07 October 2018

The future of Appalachia's past

The BIB editor writes:

Many of us, in the 1970s or since, will have seen and/or bought at least one volume in the Foxfire series - most likely the one with a chapter on making a mountain banjo. The books were an invaluable guide to life in Appalachia as it had been (and in some cases was still) lived.

A new book, Travels with Foxfire: stories of people, passions, and practices from Southern Appalachia, by Phil Hudgins and Jessica Phillips, is available from the Bitter Southerner website, where you can also find a review by Beth Ward that looks at Appalachia's present, the images of its past that have been formed, and what holding on to those images may mean.

Old-time and bluegrass are not identical with Appalachia, but some of this review will resonate with anyone concerned with issues of tradition and change in these musics.

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