ANOTHER ARCHIVAL HILLBILLY AT HARVARD
The weekend of September 12, 1998, featured a Folk Festival in downtown Boston, sponsored I think by WUMB. There were several artists of interest to HAH listeners, e.g. J.D. Crowe, and the fabulous Freight Hoppers, then celebrating their second album on Rounder. We were delighted to have them in the studio, especially when we discovered how much fun they were. Old Sinc had a great time kidding with the ebullient Cary Fridley, who suggested he sign on as their MC: “You cut up as good as we do!” she proclaimed.
Although I start off the Archive with our traditional opening theme, I have to jump to the 11 o’clock hour, because I am now limited to just two hours (see ‘That’s Good, That’s Bad’). But we get a few songs in, besides the live set in Studio B with the Freight Hoppers. Larry Flint joins us to pick out some records, and Gordy Brown touts his New England Country Music Historical Society display at the upcoming MCMAA Awards Show, featuring Georgia Mae’s white guitar.
But you’ll want to hear the amazing Cary Fridley sing ‘A Roving on a Winter’s Night’ a capella in the old-time mountain style, and hear the driving fiddle and banjo combination of David Bass and Frank Lee. The band is still around, though they were forced to disband in 2002 when David was sidelined with heart trouble. Eventually he got a heart transplant, and in 2007 restarted the Freight Hoppers with Frank. Cary had gone on to other musical endeavors, so Frank’s wife Allie Lee took her place; Amanda Kowalski now plays bass. I don’t have a recording of the current band, but judging from videos, they still have the same exciting old-timey revival drive as before.
Just two hours now, but fun and games with The Freight Hoppers! /CL