Anthology of American Folk Music

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June 08, 2011



Welllllll there was supposed to be a performance of the Moonshiner's Dance during the reenactment of Volume 2 of The Anthology at last years Harry Smith Frolic... But alas nobody worked it up, so it was skipped. This year we are re-reenacting volume 2, and I am certain that the Dance will be performed.

The Celestial Monochord

The Celestial Monochord replies:

Thanks for the update! Yes, I thought about mentioning the Frolic and its upcoming reenactment of Volume 2. I've always wanted to attend the Frolic, but I can never seem to get there.

I just love this -- "it was skipped." I rest my case!

Moonshiner's Dance is technically challenging, for sure, but I think it's the Anthology's most important (certainly, its most jarring) transition point.

Harry Smith used the recording as the culmination of the first half of Volume 2 -- it's how the volume's secular half finally blows its load. When Volume 2 wakes up again the next morning, it's in church on Sunday morning.

Looking at your copy of the 3-volume Anthology, you can see that the exact mid-point falls right between Moonshiner and the next song, Must Be Born Again.

So literally, as well as figuratively, the center of the Anthology is the silence that follows Moonshiner's Dance. After 83 years, it's great to hear that silence finally getting filled with music.

Best of luck with the reenactment -- send me a recording, if someone makes one!

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