Roscoe Holcomb

Last night I watched and heard the Appalachian amateur folk-singer, Roscoe Holcomb, performing courtesy of John Cohen’s documentary film “The High Lonesome Sound”. As shown in that early 1960s movie, Holcomb is a lean and gaunt man of brooding intensity, and his urgent guitar (some of which I hear in the guitar style of Bob Dylan) plus his extraordinarily powerful vocals produce a riveting and unique sound.

A unique sound I was sure I had heard before. But where?

And then I remembered. He performs on the soundtrack of Michaelangelo Antonioni’s “Zabriskie Point”, the film Antonioni made after “Blow Up“. Another powerful movie, if not in the same class as “Blow Up”, that I saw years ago and left many images, sounds and scenes in my mind. Another little tie-in between my varying interests – I love these! The film was also the first place where I heard what remains my favorite Rolling Stones’ song You Got The Silver (one of Keith Richards’ very few vocals with the band). That one never made it to the soundtrack album but is available on Let It Bleed, thank goodness.

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