Liza's book, Katherine Jackson French: Kentucky's Forgotten Ballad Collector, published through University Press of Kentucky which was awarded the KENTUCKY HISTORY AWARD is now out in paperback. Available from Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, University Press of Kentucky and other online merchants.
Liza and her work on Dr. French was featured on All Things Considered on NPR in a feature by Stephanie Wolf. You can catch it here: https://www.npr.org/2021/01/05/953653411/katherine-jackson-frenchs-ballad-collection-published-110-years-later
Other features include one on Old-Time Central: https://oldtime-central.com/katherine-jackson-french-kentuckys-forgotten-ballad-collector/ and an article in the Country Dance and Song Society Summer 2020 magazine as well: https://www.cdss.org/programs/cdss-news-publications/cdss-news/1900-cdss-news-fall-2020
Dr. French first tried to publish a collection of Kentucky ballads in 1910; the story of how this did not come to be, along with how the history of Appalachian balladry would have been different if it had, is the subject of this story of one of Kentucky music's greatest unknown women. The biography may be ordered here: https://www.kentuckypress.com/9780813178523/katherine-jackson-french/
A commemorative edition of her ballads has been published by Berea College, fulfilling a 110-year-old promise. It, along with There Was a Fair Maid Dwelling a recording of French's ballads (#55 on the Folk Chart in 2020), is available by contacting email@example.com .
WINTER in Kentucky
Winter has arrived! It is downright chilly; we are expecting about an inch of snow tonight, which in Kentucky means shutting down the state for a week.
A.J. continues to recover from his accident. We had a good concert at the Berea Arts Council in December, our first back since his bicycle accident in August, and we have another coming up on January 27 in Gray Auditorium, Berea College. He's doing well, but still experiences some weakness in the left hand, and tires quicker than he did before.
Liza continues to serve as editor on a collaborative book for University Press of Kentucky on the music of people usually left out of the story of Appalachian music. Liza is editing the publication as well as serving as one of the authors, writing about Italian immigrants and their music in Appalachian mining towns.. More to come.
The fall was Berea busy at our college jobs; A.J. took over teaching Mariachi Berea, enabling it to continue, and continued to play for the dance program. Liza directed the 50th Celebration of Traditional Music, which sadly took place shortly following the death of its founder, Loyal Jones. She also continued leading the Folk-Roots Ensemble and teaching classes in Appalachian music, music education, trumpet, and piano. The spring starts out slow and then picks up speed around March.
We are just planning our spring and summer calendar; please stay tuned here and at our Liza & A.J. facebook page.
If you’re in our neck of the woods, let us know! We love connecting with musicians, clients, audience, and other friends.
May you have a safe and cozy winter ahead.
Peace and Syncopation,
Liza & A.J