Various The Art of Field Recording Vol. 1

This beautiful four-CD set documents 51 years of recording traditional American music by Art Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum’s passion and love for this music is evident via the dialogue you hear on the sessions and also the beautiful art he contributes to the accompanying book. The CDs are compiled each by form, encompassing religious music, blues, dance and instrumental, plus a general survey of the music collected. Blues shout, reels, Quebecois fiddle tunes, sacred harp and gospel choirs, and heartbreakingly beautiful a cappella singing paint a grand canvas of a music that exists as life apart from art. As many of the recordings were made in the ’70s and ’80s, some by younger musicians and some by their elders, one can’t help but compare this confident, clear and worldly sound to the ghost music that crackles warily out of the documents from the early/mid-20th century. This is music played by people in the television age, where the world was brought to their door, and yet seems not only to have been kept at bay but put in its place. (Dust-to-Digital)