Concerts from the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 2013-2014

SEPTEMBER 25, 2015, Noon, No Tickets Required

John Cohen
Down Hill Strugglers

Coolidge Auditorium

The Down Hill Strugglers and John Cohen play traditional American music they have learned directly from the amazing collections at the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress.  From Alan Lomax's pioneering field recordings of the 1930s and 1940s to newly acquired collections, AFC has inspired generations of American musicians.

John Cohen (b. 1932) is a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers as well as a fieldworker, photographer and filmmaker. Some of his best known images document old-time musicians of Appalachia, Abstract Expressionist painters, Beat Generation writers, young Bob Dylan's arrival in New York, and the rural music and weaving traditions of highland Peru.  The title of Cohen's 1962 film, High Lonesome Sound, has become synonymous with the rural Appalachian music that he has documented in films, photographs and audio recordings. Cohen has been one of the most important "discoverers" of traditional Appalachian musicians and singers, meeting and recording Dillard Chandler, Roscoe Holcomb, and many banjo players, most notably on the album High Atmosphere. Beginning in 1958, his band the New Lost City Ramblers brought the diverse sounds of rural American string band music to audiences throughout the United States and the world for 50 years.  John Cohen’s collections of sound recordings, photographs, and film are part of the AFC archive.

The Down Hill Strugglers is an old time string band based in Brooklyn, NY. They have released an album on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and are featured on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, "Inside Llewyn Davis" produced by T-Bone Burnett. The Down Hill Strugglers band formed while hanging out at the home of their mutual friend Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders, where they also met friend and mentor John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers. By carrying the music of the old rural America forward with verve and creativity, The Down Hill Strugglers are extending the legacy of the New Lost City Ramblers by bringing archaic sounds into the present.

A free noon concert series presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Most concerts are held in the Coolidge Auditorium (located on the Ground Floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress) or the Whittall Pavilion (next to the Coolidge, on the Ground Floor, Jefferson Building). Occasionally, concerts may be in other locations, which will be specified above in the concert description. Presented in Partnership with the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage. NO TICKETS REQUIRED.