1.3.12

Hear the Music: americana

Some of you may consider me an “old soul”. My soul is just as old as everyone else's, but today I did recognize the soul and beauty in the music of Elizabeth Cotten.

Nothing traps me like simple Americana acoustic folk songs. I stumbled across Elizabeth Cotten while listening to npr the other day..

Why Americana acoustic folk? It brings such realness into your life. The feelings are raw, humble and sincere. These folksters aren’t trying to sell you anything, they are singing what they feel. Can I get on a soap box and say that maybe we need more real music in our lives? Not all this electro-synth pop (this goes to hipsters and mainstreamers alike) so may I introduce Elizabeth Cotten if you aren’t already aquainted, and if you feel like your playlist is being less then sincere lately.

Elizabeth Cotten is a champion at pure soul acoustic.

listen to her album Shake Sugaree here 

Now while you’re listening, here is something's you should know about her:

She was born in North Carolina in 1895. She started playing banjo at age 7. Buy the time she was 11 she earned enough money as a house servant to buy her first guitar. She taught herself at this early age. When she was married at 15 she stopped playing guitar much until she was divorced in her late life. When she was 60 she was a housekeeper for the Seegers (folk family musicians). They discovered her talent and helped her record music. Her first album (in the link above) she recorded with her grandchildren. She continued touring and releasing records till her 80s.

A video of one of her first appearances

Forget the  fact that she has an amazing life story, and is one of those people you just want to sit and listen to till they tell you everything they know—but her guitar is amazing.

Which brings me to one other wonderful thing about Elizabeth Cotten: She plays guitar left-handed (self-taught you know?). And not only left handed, but upside down (a lot of left-handers re-tune or re-string the guitar). Which is how she gets the unique style of picking and sound that has influenced tons of people “cotten picking” 

If you want to hear some personal stories from Elizabeth herself go listen to this WGBH interview with her in 1973, 17 years before she died.

Enjoy

....Shannon wood

info learned from wikipedia

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