My wife gave an earlier Holcomb recording several years ago as a birthday gift. After listening to it once or twice (and reading the fascinating and impassioned liner notes), I set it aside as odd, strange, and most peculiar. Although Roscoe Holcomb is a fluid instrumentalist, his voice is so high and unusual that I did not see how his songs could bear repeated listening.
I was wrong, about as wrong as a body could be. A couple of years later, I picked up "High Lonesome Sound" again and listened to it with care. The peculiar and high-pitched voice grew on me, and I found the powerful and honest delivery moving in the most compelling way. I now think that Roscoe Holcomb stands on a par with Blind Willie Johnson (in his time an equally obscure and strange singer) as one of the greatest exponents of American-born and bred music.
Imagine my surprise when this new recording of Holcomb's was released. To my amazement, the leftovers that were not included in Holcomb's earlier ("High Lonesome Sound") album are at least as good. This is a wonderful and astonishing set of recordings. Lovers of American mountain music should be grateful that this legacy of Holcomb's great artistry has been preserved.