Join our Virginia Folklife Program at the Front Porch in Charlottesville on Sunday, July 8 to celebrate the re-release of National Heritage Fellow Reverend Frank Newsome’s album Gone Away with a Friend on Free Dirt Records.
Renowned Americana musician and songwriter Jim Lauderdale, co-producer of Gone Away with aFriend, will join Reverend Newsome for this one-of-a-kind special show.
Virginia State Folklorist Jon Lohman and Jim Lauderdale recorded the album ten years ago in one summer evening in the tiny community of Haysi, Virginia, as part of the Virginia Folklife Program’s critically acclaimed Crooked Road CD Series. Gone Away with a Friend showcases Newsome’s remarkable hymn singing and is a testament to one of the oldest and deepest streams of American roots music.
The unalloyed, affecting hymns on Gone Away with a Friend, sung in the old tradition of lined out hymnody, come from the services of Kentucky and Virginia Old Regular Baptists. Living in the deep, beating heart of Appalachia, these hymns date all the way back to the British Isles, and the brutally stark way of singing them—in what has become known as the high lonesome sound—comes from there as well.