Homemade American Music

This is a short preview trailer. You can watch the entire film at no charge on the Folkstreams website. Folkstreams is a nonprofit whose mission is to find, preserve, contextualize, and stream documentary films on American folklife.

Watch the entire film at Folkstreams

A history of rural southeastern traditional American music, as told and played by Mike Seeger and Alice Gerrard. Mike and Alice recount their own involvement with this music, and briefly trace its history as we meet their mentors: the late Tommy Jarrell, Lily May Ledford, Roscoe Holcomb, Elizabeth Cotton, and many other musicians.

Filmed in 1978 and 1979 in the states of Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Washington, and California, the film follows Mike and Alice home, and to folk music festivals where a new generation of musicians are picking up and passing on American traditional music. The filmmaker grew up with this rich and beautiful music and wanted to share it with younger generations who might not be aware of it and its role in American cultural history.

  • Film by: Yasha Aginsky, Carrie Aginsky
  • Produced by: Carrie and Yasha Aginsky
  • Cinematographer: Yasha Aginsky, Stephen Lighthill, Murali Paup
  • Sound: Carry Aginsky, Nelson Stoll, Zack Krieger
  • Editor: Yasha Aginsky
  • Other Credits: Assistance: Betsy Bannerman, Marsha Emmerman; Production assistance: Denise Bostrom, Este Gardner, Seven Pinsky, Mindy Rodman, Elizabeth Zerbe
  • Funding: Sponsored by the Film Arts Foundation of San Francisco and funded in part by a grant form the Folk Arts division, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1980, Carrie & Yasha Aginsky
  • 40mins, Color