Nathan Salsburg worked with Rayna Gellert on arranging and performing traditional and original songs for her Old Light collection. You can stream and purchase selected tracks at Bandcamp and buy the full album at Amazon.
A curator of the Alan Lomax archive, Salsburg is doing great work in keeping traditional music alive. He was interviewed on this fascinating episode of WFPK After Dark, which features recordings from the archive. Salsburg also exhibited his talents on this NPR Tiny Desk Concert, and his debut album as a solo performer, Affirmed.
Some songs just hit you. I was going about my business when Rayna Gellert’s “Nothing” brought tears to my eyes. The song opens her debut album and is available as a free, legal mp3 download for a limited time from NPR’s Heavy Rotation. Gellert is known as a fiddle-player, but has thankfully brought her singer-songwriter talents to the fore.
Gellert has been busy. In addition to her own album, Old Light: Songs From My Childhood & Other Gone Worlds, she collaborated with Scott Miller on the 5-track EP, CoDependents. That partnership began backstage at a Mountain Stage show at which Gellert was backing up Abigail Washburn. You can listen to the show online at NPR.
Miller’s CoDependents EP opens with an awesome ode to small-town life in “Lo Siento Spanishburg West Virginia” – he had me with the lyric “Old times there are Oxycontin.” You can stream the song below.