Supper is over. Dishes are done. Gather ’round the radio in your comfy pjs. It’s time to relax with the family and listen to some music.
Last Wednesday evening, Lost Radio Rounders transported the Crandall Public Library audience back in time to enjoy the classic Americana music of Woody Guthrie, the Carter Family, Leadbelly and others.
Michael Eck and Tom Lindsay have teamed up to make music in several incarnations over the years and are now performing together as Lost Radio Rounders. Their mission is to entertain and also educate their audience to the music from different historical eras – from the time of President Abraham Lincoln through the Big Depression years and a little bit beyond.
Eck is well known to regional audiences for his membership in Ramblin Jug Stompers; his music critiques in The Times Union; and as a warm-voiced radio host. Lindsay teaches music history in a high school, works as a live recording engineer and as a photographer. Their knowledge, love and passion for old-time American music is evident in every part of their performance. It’s important to note that the Godfather of folk and traditional music, Pete Seeger, once gave them his sincerest thanks for keeping the tradition of old American ballads alive.
At the Glen Falls library Lost Radio Rounders used a variety of musical instruments to authentically perform these songs. Eck featured his resonator guitar – a pre-electric guitar with a metal soundboard used to increase the volume and power of the instrument’s sound – on some old blues and a few union songs. He switched to a mandolin for the sweet strains of “Beautiful Dreamer” and kept the rhythm going with his six-stringed acoustic guitar on “On the Wings of a Dove.”
At one point, as he was setting down his ukulele to pick up his dobro, he joked with audience to be wary of a band with so many instruments, “It usually means the musicians don’t really know how to play any of them well.” But that was certainly not the case here.
Meanwhile, Lindsay provided strong lead vocals and played both six- and twelve-string guitar, as well as banjo. He also quite effectively used a McNally Strumstick – a variation on the Appalachian dulcimer – on “My Old Kentucky Home.”
The rich variety of music performed by these two talented troubadours kept the 75-member audience’s radio dial tuned in to Lost Radio Rounders. Old-time Stephen Foster parlor songs flowed into wonderful train songs (“Jay Gould’s Daughter” and “Freight Train”) by way of a cautionary tale (“Didn’t Hear Nobody Pray”) and a liar song (“One Little Song a Crow Told to Me”). One particular stand-out tune was their a cappella version of “Sheep, Sheep Don’t You Know the Road?,” which added a delicate touch and tone to the program.
Lost Radio Rounders have released three CDs: “Gospel Train,” “Museum Piece” and the brand new “Acoustic Roadshow,” a live performance recently recorded in Gloversville.
A big thanks go to Bruce Cole and the Friends of Crandall Public Library for presenting this performance.
Review by Cheryl Jenks
Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
LOST RADIO ROUNDERS SET LIST
There’s a Higher Power
The Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World
Never Grow Old
Go Down Moses
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning
So Long It’s Been Good to Know Ya
My Old Kentucky Home
On the Wings of a Dove
Wreck on the Highway
Sheep, Sheep Don’t You Know the Road?
The Gospel Plow
I Ride an Old Paint
Jay Gould’s Daughter
Oh Lord, How Happy I Am
Oh Glory, How Happy I Am