lamdha books -
Catalogue of books on traditional and folk music

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Anoyanakis, Fivos (Christopher N.W. Klint, trans.; Anna Vafia, illus.)
Greek Folk Musical Instruments
The National Bank of Greece, Athens Greece, 1979.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine titles, a blind-stamped upper board decoration and illustrated endpapers; 415pp., with many monochrome and colour illustrations. Minor wear; some minor marks to the boards; offset to the endpapers. Dustwrapper lightly edgeworn; some faint sunning along the spine panel; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Berliner, Paul F.
The Soul of Mbira Music and Traditions of the Shona People of Zimbabwe
University of Chicago, 1993.
Paperback, octavo, 312pp. Monochrome plates, transcriptions. Near fine. "A landmark in ethnomusicoloical literature. Berliner succeeds in conveying both the joy that goes with mbira playing and the mystic relationship between the player and his instrument" (K.A. Gourlay).
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Brander, Michael
Scottish and Border Battles and Ballads
Seeley Service, London, 1975.
Hardcover, octavo; green cloth boards and gilt spine titling; 300pp., monochrome maps and musical scores. Minor wear only. Very good to near fine and dustwrapper professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Selection of ballads with an account of the events which led to its composition and accompanied by a map of the battle where appropriate. The lyrics of the ballads are provided in full and the tune (arranged by Jimmie MacGregor) to which it is sung.
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Bret, David
The Piaf Legend
Robson Books, London, 1988.
Hardcover, octavo; grey boards with gilt spine titling; 188pp., monochrome plates. Minor wear; slightly toned text block edges with one or two spots on upper edge. Very good in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film.
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Burke, Carolyn
No Regrets The Life of Edith Piaf
Borzoi Books/Alfred E. Knopf, New York, NY, USA, 2011
Hardcover, octavo, 282pp, monochrome plates. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. Piaf in her own world. Discovered on the street, she became a star almost overnight, seducing Paris's elite and the people of its slums in equal measure with her powerful, passionate voice. The legacy of "the little sparrow" endures as a symbol of France and a source of inspiration to entertainers worldwide.
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Burke, David
Singing Out: A Folk Narrative of Maddy Prior, June Tabor & Linda Thompson
Soundcheck Books, London, 2015
Octavo paperback; 198pp., colour & b&w plates. Remainder. New.
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Cohen, John
The High & Lonesome Sound The Legacy of Roscoe Holcomb
Steidl, Gottingen Germany, 2012
Quarto; hardcover; illustrated boards; 261pp., monochrome illustrations. Includes CD & DVD in rear pockets. Remainder. New. "The music of Roscoe Holcomb transcended daily life. Although it was grounded in Appalachia, in East Kentucky, in his little town of Dais, his music travelled like it was on a path towards a distant star." In 1959 John Cohen travelled to East Kentucky looking for what he calls "old music". Cohen asked for names at local gas stations but soon ran out of leads, and drove off the highway onto the next dirt road. Here he stumbled across Roscoe Holcomb playing the banjo and singing on his front porch in a way says Cohen, "that made the hairs on my neck stand up on end". And so by pure chance began the life-long friendship that is the background for The High and Lonesome Sound. Cohen visited Holcomb frequently over the next three decades, and made many photographs, films and records of his music. In time Holcomb, a poor coal miner by trade, became a regular feature on the American concert and festival circuits. The "strange beauty and discomfort" of his music - a mixture of blues, ballads and Baptist hymns, and unique through his high strained voice - was exposed to a larger audience. Nevertheless Holcomb died alone in a nursing home in 1981. The High and Lonesome Sound combines Cohen's vintage photos, film and musical recordings as well as an anecdotal text into a multimedia tribute to this underappreciated legend of American music whose every performance was in Cohen's words "not just a rendition of music, but a test of something to be overcome".
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Cray, Ed (Foreword by Studs Terkel)
Ramblin' Man The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie
W.W. Norton & Co. Inc., New York NY, 2006.
Octavo; paperback; 488pp. Remainder. New.
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DeWoskin, Kenneth J
A Song for One or Two Music and the Concept of Art in Early China
Michigan University, 1982.
Paperback, octavo, 202pp. Owner's name stamp on half-title page. Minor spotting to text block edges. Covers a bit worn at edges with a little creasing down spine edges and corners. Very good.
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Gudnason, Jessica Tan & Gong Li
Chinese Opera
Abbeville Press, New York, 2001.
