Drop On Down In Florida [coll] – [Dust-To-Digital]
Originally recorded from 1977 to 1980 as an NEA project, Dust-to-Digital is bringing these tracks from African Americans in North Florida to the public’s attention again. Some songs record how blacks came to Florida from other parts of the deep South for better opportunities. One CD of secular music in the blues tradition includes Moses Williams’ one string zither – a primitive one string instrument possibly related to West African music that was brought over by slaves. The other CD of sacred music is from the churches – hymns rather than jazzed up gospel tunes with examples of shape-note singing. For each track, there are very comprehensive notes in a 200+ pages book that accompanies the CDs. The music itself is from regular folks in plain settings with background coughs and noise. Vocals are frequently incomprehensible due to thick accents. Priceless not because of its virtuosity, but because it is a record of traditions likely to be lost.