American Patchwork on Mississippi Records (the album cover is primitivist illustration of a red flower against an abstractly dark and brutally surreal background by Joe Light)

Various - American Patchwork


  • £33.99

American Patchwork brings together the standout recordings that folklorist, documentarian and cultural activist Alan Lomax made in his attempt to document the last vestiges of the “local surround” in Mississippi, Appalachia, and Louisiana during his final American field recording project. Intimate performances by Sheila Kay Adams, Nimrod Worlman, R.L. Burnside, , Boyd Rivers, Napoleon Strickland and many more form a rich tapestry of distinctly American musical traditions. 

From 1978 to 1983, Alan Lomax and a video-crew travelled through the American South and Southwest, documenting its traditional music - miners, moonshiners, and Primitive Baptists in Kentucky; flat-footers, string bands, and Piedmont blues in North Carolina; Cajun cowboys, fiddlers, and zydeco stompers in French-speaking Louisiana; and fife-and-drum ensembles, gospel quartets, former railroad track-liners, levee-camp muleskinners, and players on the pre-war blues circuit in Mississippi. 

This footage ultimately totalled some 350 hours and was edited into Lomax’s American Patchwork television series, which aired on American public television in 1991. But given the strictures of the form, hundreds of discrete performances and compelling scenes were left unseen and unheard. 

Newly remastered, and previously unreleased on vinyl, this double-LP set includes detailed liner notes by Nathan Salsburg of the Alan Lomax Archive, and paints a warm and vivid picture of rural America and its varied musical traditions through the unadorned and candid performances that, luckily for us, Lomax had the foresight and ingenuity to record. This is a beautiful album that you'll treasure for years to come. 


  1. R.L. Burnside - See My Jumper 
  2. Janette and Joe Carter - Will You Miss Me When I’m Gone? 
  3. Sheila Kay Adams - Little Margaret / banjo instrumental / Dinah 
  4. Joe Savage - Peace In The Valley 
  5. Holly Springs Sacred Harp Singers - David’s Lamentation 
  6. Clyde Maxwell and group - You Got To Cross That River Jordan 
  7. Vaughn Eller - Fly Around My Blue Eyed Gal 
  8. Dennis McGee - Two Step De Eunice 
  9. Dink Roberts - Fox Chase 
  10. Laethe Eller - Way Up In The New Bright World 
  11. Boyd & Ruth May Rivers - Somebody Touched Me 
  12. Wiregrass Sacred Harp Singers - Give Me Just A Little More Time 
  13. Lois Short - Little Birdie 
  14. Dellie Chandler Norton - Early, Early In The Spring 
  15. Tommy Jarrell - Reuben 
  16. Canray Fontenot - Bonsoir Moreau 
  17. Ray Hicks - Reuben 
  18. Belton Sutherland - Blues #2 
  19. Nimrod Worlman - Mother Jones’ Will  
  20. Napoleon Strickland & the Como Drum Corps - My Babe 
  21. Lawreence “Black” Ardoin and band - Why You Wanna Make Me Cry 
  22. Moving Star Hall Singers - I’m Going To Trust In The Lord 
  23. Napoleon Strickland - Jesus Stop By Here 
  24. Boyd & Ruth May Rivers - Fire Shed In My Bones 


  • US import 
  • Pressed on 160g vinyl 
  • Housed in a tip-on gatefold sleeve with wide 9mm spine printed by Stoughton 
  • Includes eight-page oversize colour insert with liner notes by Nathan Salsburg 
  • Features cover art by Joe Light 







browse collections: 
Mississippi Records collection  
Traditional/folk music collection 
Americana collection 


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