Dan Dutton, Part 1 – “The Sweet Music of the Chase”

Somerset is in the Knobs of Kentucky, and if you live among those hills you know that the red clay you can find thereabouts is perfect for spurring a child’s imagination.  One of Somerset’s native sons, who grew up making things from that earth, is artist and musician Dan Dutton. … → read more

Pat’s Essential Eleven Traditional Murder Ballads

Introduction We here at Murder Ballad Monday are soon fixing to close our second year of writing about our topic of choice!  Don’t worry; we have a few more weeks to go before we get to our holiday hiatus, and we’re planning a Year Three.  But I’ve been reflecting on … → read more

“Them coats that hang on the mountain…”

“Whatever happened to the good old days when kids was scared to death of their parents?” – Archie Bunker For the fourth time this week we embark on an exploration of the ballad “Young Emily” – Laws M34 or Roud #182 – and in Appalachia today we’ll finish our trek.  We introduced … → read more

The Demon Lover (The House Carpenter)

This is the first of four posts on Child Ballad 243. The next three installments can be found here, here, and here. Well Met, Well Met What lengths will a singer go to in changing the song’s “facts” to keep closer to the song’s “truth”?  While I generally believe that … → read more

Omie Wise

This week’s installment is a decidedly American contribution to the genre, and one not  completely shrouded in the mists of history, but only partly so. The events of “Omie Wise” can be pinned down to a known historical event—the drowning of Naomi Wise in Randolph County, North Carolina in 1808.  … → read more