Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie

The 37 track, 2-CD set features performances from an impressive array of Ritchie’s fans and admirers, all of whom have come together to honor the living legacy of the Kentucky-born singer/songwriter many refer to as "The Mother of Folk." Contributors were intentionally selected to represent the diversity of genres and generations Ritchie has influenced throughout her life, with classic artists like Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Janis Ian, Kathy Mattea, Tim O’Brien, Robin and Linda Williams, Oscar Brand, and Dale Ann Bradley sharing the spotlight with up and coming talents like the Starry Mountain Singers, Rachael Davis, and Matt Brown. Standout tracks include “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore” (Robin and Linda Williams), “I’ve Got a Mother” (The Starry Mountain Singers), “Black Waters” (John McCutcheon, Kathy Mattea, Suzy Bogguss, Tim O’Brien), “Morning Come, Maria’s Gone” (Janis Ian) and  “One I Love” (Judy Collins). There is also a spoken word version of “I Celebrate Life” from Pete Seeger, one of his last recordings.

Jean Ritchie was born in 1922 in Viper, Kentucky, the youngest of 14 children. Ritchie grew up immersed in the traditional songs of the region and moved to New York in the 1940s where, as a social worker, she taught music to children. She also befriended Pete Seeger, Oscar Brand, Woody Guthrie and Alan Lomax during this time and, in the 1950s, recorded several albums for Elektra. In the early ’50s she received a Fulbright scholarship and traveled to the UK and Ireland to collect traditional songs. Ritchie’s songs have been recorded by a variety of artists including Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris, Johnny Cash and Judy Collins. Over the course of her career, her song collecting and song writing has helped to preserve the musical legacy of her Kentucky home, as well as expand awareness of its challenges through her continued support of the grassroots environmental organization Appalachian Voices and politically pointed songs such as “The L&N” and “Black Waters.” Not only is Jean Ritchie an amazing musician, cultural preserver, and activist, she is and has always been a welcoming, supporting mentor for all those who have crossed her path, and Dear Jean gives a well-deserved thank you for years of inspiration.

“Jean Ritchie represents a living connection to a heritage of song, spanning an ocean and several generations.” —Fiona Ritchie, NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock

“As the ‘Mother of Folk,’ Jean is a living museum of impeccably rendered songs passed down from singer to singer, influencing and inspiring generations.” —Joan Baez

“When I grow up I want to write just like Jean Ritchie. Seriously, I love every song she’s ever written. I love her simple yet beautiful melodies and the honest, heartfelt truth in them.” —Dolly Parton


Dear Jean: Artists Celebrate Jean Ritchie

Various Artists

MP3/320 $10.00
2-CD $18.00

Track Listing

Black Waters Buy
Now is the Cool of the Day Buy
The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore Buy
Morning Come, Maria’s Gone Buy
Lord Bateman Buy
High Hills and Mountains Buy
Young Man Who Wouldn’t Raise Corn Buy
West Virginia Mine Disaster Buy
With Kitty I’ll Go Buy
I Celebrate Life (Spoken Word) Buy
Pretty Betty Martin Buy
Shady Grove Sparky Buy
The Cuckoo Buy
Thousand Mile Blues Buy
Blue Diamond Mines Buy
The Bluebird Song Buy
Go Dig My Grave Buy
Jubilee Buy
One I Love Buy
Let the Sun Shine Down on Me Buy
My Dear Companion Buy
Last Old Train’s a-Leavin’ Buy
Wintergrace Debra Buy
Pretty Saro Buy
Fair Nottamun Town Buy
Golden Ring around the Susan Girl (instrumental) Buy
I’ve Been a Foreign Lander Buy
One More Mile Buy
Farewell to the Mountains Buy
I’ve Got a Mother Buy
Jemmy Taylor-O Buy
Brightest and Best Buy
Hangman Buy
Jackaro Buy
Who Killed Cock Robin? Buy
Twilight a-Stealing The Ritchie Nieces Buy
The Peace Round Buy