Folio hardcover, not paginated, mainly colour illustrations. Fine in lightly worn dustwrapper. This collection of photographic portraits was taken over a ten-year period and seeks to capture and present the many different actors who perform in the fabled Peking and Cantonese operas. Supplementing the plates is an insightful introduction by Gong Li, who comments on these powerful images and provides an overview of the history of Chinese Opera, the main character types and the significance of the costumes and makeup.
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Guthrie Edgmon, Mary Jo, & Guy Logsdon
Woody's Road Woody's Letters Home, Drawings, Photos, and Other Unburied Treasures
Paradigm Publishers/Birkenkamp & Company LLC., Boulder CO, 2012.
Quarto; hardcover, with gilt spine and upper board titles; 168pp., with many full-colour and monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper a little edgeworn. Near fine.
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Hart, Mickey with K.M. Kostyal
Song Catchers In Search of the World's Music
National Geographic, Washington, 2003.
Quarto hardcover, 172pp., monochrome and colour illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. For some time now, Grateful Dead drummer Hart has been a song catcher, a collector of the originally non-commercial music popularly called traditional music. Many anthropologists, musicians, political and labor organizers, composers and social workers were song catchers before him, and it is their collective story that he and writer Kostyal tell in this engaging book. They discourse on music's many purposes, then leap into song catching via sound recording. The first field recordings were of American Indian music, and the late-nineteenth-century phenomenon of world fairs spurred the capture of Asian, African, and Pacific Island music. Meanwhile, young Anglophone composers combed the British Isles for their peoples' songs. Hart and Kostyal note major figures and events in field recording down to the present, at which point Hart relates his own experiences. Historic photographs magnificently illustrate Hart and Kostyal's accessible overview of a subject that, despite its intrinsic attractiveness, has usually been written up only in turgid academic tomes.
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Holst, Gail
Road to Rembetika Music of a Greek Sub-Culture, Songs of Love, Sorrow and Hashish
Denise Harvey, Limni, 1989.
Paperback, octavo; 181pp., monochrome illustrations. Inscription. Minor wear; faint spotting and one or two marks to text block edges. Brown dustwrapper with monochrome illustration and black titling, glued down on spine; slight wear to edges. Very good.
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Houghton, Mick
I've Always Kept a Unicorn The Biography of Sandy Denny
Faber and Faber Ltd., London, 2016.
Octavo; paperback; 502pp., with 8pp. of colour and monochrome plates. Remainder. New. The definitive biography of Sandy Denny, one of the most influential folk-rock artists of all time. "I've Always Kept a Unicorn" tells her story, as one of the greatest British singers of her time and the first female singer-songwriter to produce a substantial and enduring body of original songs. Sandy Denny laid down the marker for folk-rock when she joined Fairport Convention in 1968, but her music went far beyond this during the seventies. After leaving Fairport she formed Fotheringay, whose influential eponymous album was released in 1970, before collaborating on a historic one-off recording with Led Zeppelin - the only other vocalist to record with Zeppelin in their entire career - and releasing four solo albums across the course of the decade. Her tragic and untimely death came in 1978. Sandy emerged from the folk scene of the sixties - a world of larger-than-life characters such as Alex Campbell, Jackson C. Frank, Anne Briggs and Australian singer Trevor Lucas, whom she married in 1973. Their story is at the core of Sandy's later life and work, and is told with the assistance of more than sixty of her friends, fellow musicians and contemporaries, one of whom, to paraphrase McCartney on Lennon, observed that she sang like an angel but was no angel.
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Kaufman, Will
Woodie Guthrie American Rebel
University of Illinois Press, Urbana IL, 2011.
Octavo; hardcover; 278pp., with many monochrome illustrations. Minor wear. Dustwrapper. Near fine. Woody Guthrie, American Radical reclaims the politically radical profile of America's greatest balladeer. Although he achieved a host of national honors and adorns U.S. postage stamps, and although his song "This Land Is Your Land" is often considered the nation's second national anthem, Woody Guthrie committed his life to the radical struggle. Will Kaufman traces Guthrie's political awakening and activism throughout the Great Depression, World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, the Civil Rights struggle, and the poison of McCarthyism. He examines Guthrie's role in the development of a workers' culture in the context of radical activism spearheaded by the Communist Party of the USA, the Popular Front, and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Kaufman also establishes Guthrie's significance in the perpetuation of cultural front objectives into the era of the "New Left" and beyond, particularly through his influence on the American and international protest song movement. Utilizing a wealth of previously unseen archival materials such as letters, song lyrics, essays, personal reflections, photos, and other manuscripts, Woody Guthrie, American Radical introduces a heretofore unknown Woody Guthrie: the canny political strategist, fitful thinker, and cultural front activist practically buried in the general public's romantic celebration of the "Dust Bowl Troubadour."
