Documentary offers insight into the life of a folk legend | Music

Documentary offers insight into the life of a folk legend




Roscoe Holcomb and John Cohen—two names so entwined into the history of folk music that it's tough to overstate their importance. Hailing from Daisy, Ken., Holcomb was a coal miner who also sang with the accompaniment of banjo, harmonica and guitar, unleashing a piercing falsetto that is seen as a definitive example of the "the high lonesome sound" of Appalachia. John Cohen is a producer and filmmaker who has become famous for discovering many hidden gems of traditional American music, including Holcomb, who he introduced to the world in his 1963 documentary The High Lonesome Sound.

Tonight in Durham, attendees will have a chance to get closer to both legends. Duke University's Center for Documentary Studies will host a screening of Cohen's Roscoe Holcomb from Daisy, Kentucky. The film incorporates extra footage that Cohen had of Holcomb, who died in 1981. For those with even the most passing interest in folk music's foundations, this should prove an informative and entertaining treat.

The 7 p.m. screening will also feature pre- and post-screening refreshments. More info at

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