Monday, March 2, 2015

Announcing: Treasures from the Archive Roadshow!

The Down Hill Strugglers is proud to be a part of the forthcoming "Treasures from the Archive Roadshow: Celebrating Alan Lomax & The Folk Music Collections at the Library of Congress" - an outreach program of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

The idea is that The Down Hill Strugglers, John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers), Jerron "Blindboy" Paxton, Nathan Salsburg (Curator of the Alan Lomax Archive) and others will tour festivals, performing arts centers, colleges and universities, playing live renditions of songs and styles learned directly from the collections at the Library of Congress.  The Roadshow is also accompanied where appropriate by a museum quality panel display with more information about the American Folklife Center as well as a presentation of folklore-related films from the collections there.

The intention of this project is to bring the beautiful diversity of music, songs and styles, faithfully preserved in this amazing archive, out to the general public.  The Roadshow will raise awareness about the existence of the Folklife Center itself and encourage people to take advantage of this amazing resource, just as we have.  By touring and playing live for audiences the Roadshow can introduce people in a live and immediate way to some of the kinds of songs and styles laid away by folklorists and collectors in this deep repository of our grassroots indigenous American music.

The "Roadshow" honors the folk music collections at the Library of Congress and particularly in 2015 the seminal work of folklorist Alan Lomax who would have been 100 years old this year, and whose unparalleled collecting work formed the basis for the American Folklife Center's holdings.
The first exhibition and performance of the Roadshow will take place Sunday, April 19th at the Brooklyn Folk Festival, with more performances TBA over the coming months.

Here is more information about the "Roadshow" -

The American Folklife Center was created in 1976 by the U.S. Congress as the national center for folklife documentation and research, with the mandate to "preserve and present American folklife." The American Folklife Center Archive, established in the Library of Congress Music Division in 1928 and moved to AFC in 1978, is now one of the largest archives of ethnographic materials from the United States and around the world.
  The Treasures from the Archive Roadshow is an outreach program of the American Folklife Center in conjunction with the Alan Lomax Archive/Association for Cultural Equity. This roadshow will be touring festivals, colleges, universities and performing arts centers starting in 2015.

Famed folklorist Alan Lomax would have been one hundred years old in 2015. The field recordings that he made throughout his long career are the foundation of the holdings at the American Folklife Center, and as such are at the very heart of America’s indigenous, grassroots folk music, including blues, rural string band music, ballads, ragtime and more.

This roadshow draws together nationally recognized folk musicians who play songs and tunes they have learned directly from the Lomax Collection and other important collections at the American Folklife Center. These performers will present this music live to audiences nationally in Lomax’s centennial year.

The roadshow includes; The Down Hill Strugglers with legendary musician and folklorist John Cohen (of the New Lost City Ramblers), Jerron “Blindboy” Paxton, Frank Fairfield, Dom Flemons (formerly of the Carolina Chocolate Drops) and Lomax Archive curator Nathan Salsburg. These performers will be touring together with a traveling exhibit, showcasing the collections housed at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, with a focus on the Lomax Collection. Through live performances and the traveling exhibit, the general public will be informed about the existence of the holdings at the American Folklife Center; a national treasure to which every American has access.