Album Reviews

On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music

On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music

Artist:     Various Artists

Album:     On Top of Old Smoky: New Old-Time Smoky Mountain Music

Label:     Great Smoky Mountains Association

Release Date:     08/21/2016


Since 1953, the Great Smoky Mountains Association has existed to support the preservation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Through promoting public understanding and appreciation through education, interpretation and research, the GSMA has been able to provide more than $34 million to the park during its 60-year history.

This new compilation is the 3rd release from the GSMA. You’ll find 23 never-before- released renditions of traditional American songs performed by some of today’s top recording artists. Every song on this album existed at one time as a field recording collected in the Smokies by folklorist Joseph S. Hall. He would document the musical culture of residents who had to leave their homes during the park’s development.

Dolly Parton, Norman Blake, Bryan Sutton, Alice Gerrard, Tony Trischka, Stephen Wade, Sheila Kay Adams, Martin Simpson, Dom Flemons, Jody Stecher, Kate Brislin, Courtney Hartman, and David Holt can be heard here, reminding listeners of the countless people who had to give up their homes as the national park was created.

Standout tracks include “I Wonder How the Old Folks Are at Home” by Bryan Sutton and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” by Dale Jett and Hello Stranger.

Anyone who has spent time exploring the beauty of the Smokies will appreciate the Americana and folk history that is seeping through this collection.

– Brenda Hillegas

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