Brooklyn musician Elisa Flynn will host a tribute to the Anthology of American Folk Music at the Way Station, featuring approximately one dozen NYC area musicians. Each musician will perform two songs from the Anthology.
The Anthology was compiled by folklorist, researcher and musicologist Harry Smith, and originally released as a three-record set in 1952. Smith amassed a huge personal collection of records, and used a selection of songs recorded in the 1920’s and 30’s and released on small labels as the basis for the Anthology. In 1947, he convinced Moses Asch, who ran the small Folkways record label, to issue the Anthology, which not only featured the recordings, but notes on the history and sources of the songs. It went on to influence folk musicians of the 50’s and 60’s, directly presaging the folk revival and providing a basis for folk and Americana musicians who followed.
The Anthology continues to be a rich resource. Flynn herself was influenced by the Anthology while she was studying mandolin, reading more about its history, and eventually adding several of the songs to her repertoire. This summer, she approached Andy Heidel, proprietor of the Way Station, with the idea of doing a tribute show, and contacted friends and other local musicians to join her. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and the show will feature a variety of perspectives and interpretations of these classic songs.
Musicians playing on 9/18 will include Elisa Flynn, Lys Guillorn, Alice Genese, Ms. Biz, Alex Mallett, Painless Parker, Mark Rogers, Andy Lee, Maharajah Sweets, Jon Ladeau, and Matt DeBlass.