Recorded mostly in 2008, a year before Mike Seeger’s death, this album documents what must have been a wonderful few days for the brother and sister, recording in Mike’s home-studio, songs that they knew from childhood.
Mike and Peggy Seeger grew up in Silver Spring, Md. Their father, Charles Louis Seeger, and their mother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, were active in collecting folk songs. There are 14 songs here gleaned from a repertoire they originally learned from their parents, John and Alan Lomax, and the Library Of Congress. It’s just the two of them playing and singing live, and the instruments are guitar, old-time banjo, fiddle, cello-banjo. There are three songs recorded at a private home in Boston (later in 2008) and one song, “Little Birdie,” recorded live at WAMC in Albany, N.Y.
Songs include “Old Bangum,” “Cindy,” “Little Willie’s My Darlin’,” “My Home’s Across The Blue Ridge Mountains,” and a wonderful tune called “Red River Jig,” a Canadian fiddle tune. Mike Seeger was not stuck in one part of the old-time, bluegrass, or folk scene. He took it all in and created music that is still alive and vibrant. And Peggy has that same wide interest in songs and songwriting, and that passion comes through on this recording.
This is well worth listening to for rare versions of old songs and for the wonderful brother/sister mix of Mike and Peggy. (Appleseed Recordings, P.O. Box 2593, West Chester, PA 19380, www.appleseedmusic.com.) CVS