Road to Sweet's Mill

Interviews by Evo Blulestein

Edited by Evo Bluestein and Juliana Harris

 

The Mill offered people a chance to recreate themselves in the styles they had researched on their journeys of cultural discovery. The mountain village atmosphere made it possible for someone without roots in a particular heritage to adopt one. The prevailing attitude was one of acceptance and experimentation.

 In the 1960s, well before the internet became available, recordings of authentic traditional music were limited and other resources were yet to be invented. Many of the people featured here searched their own communities, the nation, and the globe for folk traditions. For some people the passion was Appalachian fiddle and banjo music, Carter Family songs, blues, bluegrass, or shape note singing. For others it was ethnic: Irish, Mexican, French, Greek, Balkan, Flamenco, Middle-Eastern, Cajun, or klezmer. Pilgrimages were made to find authentic fiddlers, banjo pickers, singers, cloggers. Some travelers became amateur folklorists; others became revivalist performers. Still others became professional ethnomusicologists or dance troupe directors. What is remarkable is that their paths crossed at Sweet’s Mill.

 

Book includes CD of interviews and music.

 

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