Every so often, just when you think the well is dry and the tradition is dead, you are gratefully reminded that there is still water down there and that the tradition was only sleeping. Morgan O’Kane from Charlottesville, Virginia, is one of those reminders. A virtuoso banjo player, shouter, and activist now based in New York City, Morgan recalls two other transplanted legendary southern artists: Rev. Davis and Aunt Molly Jackson. Like Rev. Davis, O’Kane honed his skills by making a living as a busking street artist. Like Aunt Molly, he has kept his connection to his Appalachian home, taking part in the campaign to ban mountaintop removal mining. O’Kane clearly knows his way around the old tunes, but he is more interested in creating his own. That’s how the tradition survives: new songs are created on old foundations. This ain’t no revival… this is a contemporary artist who knows where he comes from.
Morgan O’Kane: When the Leaves Come Out
Morgan O’Kane: Mole in the Ground
Morgan O’Kane: Rain Rain