​(C) 2019 Dolceola Recordings

Lee Sexton

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Date: 5/23/2015

Place: Cornettsville KY

 

We finally got to the dead end of this trip to see him.
He's been dwelling in the depth of Kentucky mountain over 87 years. He is a retired coal miner. He definitely is the finest American traditional musician on earth. And, he's been my hero since I started playing banjo...
Ladies and gentlemen, his name is Lee Sexton.

First thing Lee said when I got there was "In 2013, one guy came here to shoot a movie, and stayed here for three weeks. It's been over 2 years, but he's never paid me no money. Damn it!"
During the recording I heard many stories about working at coal mine, loss of his son, his uncle Morgan Sexton, his cousin Roscoe Holcomb, and great musicians living around him.

We recorded over 20 songs. Lee's unique 2 finger style had strong groove which was perfect for square dance, and a kind of sentimental taste especially when he played "Shady Grove" and "Little Maggie".
He also played "Wild Bill Jones" and "John Henry" in old way which I never heard. So amazing.

After the recording I talked with Lee's wife Opal. She said "We had good times and bad times. But I'm glad we've been married for 43 years, which most couples have never been. And he still loves to play. That's how we are living."