

About 7/8 of the book is pictures Cohen took on his trip(s) to Kentucky, many of which have been released before, but they're still great pictures, with a few later pictures added in, for instance from the High Atmosphere sessions; the remainder is an article about Roscoe by Cohen, plus some thoughts by others, etc.

If you're interested in the Kentucky pictures it's a worthwhile purchase but it's not a giant book all about Roscoe Holcomb.
Chris

Offline Stuart

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #11 on: February 08, 2013, 11:55:26 AM »
Thanks for the report, Chris. Glad to hear it's the hardcover edition.

Our libraries here are always open to purchase suggestions, so I'll probably initially go that route and see what happens.

Offline jostber

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 10:55:05 AM »
Great cover image as well:



Would like to check out this, seems like great value with the DVD and CD.

Offline Stuart

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Re: The High and Lonesome Sound - The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 08:39:22 AM »
This past weekend, I submitted purchase recommendations to three libraries--UW, King County and Seattle Public Library. Yesterday the UW e-mailed me saying that they were going to acquire the book/DVD/CD set for their holdings. (Haven't heard back from the other two yet.) So if you live near a library, it might be worth your while to put in a purchase request.

 


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