• SumoMe

Roscoe Holcomb

“Little Birdy” and “Graveyard Blues”

If you’ve ever spent a night in the woods, whittled a stick, drank water from a spring, fallen out of a tree, had your dog run away, or ever longed for something you couldn’t quite reach, then you’ve felt Holcomb’s music even if you haven’t heard it.

Restricting Roscoe Holcomb to a specific genre is to do a disservice to his work. Tinged with religious undertones and the real voice of a tried and true coal miner, his music raises your eyebrows and stops your pulse. His impressive vocal range paired with his almost anti-mechanical strumming creates his very own sound that will both call your old dog Blue back home and chase away the ‘coons.

I don’t know what it is about Roscoe, but his voice is one of the more powerfully-simple in the ambit of American folk music. Most of his published recordings were posthumous additions to Smithsonian compilations, and while he enjoyed some success in life (seen with Pete Seeger in the video), his albeit esoteric popularity exploded onto the scene after his death.

May his strings forever twang, his wide-brimmed hat forever sit upon his head, and may his sound waves forever remain fixed in media.