Old Folk Songs New Again

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Wednesday March 21, 2018

From The New Yorker

What Can An Old Folk Song Tell Us?
By: Robert Sullivan

Soundscapes are what Anna & Elizabeth are shooting for on this beautiful album. They sing so-called folk songs, but they use the arsenal of various musical genres-including jazz and avant-garde -to set these songs down in fields of breathy reeds (or, on several tracks, in the mind-bending playing of Susan Alcorn, the renowned pedal-steel-guitar player from Baltimore). Of late, old-time traditional music has functioned as a nexus for experimentation-Sam Amidon’s records are a recent example, though John Cage’s work with Irish traditional musicians is an earlier one-and it’s fitting that Anna & Elizabeth are releasing their album on Folkways in the year of the label’s seventieth anniversary. Folkways sees ‘The Invisible Comes to Us’ as a future-facing album, and it is-especially in the way the album begins, if ever so gently, to confront the biases built into our archives of American music.

Read the whole article here