Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fifty States: Virginia

Dave Alvin: East Virginia Blues


Johnny Cash: East Virginia Blues


Crooked Still: Old Virginia


Three vastly different versions of this old public domain tune paint three very different approaches to folk music; taken together, the set provides a nice exploration of diversity in folksong, I think. Plus, Grateful Dead fans will find a familiar verse in there, too. Nothing new under the sun, as far as traditional folksong goes.

The Cash is from an unauthorized bootleg, which is fitting for a public domain song. The Dave Alvin version is from an album called Public Domain. I reviewed Crooked Still just last week; theirs is the best cello-infused traditional folk out there today. Other than that final note, I'm going to let the music speak for itself.

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