Basic Folk Presents: American Songcatcher

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Editor’s note: Basic Folk is pleased to introduce our listeners to one of our favorite podcasts by sharing an episode in our feed! American Songcatcher with Nicholas Edward Williams, is an independent audio documentary-style podcast hosted by the folk musician and music history enthusiast.

host Nicholas Edward Williams

Each episode has five stories: starting with one traditional song’s journey to America, followed by the stories of four musicians in American roots starting with legends of the past going all the way to current artists of the day.

You’ll hear the stories behind songs of immigrants from the British Isles and Europe who brought their tunes into the Appalachian mountains…To songs of the South: Gospel, Bluegrass, Ragtime, Blues, Old-Time, Country, and the Folk music derived from it all.

This podcast goes behind the curtain of legends, and shines a light on integral artists who have influenced generations: Bessie Smith, Ola Belle Reed, Blind Blake, Odetta and Dave Van Ronk. I am SHOCKED that Nicholas does not have a journalism background. His approach is warm, insightful and he has the true spirit of a detective uncovering the mysteries of these songs and musicians. It’s a wonderful listen!

In this Season 2, Episode 2 of American Songcatcher, Nicholas has the following lineup:

Traditional – “Lil’ Liza Jane” (:28)
Dock Boggs (11:22)
Snooks Eaglin (25:54)
Nina Simone (43:36)
Billy Strings (1:04:18)

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