Queen of the Flat Top Guitar

by Lena Hughes

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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Liner Notes by JOHN RENBOURN. Plus rare photographs.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Queen of the Flat Top Guitar via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Liner notes by JOHN RENBOURN, plus rare photographs

    Includes unlimited streaming of Queen of the Flat Top Guitar via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Download includes booklet pdf with liner notes by JOHN RENBOURN and rare photographs
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  • Full Digital Discography

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    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality downloads of Fate Is Only Twice, Queen of the Flat Top Guitar, Origin Myths, 1970 Sessions, Song of the Avatars : The Lost Master Tapes, Kissing Rosy in the Rain, Yule Chime, Selections from Song of the Avatars : The Lost Master Tapes, and 81 more. , and , .

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Pearly Dew 02:16
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Blue Heaven 01:30
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Galloway Bay 02:01
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about

Download Comes with Liner Notes by JOHN RENBOURN

A musical 'amateur' who best exemplified true artistry, Lena Hughes was born in Grape Grove Township, Missouri, in 1904. Though she never recorded any 78s and only one LP, Hughes was most influential through her steady performances at various fiddler conventions and folk festivals throughout the Ozarks. She was an excellent fiddler, banjoist and guitar picker who retained the largely extinct repertoire of parlor pieces and the variety of specialized tunings that were necessary to play them. She lived most of her life in Ludlow, Missouri and passed away in 1998.

Lena Hughes' repertoire can be divided roughly in half: finger-picked numbers adapted from fiddle tunes and recast parlor guitar pieces gleaned from popular sentimental songs, hymns, and 19th century airs. As a faithful attendee at folk festivals, Hughes was accompanied by her guitar-playing husband, Jake. Her most mesmerizing performances, such as Pearly Dew, Spanish Fandango, and Kentucky Moon Waltz, depend heavily upon the resonance of the open chord as it relates to the picking of the melodic line, primarily on one string. This tonal reliance is most similar to the "celestial octave" that Washington Phillips employs, with similar effect, on his Train Your Child. This ethereal harmonic technique, which seems so natural in Hughes' playing, is the holy grail for most finger-picking guitarists. Her lack of pretense and her mastery of this repertoire is what defines her legendary status.

These recordings were made in the early 60's in Arkansas and released in very limited fashion as a private press LP. Remastered by Chris King. Designed by Susan Archie.

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released April 2, 2021

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Tompkins Square San Francisco, California

Tompkins Square label, established in 2005, has released acclaimed recordings by artists such as William Tyler, Ryley Walker and Michael Chapman as well as reissues of folk, old-timey, gospel and American Primitive Guitar. The label has received 8 Grammy nominations. ... more

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