Friday, November 10, 2017

Lone Prairie Sources & Notes

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Hello everybody. We've had some requests for more information about the sources that inspired our recent album, "Lone Prairie". We love listening to old string bands from the 1920's and 30's, recorded on 78rpm records, as well as to more recent field recordings and other sources. These recordings filter through our brains and emerge in the music of the Down Hill Strugglers.

Here is a list of the songs on "Lone Prairie" followed by historic recordings that we love listening to.  We hope you will find them and enjoy them as much as we do.

Side A
1. Last Shot Got Him - related to/taking inspiration from the playing of the Mississippi Possum Hunters, also recorded as a guitar song in a different version by Mississippi John Hurt
2. Casey Jones - related to/taking inspiration from Wilmer Watts & The Lonely Eagles, also the Skillet Lickers and others
3. Lone Prairie - related to/taking inspiration from "It Won't Be Long Till My Grave Is Made" by Norman Woodlieff/Walter Smith
4. John Henry - related to/taking inspiration from George Pegram and many other versions
5. Texas Quick Step - related to/taking inspiration from the Redheaded Fiddlers
6. St. James Blues - related to/taking inspiration from Bill Sheperd and Dock Boggs

Side B
1. Seneca Square Dance - related to/taking inspiration from Fiddlin' Sam Long
2. Come Over and See Me Sometime - related to/taking inspiration from the Georgia Yellow Hammers
3. Goodbye Booze - related to/taking inspiration from Charlie Poole, Mainer's Mountaineers and more
4. Going Back to Mexico - related to/taking inspiration from the Carolina Tar Heels
5. Stone Rag - related to/taking inspiration from Paul Warmack's Gully Jumpers
6. Sally Ann - related to/taking inspiration from Frank Blevins & His Tar Heel Rattlers
7. Three Way Medley - related to/taking inspiration from Joe Sharp & Band and others

Included below is Amanda Petrusich's wonderful essay that she contributed for the liner notes on the back of the album:

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Old Time News Review

Thanks so much to our friends over in the UK at the Old Time News for this very nice review.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Summer Tour Dates

The Down Hill Strugglers are taking to the road this Summer... See ya 'round...

Thursday, June 15th
Square Dance!
Doors at 7pm, beginner lesson at 7:30 and dancing 8-10 pm
1036 E. Burnett Ave. 
Louisville, KY

Saturday, June 17th
Ozark Folk Center
1032 Park Ave, Mountain View, Arkansas
2pm Matinee
Evening Concert - Doors at 6pm

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June 23-25th
Old Songs Festival
Down Hill Strugglers **with John Cohen
Altamont, NY
Multiple performances and workshops over the weekend, see website for details:

Saturday, July 22nd
Down Hill Strugglers **with John Cohen
Three Arrows
2 Rochdale Road
Putnam Valley, NY

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Saturday and Sunday August 26th + 27th
Down Hill Strugglers **with John Cohen
Summer Hoot
Ashokan Center
Olivebridge, NY
For schedule see:

Thursday Sept. 7th
Caffe Lena
47 Phila Street
Saratoga Springs, NY
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Friday, September 8th
Oldtone Festival
Hillsdale, NY 12529

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Sunday, September 10th
Washington Square Park Folk Festival
Down Hill Strugglers **with John Cohen

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Album! - "Lone Prairie" Comes Out April 28th!

The Down Hill Strugglers are very pleased to announce the release of our new album, "Lone Prairie" - coming out April 28th on Jalopy Records!!

The album will be issued on vinyl, CD and as a digital download.  Sadly, because of budget issues we could not afford to have heads on this album cover, but we hope that our fortunes will improve soon!!

Order your copy today:

Or pick one up at one of our upcoming Spring "Mud Season" tour dates...

And see the whole Jalopy Records catalogue at

The album features 13 all new recordings from the band and liner notes by Amanda Petrusich, contributing writer for The New Yorker, Pitchfork and a contributing editor at The Oxford American.  Her music and culture writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Spin, BuzzFeed, and she is the author of “Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records”.  Petrusich has written that “The Down Hill Strugglers are, to my ears, the very best interpreters of traditional material presently going.”

From the liner notes:
“Lone Prairie was recorded in the spring of 2016 at the Jalopy Theatre in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  The band used two microphones, and played directly into a mono Nagra one-quarter-inch tape machine. They either ducked away from or leaned toward the mic to get their sound levels right. Then they stopped monkeying with the recording altogether, which is surely part of why it feels so pure and urgent. It is energizing in the way that looking at a river is energizing.”

“So what does it mean for a young band to make music like this right now? Our cultural moment certainly allows for (if not encourages) gratuitous elevation of the Self above all – but the Down Hill Strugglers think about their work differently. Each of these tracks takes inspiration from the rural visionaries of the early twentieth century, from the melodies and expressions that once guided and sustained whole communities in the Mountain South, the Deep South, and Way Out West. Lone Prairie is an earnest monument to the rural artists and songs this band loves: the Mississippi Possum Hunters, the Skillet Lickers, Bill Shepherd and Dock Boggs, the Carolina Tar Heels, Frank Blevins, George Pegram, Wilmer Watts, and many others. Using lovingly excavated 78 r.p.m. discs as source material – Walker, Jackson, and Eli disappear inside these tunes. In this way, the Strugglers become part of a continuum. Their performance is less about ardent self-expression and more about empathy, of finding a way in to other people’s anguish and elation: understanding it, bodying it anew, respecting it, and carrying it on. They pay homage to and remake in equal measure, as artists have been doing for centuries. This, I believe, is the best and most useful work a folk musician can hope to do.”

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Spring "Mud Season" Tour Dates

The Down Hill Strugglers are once again setting forth for our Spring "Mud Season" tour... Look out!!

Sun. April 30th
w/ John Cohen
Brooklyn Folk Festival
Brooklyn, NY

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Sat. May 6th
Floyd Radio Show
Floyd Country Store
Floyd, VA

Sun. May 7th
w/ Fiddlin' Al McCanless & Thomas Edwards
The Nightlight
Chapel Hill, NC
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Thurs. May 11th
Farm & Fun Time Radio Show
Birthplace of Country Music Museum
520 Birthplace of Country Music Way
Bristol, VA 24201

Sat. May 13th
6:30pm potluck and show at 8pm
The Hen Haus
"... if you need the address you better ask someone..."
Louisville, KY

Sun. May 14th
House Concert
5pm Potluck
6-8pm Concert
Contact: schulzmp [@] for details
Dayton, OH

Tues. May 16th
Tom's Tavern
w/ Corn Potato String Band
10093 W Seven Mile Rd
Detroit, MI