New Volume of Harry Smith Anthology To Be Released

John Fahey’s Revenant Records, the trusty independent label that reissued Doc Boggs’ early recordings, as well as other important “raw music” compilations, will release Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music, Volume 4 on May 23. The set will include two CDs housed in a 96-page hardbound book. Harry Smith’s original 84-song Anthology of American Folk Music recently was revived by Smithsonian Folkways after being out of print for more than a decade. Originally issued in 1952, it is completely made up of records that were made in the 1920s and ’30s by country singers, blues singers, Cajun singers, fiddle bands and the like. It’s the founding document of the American folk revival, giving Bob Dylan and other folkies of the late ’50s and early ’60s contact with musicians and cultures they might not have known existed. Compiled by Harry Smith contemporaneously with the first three volumes, Volume 4 went unissued for almost 50 years. In conjunction with The Harry Smith Archives, Revenant will package Smith’s “secret volume” in its intended song sequence, supplemented with essays by Ed Sanders (Fugs), John Cohen (New Lost City Ramblers), John Fahey, Dick Spottswood and Greil Marcus, and previously unpublished photos of the young Harry Smith. The set will include recordings by the Carter Family, Blue Sky Boys, the Monroe Brothers, the Hackberry Ramblers, Uncle Dave Macon and several folk and blues greats.