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rural flight with THE DOWN HILL STRUGGLERS

If you love acoustic folk music, bluegrass and early string band music then you would really like The Down Hill Strugglers. They perform their song list from the songs that were created before bluegrass was originated;- BBM (before Bill Monroe). The Down Hill Strugglers mine their song list from early ’78 rpm records, with a mix of string band songs from folk, country and blues, i.e. the early Appalachian music.

Here video of them at the Kentucky Hillbilly Days festival, and at the upstate New York Old Tones Festival.

The Down Hill Strugglers are keeping the memory and the legacy of the late great John Cohen and The New Lost City Ramblers alive! Video of The Down Hill Strugglers with the late John Cohen of The New Lost City Ramblers.

Find out more at their web site.

“The Down Hill Strugglers are, to my ears, the very best interpreters of traditional material presently going.” - Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker

"The Down Hill Strugglers pull their bows deftly across the best numbers in the old-time songbook with more grit and style than just about any group fiddling away today." - Nathan Salsburg, Curator, Alan Lomax Archive.

“The Down Hill Strugglers bring back the true spirit of Old Time Music, they are reaching for new musical highs, and they play the kind of music I want to hear.”

- John Cohen, New Lost City Ramblers.

The Down Hill Strugglers are an old time string band based out of Brooklyn, NY. They have released an award winning album on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings and are featured on the soundtrack to the Coen Brothers film, "Inside Llewyn Davis" produced by T-Bone Burnett. The Down Hill Strugglers band formed while hanging out at the home of their mutual friend Peter Stampfel of the Holy Modal Rounders, where they also met friend and mentor John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers. The Down Hill Strugglers are extending the legacy of the New Lost City Ramblers by presenting the authentic sound of old time music to a new generation.

By carrying the music of the old rural America forward with verve and creativity, The Down Hill Strugglers bring archaic sounds into the present, and challenge audiences to reject a dystopian future animated by disco beats and their ilk. The Down Hill Strugglers are: Walker Shepard - fiddle, banjo, guitar, harmonica, voice Jackson Lynch - fiddle, banjo, guitar, voice Eli Smith - banjo, guitar, mandolin, harmonica, Jews harp, pump organ, voice

Music Samples:


If I Die A Railroad Man

Lee Highway Blues

“A really excellent stringband! They make this old music alive and present.”

- Bob Fass, WBAI 99.5fm New York.

“Here’s three of my favorite people to play and sing with ever, kicking musical ass all over the landscape. If you like your trad/roots benter and hotter than normal, you’ll love this!”

- Peter Stampfel, Holy Modal Rounders and Fugs


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