Harlan County Usa: Coal Miner's Struggle available on April 10 2015 from Amazon for 9.99
UPC bar code 011661402621 ξ1 registered March 06 2016
UPC bar code 011661402621 ξ2 registered April 10 2015
Product category is Audio
Manufacturered by Rounder / Umgd
Product weight is 0.21 lbs.
Composed of songs featured in Barbara Kopple's Academy Awardr-winning film 'Harlan County USA' 'Harlan County USA: Songs of the Coal Miner's Struggle' is a chilling musical reflection of the coal mining experience. From full-bore bluegrass to haunting a cappella laments and activist anthems, these powerful recordings document miners' trials both above and below the earth's surface, from picket lines to pickaxes, corruption to corrosion. Features HAZEL DICKINS (as seen and heard in John Sayles' 'Matewan', alongside a young Will Oldham), DOC WATSON, and MELRE TRAVIS's classic 'Dark As A Dungeon'. The release of this compilation suggests that the coal miner's plight hasn't improved appreciably since the 1976 release of Barbara Kopple's 1976 documentary, Harlan County, USA. Few industries have inspired such impassioned folk music, as most of these 22 cuts depend more on the power and conviction of the musical testament than any polish in the performance. Almost a third of the selections feature activist Hazel Dickens, whose contributions to the soundtrack established her as the musical conscience of Kopple's film. Among the other highlights, the pinched harmonies of the Old Time String Band featuring Tracy Schwarz convey the faith of trapped miners in the heaven that awaits, while "Dark as a Dungeon" by Merle Travis remains one of the classics of the coal-mining songbook. A number of unvarnished, a cappella performances capture the essence of work that breaks your back, blackens your lungs, and ultimately takes your life. Many of the others are story songs of union heroes, management villains, mines closed, and lives lost. None of it is easy listening, for this is not an easy way to make a living. --Don McLeese
The songs on this CD is a history of the struggle of the common man in the coal mines. While the songs might seem dated they are none the less a musical tour of the struggle. It is a great CD to play when driving.