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John Morthland

By John Morthland

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Perhaps the Folkways label’s biggest sleeper.

At the height of the folk revival, this North Carolina native was writing disarmingly vivid songs that sounded like they could have come from the 19th-century Appalachians or mid-20th-century Greenwich Village, and singing them in a powerful voice with phrasing that alternated between clipped and robust. Her “High on a Mountain” (“High on a mountain/ Standing all alone/ Wonderin'where the years of my life have flown”) has become a bluegrass standard. And “I've Endured” should be one, too. These long, loose, live versions of her favorites represent perhaps Folkways'biggest sleeper.