North Fork Flyer
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Black Twig represents the continued persistence of a type of Appalachian folk music that has come and gone from the popular radar over the years, but has never really disappeared from the band's Southwest Virginia home. The songs on "North Fork Flyer" are mostly traditional numbers (with a few originals sprinkled in) that form the backbone of a century-plus-old tradition - the music of bonfires, front porches, coal miner's festivals, and informal gatherings. Over the years, "mountain ragas" (as the group calls them) like "Angelina Baker," "Spike Driver's Blues," "Poor Boy Long Ways From Home" and "Sail Away Ladies" have been recorded, performed, and revised continually by luminaries such as Bukka White, Mississippi John Hurt, John Fahey, Bob Wills, Holy Modal Rounders, New Lost City Ramblers, etc, etc - a who's who of true American artistry. Recorded live to DAT on front porches and in family rooms, "North Fork Flyer" blends fiddle blues, sinewy guitar and the drone and twitch of fretless clawhammer banjo with the band's rough-around-the-edges but warm harmonies. Played to the accompaniment of night insects, passing trains, and the noise of wandering children, the music retains the charm of tradition but is free of fake antiquarianism and nostalgia - regardless of age, the music is just as relevant today as it was 100 years ago and the band plays it like they mean it. The band name comes from the oldest, most crotchety apple variety in the orchard that fiddler Ralph Berrier's family maintains along the musically fertile Virginia-North Carolina line. 17 Tracks, 50 Minutes.