‘Live and In Person’ Out April 28
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On April 28, 2017, Jalopy Records, the record label of Red Hook's Jalopy Theatre, is releasing Clarence Ashley: Live and In Person, the first all-new album in over 50 years by the legendary singer and banjo player who helped introduce old time country music to audiences throughout the nation. April 28 also marks the kickoff of the Brooklyn Folk Festival.
Clarence Ashley (1895-1967) recorded for Columbia Records in 1929, was featured on Harry Smith's “Anthology of American Folk Music” in 1952, and toured the US in the 1960s. The title was gleaned from Bob Dylan, who told Rolling Stone in 2001, "You could hear the actual people singing those ballads. You could hear Clarence Ashley, Doc Watson, Dock Boggs, the Memphis Jug Band, Furry Lewis. You could see those people live and in person." Dylan recorded a number of songs associated with Ashley, including “Corrina, Corrina,” "The House Carpenter," "The Coo Coo Bird" and “Little Sadie.” Dylan also played Ashley’s version of "Little Sadie" on his Theme Time Radio Hour on SIRIUS XM.
Jalopy's vinyl-only release was produced in 2016 by Peter K. Siegel, from tapes he personally recorded in 1963 at the Greenwich Village folk club Gerdes Folk City.
John Cohen, founding member of The New Lost City Ramblers, wrote the liner notes and provided never-before-seen photographs of Ashley in Greenwich Village. A 16-page illustrated booklet includes additional notes by Siegel and Eli Smith.
Ashley, born in Bristol, Virginia in 1895, toured the medicine show circuit and recorded extensively in the 1920s and ‘30s until his career was curtailed by the Great Depression. He was rediscovered during the folk boom of the 1960s, and went on to tour the country and record for Folkways Records. The IBMA Hall of Famer and seven-time GRAMMY Award winner Doc Watson began his career as Ashley's accompanist. Ashley performed at Carnegie Hall, NYC’s Town Hall, and Newport Folk Festival and is featured on Harry Smith’s ‘Anthology of American Folk Music’ (Folkways). He passed away in 1967.
Live and In Person is Clarence Ashley's first and only live album. He is accompanied on the album by guitarist Tex Isley, a member of Charlie Monroe's Kentucky Partners.
Jalopy albums are distributed by Mississippi Records, Portland Oregon.
A celebration of the album's release will be held at the Brooklyn Folk Festival in April 2017. The event will include performances of Ashley's songs by a number of prominent folk and country artists.
Clarence Ashley 'Live And In Person' Track Listing:
1 Dark Holler Blues
2 The Wreck of the Old 97
3 Omie Wise
4 Bully of the Town
5 Wild Bill Jones
6 Rude and Rambling Man
7 I'm the Man that Rode the Mule Around the World
1 The Coo Coo Bird
2 I Had But Fifty Cents
3 The House Carpenter
4 Shout Little Lulu
5 May I Sleep in Your Barn Tonight Mister?
6 Ain't No Use to High Hat Me
7 The Little Hillside