Roscoe Holcomb

Top Songs & Albums Roscoe Holcomb


... read moreOne of the true treasures of Appalachian music, Roscoe Holcomb played banjo and guitar and sang like no one else. A coal miner and farmer for much of his life, Holcomb was discovered in 1959 by New Lost City Rambler John Cohen. By then, Holcomb was a fully formed musical island with an off-kilter...

Key songs

Roscoe Holcomb
Across The Rocky Mountain
Roscoe Holcomb
Graveyard Blues
Roscoe Holcomb
Little Birdie
Roscoe Holcomb
Hook And Line
Roscoe Holcomb
Single Girl


Active: 1950s-1980s
Country Of origin: United States of America

One of the most noted Appalachian old-time musicians, banjo player and singer Roscoe Holcomb spent most of his life in the small town of Daisy, KY, and was one of the most authentic exponents of American mountain folk music. Indeed, he never had any professional ambitions but become a recording artist and participant in the folk revival circuit after being recorded for the first time in the late '50s. Holcomb's style is stark, epitomizing the keening, at times pained vocals associated with Appalachian music, with a repertoire stuffed with traditional songs that had passed among generations, as well as some songs that he likely learned from early country records. Folk musician and archivist John Cohen coined the term "high lonesome sound" to describe Holcomb's music, and the phrase has since passed into common usage to describe bluegrass and Appalachian music as a whole. He cut several albums for Folkways and made some concert appearances on the college/festival scene throughout the 1960s and 1970s, giving his last show in 1978. ~ Richie Unterberger~ Rovi

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