Always Been a Rambler

Among the first of the folk revivalists to go from backyard shindigs to high-profile performance were the New Lost City Ramblers, founded in 1958 by Mike Seeger, John Cohen, and Tom Paley (who was later replaced by Tracy Schwarz). Drawing heavily on music of the twenties and thirties, most gleaned from beat-up 78s, the members of the NLCR distinguished themselves by taking on the performance styles of many of their favored roots musicians, not in mimicry but in a celebration of their diversity, covering old-timey tunes by Uncle Dave Macon, the Carter Family, Leadbelly, Doc Boggs, Roscoe Holcomb, and others with a rustic embrace. Yasha Aginsky's plucky Always Been a Rambler gives these foundational folkies their due country kudos with a beautifully tempoed collage of archival images, countless performances, and testimony from the likes of Ricky Skaggs, Maria Muldaur, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Del McCoury, and others. Still haunting hootenannies and folk fests, the New Lost City Ramblers continue to ramble on a road that they helped blaze.

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