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"Freight Train" by Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten

Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten (1895-1987) built her musical legacy on a firm foundation of late 19th- and early 20th-century African-American instrumental traditions and fine musicianship. She strung her guitar upside down, the bass notes to the bottom. This meant she would thumb the treble strings while finger-picking the bass notes, creating an almost inimitable sound. Her method was so influential it became known as the "Cotten style." Watch this unique style in a performance of "Freight Train," her best-known song, edited from film taken by Pete and Toshi Seeger at the Seeger family home in 1957. More about Elizabeth Cotten

Related Album
Freight Train and Other North Carolina Folk Songs and Tunes