Smoky Mountains / Four Corners
Perhaps our two favorite destinations in the United States are the East Tennessee/Smoky Mountain area and the Four Corners region of northwest New Mexico. Both locales have rich musical cultures, some artifacts of which you will find below.
THE COFFEE FAMILY
This is one of two Coffee Family 45s found at a thrift store in the Smokies in North Carolina. It contains the religious songs “Standing by the River” and “Every Day and Every Hour.” We love the Coffees for their shape note-y singing style, but also especially for the pipes on their child singer, who really cuts through the vinyl grime on this thing. (The player below contains both songs. Some browsers may display a download link instead.)
EULOGIO MONTOYA Y SUS TURISTAS
Found somewhere in the thrift store wilds of Four Corners, this single by Eulogio Montoya y sus Turistas (Eulogio Montoya and his Tourists) is a good representation of the music of the region – Mexican, but about as norte as you can fucking get (remember, this region was Mexico up until the mid-19th century). Eulogio rips into the drunk-sounding “Los Repelos” (“The Leftovers”), then updates an ostensibly traditional New Mexican dance tune with distorted guitar run through a wah-wah pedal in “El Valse Valseado” (“The Waltzed Waltz”). (The player below contains both songs. Some browsers may display a download link instead.)