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Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith
Ben Smith is the founder and editor of Oldtime Central. As an ethnomusicologist, applied anthropologist, luthier, and oldtime musician, he is particularly interested in nurturing the oldtime community worldwide.


David Bragger & Susan Platz – tunes and interview

In 2017 David Bragger and Susan Platz released the first oldtime album featuring dual fiddle on all tracks: King's Lament. Bragger is well known as a methodical teacher and highly rhythmic fiddle player, not to mention the amazing work he does...

John Salyer (1882 -1952) – fiddler from Magoffin County, Eastern Kentucky

I once heard a fiddler call John Morgan Salyer “the foremost genius, the Mozart of Old Time”. I can’t really argue with that. Salyer is known for crooked tunes, percussive bowing and a unique phrasing that, like so many things in the...

Shortnin’ Bread: Fiddle lesson with Craig Judelman

In this lesson Craig Judelman teaches the classic American folk song "Shortnin' Bread". In some versions of the song, shortnin' bread is fed to sick children on the plantation in an effort to provide them with extra sustenance as they recover....

Get Up in the Cool: Interview with Cameron DeWhitt

How did Get Up in the Cool get started? I listen to podcasts constantly, and I have for years. I got my first smartphone and then it was all downhill. It started with well-known NPR crossover pods like...

Seth Shumate – Oldtime Harmonica

"I'm a harmonica player with a focus on pre-war styles of harmonica from old-time, country blues, early blues, and jug band music. I come from a broken line of harmonica players including his grandfather and great-grandmother, both born and raised in the Ozarks...