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King, Christopher C.
Lament from Epirus An Odyssey into Europe's Oldest Surviving Folk Music
W.W. Norton & Company Inc., New York NY, 2018.
Octavo; hardcover, quarter-bound in papered boards with silver-gilt spine titles; 304pp., with monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. In a gramophone shop in Istanbul, renowned record collector Christopher C. King uncovered some of the strangest - and most hypnotic - sounds he had ever heard. The 78s were immensely moving, seeming to tap into a primal well of emotion inaccessible through contemporary music. The songs, King learned, were from Epirus, an area straddling southern Albania and northwestern Greece and boasting a folk tradition extending back to the pre-Homeric era. To hear this music is to hear the past. "Lament from Epirus" is an unforgettable journey into a musical obsession, which traces a unique genre back to the roots of song itself. As King hunts for two long-lost virtuosos - one of whom may have committed a murder - he also tells the story of the Roma people who pioneered Epirotic folk music and their descendants who continue the tradition today. King discovers clues to his most profound questions about the function of music in the history of humanity: What is the relationship between music and language? Why do we organize sound as music? Is music superfluous, a mere form of entertainment, or could it be a tool for survival? King's journey becomes an investigation into song and dance's role as a means of spiritual healing - and what that may reveal about music's evolutionary origins.
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L'Hoeste, Hector Fernandez, & Pablo Vila
Cumbia! Scenes of a Migrant Latin American Music Genre
Duke University Press, Durham NC, 2013.
Paperback, octavo; 302pp. New. Remainder. Cumbia is a musical form that originated in northern Colombia and then spread throughout Latin America and wherever Latin Americans travel and settle. It has become one of the most popular musical genre in the Americas. Its popularity is largely due to its stylistic flexibility. Cumbia absorbs and mixes with the local musical styles it encounters. Known for its appeal to workers, the music takes on different styles and meanings from place to place, and even, as the contributors to this collection show, from person to person. Cumbia is a different music among the working classes of northern Mexico, Latin American immigrants in New York City, Andean migrants to Lima, and upper-class Colombians, who now see the music that they once disdained as a source of national prestige.
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Lindsay, Jennifer
Javanese Gamelan
Oxford University Press, Oxford UK, 1985.
Octavo paperback; 58pp., colour plates and monochrome illustrations. Mild spotting to text block edges and cover spine and adjacent edges faded; chipping and wear to edges. Good to very good.
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May, Elizabeth (ed.)
Musics of Many Cultures: An Introduction
University of California Press, Berkeley, 1980.
Quarto hardcover; dark beige cloth boards with black spine titling and illustrated endpapers; 431pp., monochrome plates and illustrations with three seven-inch 33-1/3 monaural soundsheets in rear pocket. Owner's name. Minor wear; mild toning and spotting to text block edges. Near fine in like dustwrapper with slightly sunned spine and small crease on lower front corner; now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Twenty essays on music from around the world are included here. Only European musics have been omitted, except insofar as they affect other musics discussed; North American music is represented by the musics of the Native Americans and the Alaskan Eskimos. The essays are profusely illustrated with maps, drawings, diagrams, photographs and music examples, some of which are recorded on the soundsheets. Extensive glossaries, bibliographies and annotated film lists.
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Pihl, Marshall R
The Korean Singer of Tales
Harvard University,m Cambridge, 2003.
Paperback, octavo, 295pp., monochrome illustrations. Cover slightly worn along edges and corners; otherwise very good to near fine. P'ansori, the traditional oral narrative of Korea, is sung by a highly trained soloist to the accompaniment of complex drumming. "The Korean Singer of Tales" is the first book-length treatment in English of this remarkable art form and contains the first annotated English translation of a full performance text. Marshall Pihl traces the history of p'ansori from its roots in shamanism and folktales through its nineteenth-century heyday and discusses its evolution in the twentieth century.
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Ranade, G.H.
