This three lps were issued in 1980 by Morning Star Records, a short-lived record company owned by Richard Nevins, who would continue Nick Perls’ work with Yazoo Records a few years after. It’s a superb compilation of 78rpm records of Kentucky string bands made in the 1920’s and 1930’s for Gennett. Like Nevins said: “As the Mississippi Delta is to Blues, Kentucky is to fiddle music, banjo playing, and classic old ballads and songs”. The emphasis here is on string band music, with a few songs included as well. The Gennett 78 records are famous for their bad quality pressing and it shows here with lots of surface noise and scratchs. But the music is excellent all the way through, especially the fiddle playing on the dance numbers, with great fiddlers like Doc Roberts, Leonard Rutherford, Andy Palmer or Jim Booker. Booker was the only black fiddler who recorded with a hillbilly string band (Taylor’s Kentucky Band) back then but many of this white Kentucky musicians talked about black fiddlers who were sharing the same repertoire of old-time tunes in the region.
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