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Baker's Dozen

The Unspoken Magic: Greg Graffin Of Bad Religion's 13 Founding LPs
Ian Winwood , April 5th, 2017 08:38

As US punk rock hero Greg Graffin releases a new solo album he guides Ian Winwood through some classics of old time Americana, alongside albums by Elton John and former collaborator Todd Rungren


Doc And Merle Watson – Ballads From Deep Gap
This album was given to me as a cassette tape by my uncle, and this uncle is probably the most influential musical person in my family, other than my mom and dad. This is my mother's brother. As well as being a professor at Georgia Tech, he played in a folk band in the 1960s; he and my mother grew up singing music that today we would call 'old-time music', and if your readers could use a primer on old-time music it's a phrase people use to distinguish it from bluegrass and country music. Old-time music is what really influenced the country stars of the 1950s and beyond, and one example of this kind of music would be Doc Watson. This was really the archetype of old-time music, him and his family. In fact, Woody Guthrie would be considered old-time music also, because he wasn't bluegrass and he wasn't country. These people were songsters, and their songs were meant to be sung sitting on the front porch with your family members of friends and people from the neighbourhood who would come by and play their banjos and fiddles. Another great example of this would be the Carter Family, who of course inspired Johnny Cash. And of course as a kid, I didn't know anything. When your uncle comes round with a banjo and your mom is playing piano and you're all sitting around playing songs, you don't care about the genre; it's just your indoctrination into music. Many of these songs on Ballads From Deep Gap were some of the songs we sang. In fact, I ended up doing one of the songs on [my 2006 solo album] Cold As The Clay.