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Preview: Down In the Flood

Down In the Flood

Dowsing for the Wellsprings of American Music

Last Build Date: Sat, 13 May 2006 10:00:31 PDT

Copyright: 2005-2006 Jason Chervokas. All rights reserved.

Episode 12: Springsteen, Seeger & Community-Made Music

Sat, 13 May 2006 10:00:31 PDT

With his new album, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, Bruce Springsteen becomes one in a long line of American popular musicians who have turned to old time music to summon a community. The appeal of old-time is that in...

Episode 11: Pops Staples Superstar

Thu, 19 Jan 2006 06:51:37 PST

Roebuck "Pops" Staples, founder of The Staple Singers, is a forgotten master--a singer, songwriter, bandleader and guitarist whose music formed a direct bridge between the likes of Charley Patton and the likes of Bob Dylan. Born in Winona, MS in...

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Episode 10: Best of 2005

Wed, 14 Dec 2005 08:45:30 PST

It's year-end list-making time, and DITF celebrates our records of the year: Good For What Ails You: Music of the Medicine Shows 1926-1937 You Ain't Talkin to Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of Country Music Soul's Chapel - Marty...

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Episode 9: The Minstrel Roots of Country

Wed, 16 Nov 2005 04:55:54 PST

For most of the last 50 years blackface minstrelsy has been a taboo topic. The very image of men in burnt cork blackface has been a shocking symbol of national shame ever since Brown v. Board of Education started the...

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Episode 8: There's Good Rockin' Tonight

Sat, 08 Oct 2005 05:53:26 PDT

What is this thing we call "rocking"? A sound, a state of mind, a beat....More than the stomp of ragtime or the backbeat of jazz, rocking is the sound of a perpetual downstroke. Not 1-2-3-4, but 1-1-1-1. All drive drive...

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Episode 7: R.H. Harris & the Invention of Soul

Sat, 27 Aug 2005 13:00:57 PDT

In the early days of gospel music there were two ways of singing. The first style came out of the post-Civil War black universities where groups harmonized on spirituals that were old even then, rolling their R's and clicking their...

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Episode 6: John Henry & Stagger Lee

Wed, 13 Jul 2005 11:47:47 PDT

This is the tale of two men, two black men, two tough sons of bitches immortalized in American song. Two ballads and identities that tell us all we need to know about sex, and race, and danger in America's first...

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Episode 5: 4th of July Special--This Is My Country

Sun, 03 Jul 2005 16:18:14 PDT

Every Down in the Flood podcast is a celebration of American culture, that bastard, contradictory morass of our basest desires and our highest ideals. After all, American music sounds the way it does because it expresses and resolves the core...

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Episode 4: Steel Guitar Blues

Fri, 24 Jun 2005 04:27:28 PDT

The lonesome swoop of the steel guitar is one of the most immediately identifiable sounds in American music, a distinguishing mark of honky tonk authenticity. But steel guitar playing in America precedes the honky tonk genre by almost 50 years...

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Episode 3: Sister Rosetta's Gospel Boogie

Fri, 10 Jun 2005 05:32:03 PDT

If Sister Rosetta Tharpe had been a secular singer she would be hailed today as the original female rocker, a giant one par with genre defining greats like Hank Williams and Muddy Waters, a figure as revered as her contemporaries...

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Episode 2: Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, and The Big Bang of Rock and Roll

Mon, 23 May 2005 08:00:41 PDT

The Big Bang of rock and roll came in the form of two records cut less than 12 months apart --one by a teenaged Tennesse truckdriver, the other by a 30-year-old veteran chitlin' circuit guitar player from St. Louis. One...

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Episode 1: Bob Dylan's Old, Weird America

Sun, 22 May 2005 09:03:52 PDT

When Bob Dylan first began casting his dancing spell our way, weaving epic, surreal songs that connected back to America's railroad earth, his art seemed unique. But thanks to the work of critics like Griel Marcus, and thanks to Dylan...