In the world of American folk music, Jean Ritchie was a truly unique presence. Most of the younger artists of the folk revival of the '50s and '60s were middle class urbanites and liberal arts college students who helped "rediscover" the older traditional artists of the South. Though these two groups intermingled at concerts and the younger artists idolized the "true" folk artists, Jean Ritchie was an anomaly in that she fit equally in each crowd. Born in Viper, Kentucky in 1922, Jean was born into The Ritchies of Perry County, who were considered one of the two "great ballad-singing families of Kentucky celebrated among folk song scholars. The youngest of 14 children, Jean had Appalachian folk music in her blood, learning dozens of songs at a very early age from her parents and siblings. By college she was a master of traditional song and it was there that she met Alan Lomax who brought her to New York where she quickly began performing and mingling with Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, and the like. Though she would appear on Library of Congress compilations and various other Lomax related recordings, this 1952 release is her first proper album and you will not find a more beautiful example of traditional Appalachian dulcimer and folk singing than Jean Ritchie Singing The Traditional Songs Of Her Kentucky Mountain Family. Another essential piece of obscure Americana to have new life breathed into it by FantÃ´me Phonographique.