Anthology of American Folk Music

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August 29, 2016

Comments

Steve Badd

I talked to Eric, the owner of Mississippi, and he told me that this version is a new mastering from original 78's and was not sourced from the Folkways masters. The new masters were sourced primarily from a single collector who had most of the source 78 recordings that were used in the original Folkways pressings. They did a certain amount of sonic cleanup, but not obsessively as to preserve as much fidelity as possible.

[From the hoffman forums]
http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/200g-lp-reissues-of-the-harry-smith-anthology-of-american-folk-music.335523/page-2

The Celestial Monochord

If you read my writing closely, you can see I try to distinguish what I know from what I just assume, and I do a lot of assuming. The guy may be telling the truth. But I do remain skeptical. (Cough! Cough! Coughmusicbusiness! Coughmusicbusiness! Cough!)

You should be able to very clearly *hear* that these are new spins of different 78s - or even of the exact same copies but 60+ years older. Why didn't they advertise the fact (if it's so) that they made new transfers, since that means something to anyone who knows anything. Why the big secret?

A friend of mine owns the Mississippi Records set and has offered to sit me down and let me listen. Maybe we'll put the three together - the 1952, 1997, and 2014 boxes - and dream up something to say about the experience.

Mikkel

I have the vinyl Doxy music label version from 2009. Any idea what their source material was?

The Celestial Monochord

Hey Mikkel - Oh yeah! I forgot all about that Doxy version! From Italy, if I remember right? It had different cover art all its own - something from Fludd or his era, and in four different colors for each volume.

Nope, I don't know where they got their sound. In fact, except for the 1952 and 1997 versions, I don't know where *anybody* got their sound.

With Doxy, Mississippi, and DINTE ... if you snoop around various discussion lists, you see people debating, passing on hints, whispers, claims under this table, into that sleeve, thru speakeasy slots in closed doors. It must be a label-culture thing.

Charging people for A Product In A Box without describing publicly in detail what's in that box, where it came from ... nope. In those cases, I'm content assuming it's just burned off another release, which is an entirely familiar practice.

The Celestial Monochord

Incidentally, at the time Mississippi Records was first offering its LP set I did contact them to ask about where the audio came from, but was rebuffed - they completely ignored my inquiry.

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