ABOUT THIS ITEM
Art Rosenbaum is a folk revivalist of the old school. He believes that traditional ballads, blues, spirituals, and fiddle tunes are among the glories of American culture, and he wanted to help preserve and disseminate them. Ledbetter, forty years younger, was less interested in preservation than in inspiration: the songs on "Goodbye, Babylon" had influenced artists as diverse as Bob Dylan and Arcade Fire. The best he could do for folk music, Ledbetter seemed to feel, was to research, remaster, and repackage it as beautifully as possible-to make the old songs seem new again. From The New Yorker - 'The Last Verse: Is there any folk music still out there?' Last fall, Dust-to-Digital released "Art of Field Recording: Volume I," a four-CD retrospective of Rosenbaum's work. It contained everything from ring shouts and murder ballads to a song about twenty frogs going to school. It was full of throaty voices and clanging banjos and the incidental music of daily life-babies crying, bar glasses clinking, cicadas on a summer night. A critic at the Times had called it 'a gold mine, an ark . . . spooky and blindingly beautiful.'