Tribute to one of ‘The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’ (Rolling Stone)
AB HONOURS HARRY SMITH’S ‘THE ANTHOLOGY OF AMERICAN FOLK MUSIC’
AB launches the (ambitious) plan to, over the coming years, once again shine a spotlight on the masterful compilation ‘The Anthology Of American Folk Music’ (Folkways Records, 1952). ‘The Anthology’ was compiled by American eccentric & 78 rpm collector Harry Smith and, with its 84 songs, it is considered to be the bible of American folk. In other words: the equivalent of ‘The Great American Songbook’.
You don’t know him? Think twice! Both Harry Smith and the compilation have bagged three(!) Grammy Awards and it is considered by Rolling Stone to be one of the ‘The 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time’. Beck, Bob Dylan, Jeff Tweedy (Wilco) and Elvis Costello are absolute admirers. Just as The White Stripes and Nick Cave, whose primal versions of ‘John The Revelator’, ‘Stagger Lee’ and also ‘Henry Lee’ are to be found on ‘The Anthology’.
The plan? Every year, AB will invite one (inter)national artist who has been influenced by or is inspired by this masterful collective work that, by the way, also abundantly breathes blues, Cajun, gospel, jazz and hillbilly. The full evening programme will be a deep dive into ‘The Anthology’ with personal interpretations of songs from Harry Smith’s epos.
THE GOLDEN GLOWS: THE SONGBOOK OF HARRY SMITH
The start signal will be given by Antwerp trio The Golden Glows. No wonder really, as the Glows have been specialising in pop music from bygone times since ‘05 and in Americana from the ’20s and ’30s in particular. They have been our guests in AB a number of times over the course of the years (including at the invitation of Zita Swoon), with as highlight to date: the performance of Alan Lomax’ ‘Prison Songs’ in ‘09. Not coincidentally, a kindred spirit of Harry Smith.
Basically: enough endorsement to consolidate the musical marriage between AB and The Golden Glows. We do so in the form of a concert residence whereby the trio will perform pretty much monthly in the intimate setting of the AB Salon, culminating in a grande finale on 21 maart ’19 on the Main Stage of AB.
The Golden Glows have received an assignment though: to rework songs from Harry Smith’s famed anthology as if it were a contemporary masterpiece. One guitar and three radiant voices interpret the material as if it were 1928. Purity is the magic word, accoustically and emotionally.
So consider this concert residence as a unique chance to experience the development of this commissioned work firsthand, before it is presented to the general public. For The Golden Glows, it is an equally unique opportunity to test out their work in progress in public.