the memory palace: Episode 95 (Haunting)
September 17, 2016 11:44 AM - Subscribe

It's not a mandolin, or a capoed banjo. Someone had the idea that it was the inside of a piano, but it doesn't really sound like that. It's hard to picture how you could drag that thing around the back roads of the American south in the 1920s. In the 1960s, in Britain, a musicologist heard these sounds; heard the 18 songs written by a man named Washington Phillips. . .
posted by eotvos (2 comments total)
There's a part of me that preemptively cringes when podcasters decide to introduce southern African-American culture to the NPR audience. But, Nate DiMeo manages to do it with remarkable empathy and respect, at least as heard by my pasty-white coastal ears.

I'd never heard of Washington Phillips before today. But I'm delighted to have all of his recordings. There are some amazing tracks in there. And, thanks to the most successful recommendation engine result in the history of web commerce, I've also now been introduced to Henry Thomas. I know what I'm going to be listening to on continuous repeat for the next several months.
posted by eotvos at 2:27 PM on September 17, 2016 [2 favorites]

I listened to Washington Phillips recordings in college, and was so delighted to hear his voice coming through this episode! it'd been years.
I agree with you eotvos. not only does Nate give Phillips the same respect and reverence he gives nearly all of the historical characters who feature on the podcast, it's also easy to tell he's a genuine fan. what a great subject.
posted by cluebucket at 6:04 PM on October 24, 2016

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