Mike Seeger Gone to the New Lost City

I just heard the news that old-time musician Mike Seeger died on Friday night. Mike was the son of folklorist Charles Seeger and composer Ruth Crawford-Seeger. His other siblings were Penny, Peggy and half-brother Pete Seeger (who recently celebrated his 90th birthday and seems to be going strong). Quite a lineage for a musician, and Mike certainly made the best of it. He was a founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers along with John Cohen (see here) and Tom Paley. I think their work in the 1960s represents some of the best of the folk revival movement.

Seeger’s solo work serves as a catalog of old-time banjo styles while also demonstrating his mastery of lesser-known folk instruments such as the quills and the mouth harp. I’m particularly fond of his recordings Southern Banjo Sounds (1998) and True Vine (2003), both released on Smithsonian Folkways.