Lance Ledbetter’s record label Dust-To-Digital is one of the finest examples of how younger generations are continuing the mission of John Cohen, Alan Lomax and Harry Smith. Ledbetter, who was recently named by Utne Magazine as one of the “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World,” first released the lavish and meticulously-documented Goodbye, Babylon box set in 2004. The set was nominated for a Grammy (as with so many of his subsequent releases) and has continued to gather praise from artists as various as Bob Dylan, Brian Eno and Arcade Fire. The five discs of religious music contained in Goodbye, Babylon have their place alongside Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music as one of the finest documents of American music culture–rural or otherwise.
While I hope to feature and discuss many of these releases in greater detail soon, for now I will include below a short two-part piece that was featured on the This is Atlanta PBS Program. It’s an inspiring overview of the record label and is guaranteed to send you to their site to sample this powerful music.