The CD includes a six page color booklet with historical information on the music and composers.
String bands were important in the early days of ragtime and other styles of music. In their book "Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music", 1889-1895, Doug Seroff and Lynn Abbott refer to newspaper articles from 1894-1895 in the "Leavenworth Herald" of Leavenworth Kansas, and the "American Citizen" of Kansas City, that refer to a rag as “a kind of country hoe down. . .at which black string bands usually played.” Ragtime pioneer Ben Harney stated that he learned ragtime by listening to a black string band performing it at rural dances in Kentucky.
Ethnic music was also an important part of the early string band repertoire. Howard Armstrong, an African-American fiddler/mandolinist who recorded with "Martin, Bogan & Armstrong", and the "Tennessee Chocolate Drops", survived the depression of the 1930s by playing pop standards, blues, Jazz, ragtime, and different types of ethnic music, which he was able to sing in those languages.
The Rhythmia is keeping these string band traditions alive.