A Historic Journey into the Cultural Roots of Traditional American Music
The chronicle of a year spent discovering the traditional musicians of the American South, including Mississippi Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters, and many others.
In America Over the Water, celebrated English folksinger Shirley Collins offers an affecting account of her year-long stint as assistant to legendary musical historian and folklorist Alan Lomax. Collins describes a journey both emotional and musical, as she and Lomax work tirelessly to uncover the traditional music of the American South. Together, they traveled to Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Georgia, encountering Mississippi Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters, and many others.
Collins first met Lomax at a party hosted by English folksinger Ewan MacColl (who later married Peggy Seeger, half-sister of American folksinger and activist Pete Seeger). Collins's chronicle of her year with Lomax, with whom she became romantically involved, recounts the discovery of a world of beauty and dignity in the face of deprivation and prejudice among America's traditional folk and blues musicians.