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Blind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary

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 Appalachian VisionaryBlind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary is finding its way into record stores nearly 90 years after Reed was first recorded. Born blind on June 15, 1880, in Floyd County, Virginia, Alfred Reed grew up on a West Virginia farm. In the 1920s, when radio became available in his area, Alfred listened to and enjoyed performances by several of the era’s popular singers. Alfred would purchase songbooks and hymnbooks, and his wife Nettie would read the lyrics to him.

Because the songs he learned from others did not always express aspects of what he was thinking, feeling, and experiencing, Alfred felt compelled to compose his own songs, and he was exceptionally talented in this endeavor—a craftsman with many things to say. Relying upon his talent to generate money for supporting his family, he played music on the streets of nearby towns, gave music lessons, performed at dances and various social and church gatherings, sold printed copies of his own lyrics, and, in 1927 and 1929, made the commercial recordings included on this set.

Blind Alfred Reed: Appalachian Visionary by Various Artists

Blind Alfred Reed was a supremely influential musician who participated in Ralph Peer’s historic Bristol, Tennessee, sessions (alongside the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers) and who summed up the plight of the American everyman in songs like 'How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live?' He’s been covered recently by Bruce Springsteen and Ry Cooder, among many others, but this is the best and most comprehensive collection of his short career, which kicked off in 1927 and wound down in 1929. Featuring liner notes by historian Ted Olson, it’s a lovely reminder of the central role music can play in addressing current events and the plight of the average American."
  - Stephen Deusner, Bluegrass Situation

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Last year Dust-to-Digital released two other oustanding albums. Joe Bussard Presents The Year of Jubilo and Ola Belle Reed and Southern Mountain Music on the Mason-Dixon Line. Dust-to-Digital has always been a favorite of ours and they're always putting out relevant music for our readers.

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