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Get Your Daily Dose of Archive Challenge the Week of March 15

Gallery of images featuring Dom Flemons, Low Lily, Hubby Jenkins, Kumera Zekarias, Steve Winick & Jennifer Cutting, Kevin Elam, and Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer.Text Reads: Daily Antidote of Song/ Archive Challenge Week/ co-hosted by Steve Winick and Jennifer Cutting/ Library of Congress American Folklife Center/Every Day at 12 Noon (ET)-Celebrating 350+ days of singing!/ March 15: Jennifer Cutting & Steve Winick/March 16: Low Lily/ March 17: Kevin Elam/ March 18: Dom Flemons/ March 19: Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer/March 20: Hubby Jenkins/March 21: Kumera Zekarias/[https://revelsdc.org/2021/daily-song/]/Washington Revels and Carpe Diem Arts

Image Gallery. Top row, l-r: Dom Flemons, Low Lily, Hubby Jenkins. Center row, l-r: Kumera Zekarias, Steve Winick & Jennifer Cutting, Kevin Elam. Bottom row: Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer

Every day next week, March 15-21, at noon Eastern time, you can listen to, and sing along with, a respected musician performing a song from the American Folklife Center archive at the Library of Congress. That’s because next week, the American Folklife Center is working with the Daily Antidote of Song, a daily online concert and singalong in which diverse singers lead a single song each day at noon Eastern time. Next week, starting March 15, all the singers will be performing songs they learned from the AFC archive! AFC staff members Stephen Winick and Jennifer Cutting will be there to co-host each day’s Antidote as well.

Everyone is invited to join this free program live each day at noon Eastern time…just visit this link and choose whether to watch in the virtual room or on Facebook Live!


You can also view and sing along any time after the live event, on the Washington Revels Facebook Page, at this link.


Wade ward, wearing headphones and smiling, looks at Alan Lomax, also smiling. The two are seated in front of a reel-to-reel tape deck.

Wade Ward (left) and Alan Lomax listen back to field recordings at Ward’s home in Galax, Virginia, in 1959. Lomax recorded Ward many times, including as a member of his family band The Bogtrotters in the 1930s. At that time he performed “Waterbound,” which will be interpreted in the Archive Challenge Week by Low Lily.


The singers and songs for the Archive Challenge week are as follows:


Monday, March 15

Steve Winick and Jennifer Cutting  will perform “The Herring’s Head,” which they learned from a field recording sung by Seamus Ennis, recorded by Alan Lomax at the Irish Folklore Commission in Dublin, Ireland, in 1951. From the Alan Lomax Collection, AFC AFC 2004/004: T3296.0, Track 3.

Hear the field recording of “The Herring’s Head” at this link on the Association for Cultural Equity site!

Tuesday, March 16

Low Lily (Liz Simmons and Flynn Cohen) will perform “Old Pinefields,” also known as “Way Down in North Carolina” and  “Waterbound,” inspired by a field recording of the Bogtrotters with Fields and Wade Ward, recorded by John Lomax at the Old Fiddlers’ Convention in Galax, VA in 1937. From the John A. Lomax, Ruby T. Lomax, and Bess Lomax Old Fiddlers’ Convention Collection, AFC 1938/003: AFS 1358 B2).

Hear the field recording of “Waterbound” in this licensed YouTube video!

Wednesday, March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day!)

All-Ireland champion singer Kevin Elam will perform “Mrs. McGrath” (“My Son Ted,”) which he learned from a field recording sung by Seamus Ennis, recorded by Alan Lomax in Seamus Ennis’s home in Dublin, Ireland in 1951. From the Alan Lomax Collection, AFC 2004/004: T3281.0 Track 4.

Hear the field recording of “Mrs. McGrath” at this link on the Association for Cultural Equity site!

Dom Flemons holds a drawer of catalog cards and pages through them with his fingers.

Dom Flemons, Grammy-winner with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, in the Library of Congress Folklife Research Center in 2007. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

Thursday, March 18

Dom Flemons, also known as “The American Songster,” won a Grammy Award for his work with the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and was our first “Archive Challenge” artist back in 2015. Dom will perform “We Are Almost Down to the Shore,” which he learned from a field recording sung by Blind Jimmie Strothers with banjo, recorded by John Lomax at State Farm, VA in 1936. From the John A. Lomax southern states collection, 1933-1937, AFC 1935/002: AFS 747 A2.

Hear the field recording of “We Are Almost Down to the Shore” in this licensed YouTube video!

Friday, March 19

Cathy Fink and Marcy Marxer, Grammy-winning old-time musicians, will perform “Ain’t You Got a Right to the Tree of Life?” They learned it from the singing of Guy Carawan, and were inspired by the version in the Candie Carawan and Guy Hughes Carawan oral history interview conducted by Joseph Mosnier in New Market, Tennessee, 2011 September 19, which is part of the Civil Rights History Project collection, 2010-2016, AFC 2010/039.

Watch the interview, which includes the song, at this link!

Cathy Fink sings and plays banjo, and Marcy Marxer plays guitar. They are surrounded by other musicians playing banjo, guitar, and hammered dulcimer.

Cathy Fink (banjo) and Marcy Marxer (guitar) lead AFC’s old-time jam on July 7, 2018. Photo by Stephen Winick for AFC.

Saturday, March 20

Old-time and blues musician Hubby Jenkins, of the Carolina Chocolate Drops and the Rhiannon Giddens band, will surprise us with one of several songs he has learned from the archive!

Sunday, March 21

Kumera Zekarias will perform “I’m Gonna Make You Happy,” which he learned from a field recording sung with harmonica by Buster Brown of Cordell, GA. Recorded by Lewis Wade Jones and Willis James at Fort Valley State College in Fort Valley, Georgia in 1943. From the Lewis Jones and Willis James Recordings at Fort Valley State College, AFC 1943/012: AFS 6989 A.

Hear the field recording of “I’m Gonna Make You Happy” at this link!

The Archive Challenge is a way for all kinds of people to engage with AFC collections.  Find out how YOU can take the Archive Challenge at this link.

Find all posts at Folklife Today related to the challenge at this link.

The Daily Antidote of Song is produced by Washington Revels and Carpe Diem Arts and has now passed its 350th day. It has attracted participants from over 40 states and more than a dozen countries. It was originally designed to help people during isolation. As the growing community continued to sing together and to navigate other national and international challenges, the songs have become increasingly focused on racial and social justice and peace, while the group continues to sing also for the benefit of creating joy, strength, and community during tough times. Song leaders have joined from all across the United States, as well as from Canada, Europe, and Africa.


  1. Jeff Warner
    March 15, 2021 at 10:07 am

    Hello Steve and Jennifer. If you continue on with the Archive Song of the Day program, I’d be happy to do something from the Anne and Frank Warner collection. As always, thanks to both of you for your essential work.

    • Stephen Winick
      March 17, 2021 at 9:27 am

      Thanks, Jeff! We are talking about the possibility of future weeks, and we will be in touch!

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