1958 – present (60 years)
The New Lost City Ramblers were a contemporary old-time string band that formed in New York City in 1958 during the Folk Revival. The founding members of the Ramblers, or NLCR, were Mike Seeger (August 15, 1933 – August 7, 2009), John Cohen, and Tom Paley (March 19, 1928 – September 30, 2017) . Tom Paley later left the group and was replaced by Tracy Schwarz.
The New Lost City Ramblers not only directly participated in the old-time music revival, but have continued to directly influence countless musicians who have followed. Indeed, except for The Kingston Trio, the NLCR may well be the longest-running popular music group, performing, albeit irregularly in later times, for some 50 years.
The Ramblers distinguished themselves by focusing on the traditional playing styles they heard on old 78rpm records of musicians recorded during the 1920s and 1930s, many of whom would later appear on the Anthology of American Folk Music. The NLCR refused to "sanitize" these southern sounds as did other folk groups of the time, such as The Weavers or The Kingston Trio. Instead, the Ramblers always strived for an authentic sound. However, the Ramblers did not merely copy the old recordings that inspired them. Rather, they would use the various old-time styles they encountered while at the same time not becoming slaves to imitation.
They recorded extensively for the Folkways label.
NLCR formally disbanded in 1975, but continued to perform, albeit irregularly.
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