The Discovery of Roscoe Holcomb and the “High Lonesome Sound”

...In 1959, John Cohen, a twenty-seven-year-old musician and photographer from Queens, bought a bus ticket to eastern Kentucky. He was looking for “Depression songs” to play with his folk band, the New Lost City Ramblers. “I said to myself, I’m going to go to Kentucky, because they have a depression going on there. I’ve never experienced a depression—all I’ve heard are the records,” he said recently. Cohen was a voracious consumer of traditional music and a dutiful student of its nuances, but he fretted that something was missing—some empathic vantage that he couldn’t quite access, at least not from Manhattan... (read more)