(This Session was originally published in December 2011.)
Jay Ungar & Molly Mason Family Band are exceptional musicians, which you may know from hearing them on ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ from their own live radio program ‘Dancing on the Air’ on WAMC in Albany, from film soundtracks such as ‘Legends of the Fall’ and ‘Brother’s Keeper.’ Millions were entranced by the music they did for Ken Burns’ PBS documentary on the Civil War, which features Jay’s “Ashokan Farewell” as its signature tune. The soundtrack won a Grammy and Ashokan Farewell was nominated for an Emmy.
This simple, but powerful tune was originally inspired by the week-long Fiddle & Dance Camps that Jay & Molly run in the Catskills for musicians and lovers of traditional American music and dance. At Ashokan Fiddle and Dance Camp, people come together to become better fiddlers, guitarists, mandolin players, percussionists, dancers, dance callers and instructors – and while they’re doing that they’re becoming links in the chain that help to pass our folk legacy from the people who came before us to those who will follow.
In the December of 2011, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason with Mike Merenda and Ruthy Ungar Merenda of The Mammals stopped by the Folk Alley studio at WKSU in Kent, Ohio.
Hear the interview with Jim Blum and their watch exclusive performance!