A wonderful and important album from the late Hedy West, From Granmaw and Me is a collection of songs Hedy learnt from her Grandmother – Lillie Mulkey West – songs that had traveled with emigrants from Great Britain to the USA between the 17th and 19th centuries.
Hedy West, one of the finest folk singers of her generation, was born in the hill country of northern Georgia. From an early age, traditional folk music played an integral role in her life. In the mid-‘50s she won first prize at the Asheville Annual Folk Festival for her singing. She recorded 3 albums for the Vanguard label before moving to England. In the late ‘60s Hedy recorded three widely acclaimed albums for Topic records and one for the Fontana label before moving to Germany.
Most of her recordings drew heavily upon the repertoire of songs handed down in her family. Unreleased until now, From Granmaw and Me was the last project Hedy prepared before her death in July 2005. As she relates in the sleeve-notes: “This recording offers a small portion of the music that was gathered in my grandmother’s family over several generations. My grandmother, Lillie Etta Mulkey West, narrates this recording, and she chose its songs. The setting is Gilmer County, Georgia, where my grandmother was born in 1888 near a crossroads called Cartecay.”
In 1967 A L Lloyd wrote: “Hedy is among the best women singers of the American folksong revival. That “among” is a pretence of objectivity; my private view is that she’s by far the best of the lot.” A sentiment that Martin Simpson and many contemporary folk musicians would happily concur with.
1. Lil’ Old Mountain Shack
2. Once I Had An Old Grey Mare
3. Blockader Mama
4. Ollie and Rillie Seay (story)
5. Two Sisters
6. Jack and Joe (Give My Love To Nell)
7. Sally Carter
8. I’ll Never Get Drunk Anymore
9. Frog went Courting
10. Granmaw’s Frog Story
11. The Uncloudy Day
Release date : 13th April 2018
Barcode number: 5020393 310628