The latest endeavor from Canadian banjo player Jayme Stone takes the famous folklorist, song-collector, and culture sleuth Alan Lomax as its polestar, but the Lomax Project isn’t simply homage. Stone has coined a new word to describe what he’s after: a “collaboratory,” a “community of like-minded musicians brought together to seek understudied sounds, dust off old songs and recycle, reimagine, and recast them.” With stellar collaborators including Margaret Glaspy, Tim O’Brien and his sister Mollie, and Bruce Molsky, Stone revisits the people and places that Lomax and his field recorder encountered, from Kentucky to Scotland to the Dutch Antilles, from Lead Belly to Robert Graves to Growling Tiger. They emerge with treatments that variously incorporate modern stringband and newgrass, fiddle-band and old-time playing, hand-clapped singing and gospel harmonizing, and, when Glaspy’s breathy sibilance is leading the way, a captivating, hushed, and resonating sound. What results is a marvelous expression of Stone’s collaboratory distillation of the folk process. (Out now)
ESSENTIAL “Goodbye, Old Paint“
Jayme Stone’s Lomax Project plays at Park Avenue Congregational Church,Arlington, April 1.Stuart Munro can be reached at email@example.com.