Hindusthani Music Its Physics and Aesthetics
Popular Prakashan, Bombay India, 1971.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titling; 204pp. Minor wear; retailer's stamp; mild offsetting to endpapers; browned text block and page edges with some light spotting on top edge. Mildly rubbed and spotted dustwrapper with wear and chipping to edges; now backed by archival-quality white paper and professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Very good.
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Sakata, Hiromi Lorraine
Music in the Mind The Concepts of Music and Musician in Afghanistan
Smithsonian Institute, 2002.
Hardcover, octavo, 246pp., monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. Music is central to many important events in the Islamic world. Yet many members of Islamic society who follow the teachings of the Qur'an hold music and musicians in very little regard. Hiromi Lorraine Sakata examined this paradox during her research in Afghanistan in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and produced this insightful book. Through case studies in the city of Herat (western Afghanistan), the remote provincial capital Faizabad (northeastern Afghanistan), and the village of Khadir (central Afghanistan), Sakata discusses traditional Islamic concepts of music and musician and interprets modern attitudes towards them both. She pays particular attention to the term musiqi (which can be generally translated as "secular music") and how misinterpretations of this construct may be the root of Western misunderstandings about music and musicians in Muslim societies. Sakata collaborated with Smithsonian Folkways Recordings to produce a CD of Afghan music, which is included with the book.
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Santelli, Robert (Foreword by Nora Guthrie)
This Land is Your Land Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folksong
Running Press, Philadelphia PA, 2012.
Quarto hardcover, 252pp., monochrome illustrations. Dustwrapper. Poster at rear. New, remainder.
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Sapoznik, Henry
Klezmer! Jewish Music from Old World to Our World
Schirmer, New York, 1999.
Hardcover, octavo, 340pp., with monochrome illustrations. Minor edge wear to dustwrapper. Very good to near fine. This book is a fascinating story of survival against all odds, of a musical legacy so potent it can still be heard, despite assimilation and near annihilation. The scratchy, distant sound of early recordings bursts forth with such power that they have formed the soundtrack for an entirely new generation of performers, Jew and non-Jew alike, who have embraced and expanded the klezmer tradition. Through stories, pictures and a companion CD, "Klezmer!" reintroduces this most vital musical form to new and old fans alike.
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Seeger, Pete (Rob & Sam Rosenthal, eds.; Foreword by David Amram)
Pete Seeger In His Own Words
Paradigm Publishers, Boulder CO, 2012.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 356pp., with 8pp. of monochrome plates. Minor wear; some minor marks to the upper board. Dustwrapper a little rubbed. Near fine.
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Sen, Mimlu
The Honey Gatherers Travels with the Bauls: The Wandering Minstrels of Rural India
Rider/Ebury Publishing/Random House Group Co., London, 2010.
Octavo; hardcover, with gilt spine titles; 250pp., with a map and some monochrome decorations. Minor wear; text block edges lightly toned. Dustwrapper lightly rubbed. Near fine. Mimlu Sen is living a bohemian life in Paris when she witnesses an electrifying performance by three wandering minstrels from rural India. They wear flowing, multicoloured robes and play frenetic rhythms on strange instruments made of wood and clay, capturing the many moods of nature and passion. After her turbulent past, including a year in a Calcutta jail, Mimlu instantly knows it is time to set off on the journey of her life. One of the minstrels, Paban Das Baul, is a gifted young musician with a growing international reputation. Mimlu defies prejudice to travel with him deep into the heart of Bengal, the rural hinterland behind Calcutta where few tourists ever go. In this fascinating and unusual book, she describes how they make their way across country, from shanty town to village, from monastery to festival, perched on the roofs of buses and squeezed inside trains, encountering tantrics and sages, exorcisms and witch sightings, catfish that climb trees and esoteric secrets - and fall in love. With Paban's encouragement, Mimlu too performs for alms - 'gathering honey' in the traditional Baul way - and is initiated into a hidden world of song, sensuality and adventure as wild and unpredictable as the landscape itself.
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Shankar, Ravi
Raga Mala An Autobiography
Welcome Rain, New York, 1999.
Large octavo hardcover; brown cloth boards with gilt spine titling, decorated endpapers; 336pp.Many plates in black and white and colour. Mild spotting to upper text block edges. Very good to near fine in like dustwrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film. Features a stunning collection of photographs and documents drawn almost entirely from personal archives and contributions from a wide circle of friends.
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Srivastava, Indurama
Dhrupada A Study of Its Origin, Historical Development, Structure and Present State
Motilal Barnarsidass, Delhi, 1980.
