Episode 1

If She Heard My Guineas Clink

A traditional Scottish song survives over 300 years, traveling thousands of miles before filtering through the Appalachian Mountains and becoming a folk "pass along" tune. “The Singing Brakeman” comes alive after witnessing the yodeling of Swiss emissaries, creating the original country music sound. A woman in her 60’s falls into a household worker position for the Seeger Family, and they discover a talent left behind 30 years ago that would inspire generations of guitar players. A man who was bigger in person than the myths that followed him, personifying emotion through old songs. And a living legend, who punctures holes in hearts with her incomparable songwriting, transformed by The Stanley Brothers.

Back To Our Roots

About The Podcast

Tracing the roots of American music from it’s emigrated past to current artists playing the songs forward, folk singer-songwriter and amateur musicologist Nicholas Edward Williams is not hosting your typical music podcast. Each episode uncovers unique stories and lesser-known facts behind five songs, spanning from those created centuries ago to those carrying tradition today. Then, as folk artists have always done, Williams re-creates them. From European immigrants who brought their tunes into the Appalachian mountains, to songs of the South: Gospel, Ragtime, Blues, Country, and the Folk music derived from it all. We’ll go behind the curtain of legends, and shine the limelight on many integral lesser-known artists who have influenced generations, such as Bessie Smith, Ola Belle Reed, Blind Blake, Odetta and Dave Van Ronk. Here’s to the songs of old, may they live on forever. Find American Songcatcher, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Meet Nick

About Your Host

With a fresh thirst for learning fingerpicking techniques, Williams dove in-depth to school himself in the history of American music, from Appalachian folk, country blues, Piedmont Blues, and deep-rooted Mississippi Delta blues from the likes of Doc Watson, Mississippi John Hurt, and Elizabeth Cotten. His affinity for songwriting also grew and matured from an unfeigned love for storytellers like John Prine, Paul Simon, and Jim Croce.