Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Peter Stampfel: "The Titanic"

Peter Stampfel "The Titanic"

This particular session was a real treat for me.  A veteran of 60's psych folk groups the Holy Modal Rounders and the Fugs, Peter Stampfel was a prime candidate to translate a Carter tune.  This one, called "The Titanic," was originally recorded by the Carter Family in 1950.  Peter related to me that he had heard it on the radio around 1960, and had been wanting to play it ever since.  I went to his brooklyn apartment to record this song on the evening October 29th, which was coincidentally Peter's birthday!  He plays mandolin on this recording, and is joined here by friend Eli Smith on autoharp, daughter Zoe Stampfel on percussion, with backing harmonies by his birds Snapdragon, Gus and I.O.  This may not be the take used on the finished album, as there were several others recorded.
For the introduction, Peter relates a story about how the Carter family got personally one-up'ed by the Hiroshima attacks.  Enjoy!

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