Where the Coal Trains Load: World Music of Eastern Pennsylvania


Cultural enclaves, huddled for generations in the mining “patches” of eastern Pennsylvania, sustained themselves on authentic songs, dances and recipes from Old World origins and perpetuated these forms of worship, entertainment and cuisine as a buffer against mainstream values and conformity sweeping the rest of the country in the aftermath of the Second World War.

Music of the anthracite mining patch towns was first documented six decades ago in early 1946 by the legendary George Korson as the Library of Congress’ first post war field expedition. Korson had found traditions of minstrelsy as deeply ingrained in the lives of miners as the seams of coal and set about to record the Celtic flavor of local singers as a reflection of chaotic and impoverished conditions in company villages.

Schuylkill County people continue in the 21st Century to nurture traditions carried long ago from distant homelands and largely forgotten today in their country of origin. Like other communities of the United States, Schuylkill County has been blessed with waves of New Americans, most recently from Latin America and central Asia, whose cultural contributions enrich the region in ways not yet fully understood or appreciated. This 31-track CD features more than 20 ethnicities which together form a brilliant tapestry of sound and song.

They Were Called the Molly Maguires


Road to Guanajuato


Hey Zabava! (We’re Going to Party!)


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