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JOHN COHEN - concert and film screening at The Showroom, Asbury Park NJ

John Cohen at The Showroom 3/31/11

Legendary artist John Cohen will be screening his latest documentary, “Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky” and performing a set of old time music with The Dust Busters on Thursday, March 31st at The Showroom in Asbury Park, NJ at 7 PM.

Cohen (a.k.a. “Uncle John” from the Grateful Dead song) is a filmmaker, photographer and musician who has worked primarily in Appalachia and Peru. He played for 50 years in The New Lost City Ramblers, who toured the world and released more than 30 albums.  Cohen released 16 musical documentaries and was a professor of photography and drawing at SUNY Purchase from 1972-97.

“Roscoe Holcomb: From Daisy, Kentucky” recently premiered at the Margaret Meade Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History together with a retrospective of John’s work and also just won the award for Best Documentary Short at the Woodstock Film Festival.

A great piece about John Cohen and the new film just aired on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

“I listened to The New Lost City Ramblers. Everything about them appealed to me — their style, their singing, their sound. I liked the way they looked, the way they dressed and especially I liked their name. Their songs ran the gamut in styles, everything from from mountain ballads to fiddle tunes and railroad blues. All their songs vibrated with some dizzy, portentous truth. I’d stay with The Ramblers for days. At the time, I didn’t know that they were replicating everything they did off old 78 records, but what would it have mattered anyway? It wouldn’t have mattered at all. For me, they had originality in spades, were men of mystery on all counts. I couldn’t listen to them enough.” –Bob Dylan from “Chronicles”