Octavo hardcover; red cloth boards with gilt spine titling; 151pp., b&w illustrations at rear. Bookseller's stamp. Toned and faintly spotted text block edges; wear and chipping to dustwrapper edges and corners. Very good. Wrapper now professionally protected by superior non-adhesive polypropylene film.
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Stanley, Dr. Ralph, with Eddie Dean
Man of Constant Sorrow My Life and Times
Gotham Books/Penguin Books (Aust.) Ltd., Camberwell Vic., 2010.
Octavo; paperback; 453pp. Remainder. New. Ralph Stanley was born in 1927 in a corner of Virginia known as Big Spraddle Creek, a place where music echoed from the ridge tops, was belted out by workers in the fields, and resonated in the one-room country church where Ralph first found his voice. For his eleventh birthday, Ralph was given five dollars, and had to chose between buying a sow or a banjo. He chose the banjo, which his mother taught him to play in the clawhammer style. In 1946, he combined his banjo with his brother Carter's guitar, and the two blended their voices into one as the Stanley Brothers. For twenty years the Stanleys chased the dream through good times and hard times, until the hard times caught up to Carter and he succumbed to liver disease at age 41. In the four decades since his brother's passing, Ralph has brought his music from the hills and hollows of southwest Virginia to the wide world. Now in his eighties and still touring, Ralph has at last grown into his voice and is ready to tell his story. In Man of Constant Sorrow, Ralph looks back on his career in what most call bluegrass but what he prefers to call "old time mountain music." He recounts the creation of hundreds of classic tracks, including 'White Dove,' 'Rank Stranger,' and his signature song, 'Man of Constant Sorrow.' He tells tales from a life spent on road with his band the Clinch Mountain Boys, explains his distinctive 'Stanley style' of banjo-playing, crosses paths with everyone from Bill Monroe to Bob Dylan, and reflects on his late-career resurgence sparked by an unlikely Grammy win in 2002 for his song 'O Death.' He also raises a dirge for Appalachia, his mountain home that is quickly disappearing.
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Starkie, Walter
Spain: A Musician's Journey Through Time and Space: two volumes
Edisli, Geneva, 1958.
Original yellow cloth boards with gilt centre board decoration and titling. Quarto. Two volumes: 192pp and 192pp. Both volumes extensively illustrated with tipped-in coloured plates, b/w photograghs as well as numerous illustrations. Minor wear; spotting along board spines, spine panel edges and upper edges; faint spotting to upper text block edges. No dustwrappers. Very good to near fine. Starkie's remarkable musicological review still dazzles. Volume one starts the story of Spain's musical heritage with the Phoenicians and Greeks, before establishing the first Spanish musician of note as Saint Isidore of Seville. Following chapters include studies on the Gregorian chant, Alfonso the Wise, the minstrels, the Song of the Sibyl, music at the court of Ferdinand and Isabel, Valencia, Charles V, Philip II, and Madrid of Ramon de la Cruz. The second volume "Spain from Coast to Coast" begins with a study of the music of the Basques, after which various chapters deal with the Asturias, Galicia, Estremadura, Navarre, Catalonia, Valencia, the Balearic Islands, La Mancha the land of Don Quixote, and Seville in Holy Week. The final section deals with the music of the gypsy natives, and the resurgence of Spanish music in the twentieth century. An exhaustive masterpiece.
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Wade, Bonnie C.
Music in India - Prentice-Hall History of Music series The Classical Traditions
Prentice Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1979.
Octavo; paperback; 252pp., with maps and many monochrome illustrations. Mild wear; covers rubbed and edgeworn; faint spotting to text block edges. Very good.
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Wilentz, Sean and Marcus, Greil (eds.)
The Rose and the Briar Death, Love and Liberty in the American Ballad
Norton & Co., New York, 2004.
Hardcover, small quarto, 405pp. Dustwrapper. Remainder. New. For this devastatingly original work that goes to the heart of the American psyche, editors Sean Wilentz and Greil Marcus have invited a broad swath of writers to sing their own versions of the songs that changed their lives and the life of their country. "The Rose and the Briar" takes up the music of the ballad and the worlds from which it sprang as no other book has ever done, while calling out the demons that called the tune. In essays and fiction, poetry and collage, the editors have produced a book that both echoes and sustains the voice of the American ballad as it has been performed and heard for more than three hundred years. The result is a stunning collection of reflections about America's history and culture.
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