When songwriters need inspiration, they may turn to old music. They might borrow a melody or a few lyrics, or even rejigger an old song completely. One of the best places to find old music is the Alan Lomax Collection. For decades, starting in the 1930s, Lomax traveled around the world recording people singing in fields, coal mines, prisons, and on front porches. From May 9-15, you can learn more about tapping into the Lomax archive during a series of workshops and concerts at Chautauqua in Boulder. Banjo player Jayme Stone of Longmont is in charge of The Lomax Project. He speaks with Ryan Warner and they listen to some examples of what contemporary musicians have done with Lomax’s huge archive.

Schedule for the Lomax Project at Chautuaqua

Library of Congress American Folklife Center Alan Lomax Collection

Association for Cultural Equity was founded by Alan Lomax to explore and preserve the world's expressive traditions with humanistic commitment and scientific engagement.

[Photo: Jayme Stone]