Skip to main content

Old Times and Hard Times

Hedy West
Old Times and Hard Times, LP artwork
Old Times and Hard Times by Hedy West, LP artwork
Old Times and Hard Times, CD artwork
Old Times and Hard Times by Hedy West, CD artwork

Hedy West was the daughter of Don West, a poet and labor organizer throughout the south. In the 1930's, he learned songs from coal miners during his work as a relief worker - these make up the most recent songs to appear on Old Times and Hard Times, while other songs were passed down from the longstanding musical tradition of her family in the mountains of northern Georgia. Initially a student of classical music at the Mannes School, West participated in the Greenwich Village scene during the Folk Revival, performing alongside Pete Seeger in the early 1960's. In the liner notes, West explains that she makes music "neither for diversion nor escape. Not for irrelevant play. But because music is one part of the creative activity of man that gives vital evidence that he has value and is worth continuing".

Track Listing

The Wife Wrapt in Wether's Skin Hedy West 02:33  
Fair Rosamund Hedy West 01:33  
Barbara Allen Hedy West 05:20  
Old Joe Clark Hedy West 02:57  
The Coal Miner's Child Hedy West 01:40  
Gambling Man Hedy West 02:54  
Brother Ephus Hedy West 02:13  
Polly Hedy West 01:33  
The Davison-Wilder Blues Hedy West 03:50  
Lament for Barney Graham Hedy West 01:14  
The Rich Irish Lady Hedy West 03:01  
Shut up in the Mines at Coal Creek Hedy West 01:24  
The Wife of Usher's Well Hedy West 03:46