RAGGED BUT RIGHT Great Country String Bands Of The 1930s (BMG)Anyone interested in the development of western swing and country will find these influential recordings of Gid Tanner and His Skillet Lickers, Riley Puckett, and J.E. Mainer's Mountaineers nothing short of revelatory.
BEFORE THE BLUES The Early American Black Music Scene (Yazoo)
An absorbing three-volume survey of African-American blues, ragtime and religious music from a forgotten period in history when the repertoire, performing style and tunings had no colour distinction.
DARBY AND TARLTON On The Banks Of A Lonely River (County)If you consider how the brilliant improvisational interaction between Tom Darby and Jimmie Tarlton inspired recordings by J.E. Mainer, Fiddlin' Arthur Smith and brother groups like the Delmores, Louvins and Monroes, it's possible to make the case that modern country music began right here.TPJust a few years ago, the mainstream popularity of celtic music seemed about as likely as a band with a lead banjoist topping the country charts. But if the Dixie Chicks can turn the trick, maybe there's hope for a string band revival.