OUR ARTISTS

JOHN COHEN
John Cohen is an accomplished writer, folklorist, musicologist, photographer, and filmmaker. American roots music owes a huge debt of gratitude to the work and music of John Cohen.

First hearing old-time string bands on 78 rpm albums in 1948, John helped found the New Lost City Ramblers. The "Ramblers" played old-time music for 40 years, inspiring countless other musicians to take up his style.

John Cohen dove deep into the well of traditional music. He constantly traveled "down south," to learn directly from the masters. Many great performances can be heard on his "field recordings" that he made from those trips. "Mountain Music of Kentucky," "The High Lonesome Sound" (Roscoe Holcomb), "Old Love Songs and Ballads," "When Kentucky Had No Union Men," and "High Atmosphere."

John Cohenís first solo album of his career, 1998ís "Stories the Crow Told Me," finds him exploring the lineage of lyrics made popular in Grateful Dead songs.

Grateful Dead lyricist, Robert Hunter credits Cohen with "providing yeoman service to the folk community, opening whole worlds of attractively played and soundly researched music, often turning to the original sources."

Hunter also gives a giant nod to Cohen by stating, "If I wasnít specifically thinking of you personally when I wrote "Uncle Johnís Band," I might as well have been; you fit the bill."