Brooklyn’s Jalopy Records has rebooted their homegrown folk music record label with a brand new release, “Lost Train Blues: John & Alan Lomax and the Early Folk Music Collections at the Library of Congress.” Help us produce and manufacture this album AND get the ball rolling on a bright, new future for the Jalopy Records label!
This collection, curated by Brooklyn Folk Festival producer Eli Smith, celebrates the centennial of famed folklorist Alan Lomax’s birth. The record will feature 22 selections (13 of which have never been released) from the vast holdings of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The record will include work songs, ballads, blues, political and union songs, guitar, banjo and fiddle music and Native American vocal music. These recordings were made between 1933 and 1950 and represent the birth of the folk music collections at the Library of Congress which is now the largest repository of folk and enthographic holdings in the world. The record demonstrates the groundbreaking work of Alan Lomax and his father John Lomax, but also places them within the context of other important early field workers.
Jalopy Records has partnered with well-known Oregon based vinyl label Mississippi Records to manufacture and distribute this and future releases. Jalopy Records is the record label of the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, a grass roots cultural center for traditional music, located in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
The deluxe record includes liner notes by Alan Lomax archive curator Nathan Salsburg, as well as a 14 page booklet with photographs and original research about each song, artist and folklorist. The cover features an original lithograph by artist Jeff Tocci. Each selection has been retransferred from original discs and tapes at the Library of Congress and has been carefully remastered by sound engineer Don Fierro making for the best possible audio fidelity.
Risks and challenges
This project required from us not only the labor involved in securing the files and permissions we needed from Library of Congress, but also the untold hours spent in research for the liner notes and in the studio remastering the severely muddied audio files. It is this type of archival work that keeps these voices alive and secures their position within the long narrative of American folk music. Our goal in relaunching Jalopy Records is to produce more historic recordings like this one, release LPs by exciting new artists and continue Lomax's work in preserving and promoting American folk music.
The biggest challenge we see is building on the momentum gained from the funding of this project, so that we may invest our profits into future Jalopy Records releases. With the support of Mississippi Records as our distributor, we hope to sell all of the printed records within a matter of months. This will be the first step towards cementing Jalopy Records as a viable label that can support its artists, and establishing its name within the field.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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