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Gone Away with a Friend

by Frank Newsome

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    On Gone Away With A Friend, Frank Newsome sings a more than four-century-long American tradition into the present. His arresting style-the ancient lined-out hymn singing of the Old Regular Baptists from the borderlands of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia-is a direct sonic ancestor to old-time, bluegrass, and gospel. Bluegrass master Ralph Stanley grew up hearing this once-common style; in fact, he and Newsome were good friends and spent time singing together. Since 1972, Newsome has preached at the Little David Church in Haysi, VA, singing these songs from what is the oldest, English-language religious music tradition passed down orally in America. This recording, captured over one evening at Newsome's church in 2006, features nine old songs and two contemporary numbers, all sung in the traditional, unaccompanied style. To listen closely to Newsome's singing on this sparse, captivating album is to dip your toe into the placid headwaters of the great stream of American music.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Gone Away with a Friend via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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When I Heard 02:26
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Beulah Land 03:47
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Prayer 06:09

about

"There is a purity about Frank's singing that brings a soul-stirring, heart-tugging peacefulness that is beyond words" — Jim Lauderdale


On "Gone Away with a Friend," Frank Newsome sings a more than four-century-long American tradition into the present. His arresting style—the lined-out hymn singing of the Old Regular Baptists from the borderlands of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia—is a direct sonic ancestor to old-time, bluegrass, and gospel. In fact, bluegrass master Ralph Stanley grew up hearing this once-common style of singing and attended Newsome's church later in his life where they spent time singing together. Since 1972, Newsome has preached at the Little David Church in Haysi, VA, singing these songs from what is the oldest, English-language religious music tradition passed down orally in America. This album, captured over one evening at Newsome’s church in 2006, features eight traditional hymns, two contemporary songs, and an improvised prayer all sung in the distinct, unaccompanied style of the Old Regular Baptists. Newsome has been widely recognized for his singular voice, including the high honor of being named an NEA National Heritage Fellow. To listen closely to Newsome’s singing on this sparse and captivating album is to dip your toe into the headwaters of the great stream of American music.

credits

released June 29, 2018

Recorded Live at Little David Church, Haysi, Virginia the evening of
May 25, 2006

Produced by Jon Lohman and Jim Lauderdale

Recorded, mixed and mastered by Mike Monseur

Notes by Christopher Koepp, edited by Erica Haskell

Graphic Design by Dan MacDonald Studios

Photos by Ashley Twiggs (cover), Morgan Miller, Pat Jarrett and Shelly Jean Gootee.

This project was supported by a generous grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The Virginia Folklife Program would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Jim Lauderdale for introducing us to Frank Newsome and for lending his immeasurable talents to this project.

We’d also like to extend our gratitude to Elder Newsome, his wonderful family and the entire congregation of Little David Church for their kindness, hospitality and generous spirit.

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about

Frank Newsome Haysi, Virginia

On "Gone Away with a Friend," Frank Newsome sings a more than four-century-long American tradition into the present. His arresting style—the lined-out hymn singing of the Old Regular Baptists from the borderlands of Kentucky, Virginia, and West Virginia—is a direct sonic ancestor to old-time, bluegrass, and gospel. In 2011, Frank won an NEA Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor for a folk artist. ... more

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