Joachim Cooder on how his kids helped inspire his new album reimagining the folk-blues of Uncle Dave Macon

Joachim Cooder
(Image credit: Abby Ross)

The fog of time settles quickly upon the heroes of yesteryear. Uncle Dave Macon was a star of 1920s and 30s music, playing wild-spirited folk songs on banjo, which he had learned from the ordinary people of backwoods America, but today he’s a largely forgotten figure. 

However, Joachim Cooder has resurrected Macon’s entrancing songs, enlisting the help of guitar luminaries such as Vieux Farka Touré, son of the great Ali Farka Touré, to accompany his own gently percussive playing on the mbira (thumb piano). The result is an immersive album that transcends time and cultural boundaries. 

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Jamie Dickson

Jamie Dickson is Editor-in-Chief of Guitarist magazine, Britain's best-selling and longest-running monthly for guitar players. He started his career at the Daily Telegraph in London, where his first assignment was interviewing blue-eyed soul legend Robert Palmer, going on to become a full-time author on music, writing for benchmark references such as 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die and Dorling Kindersley's How To Play Guitar Step By Step. He joined Guitarist in 2011 and since then it has been his privilege to interview everyone from B.B. King to St. Vincent for Guitarist's readers, while sharing insights into scores of historic guitars, from Rory Gallagher's '61 Strat to the first Martin D-28 ever made.