|Above: During the recording of No Small
Thing, Edward Hunter, Lee Hunter, Landon
Walker, Darren Ronan, Arvid Smith
photo by Pete Winter
Lee: We do. In fact, we unearthed a song which
evidently hadn’t been heard in a long time. The song
is called “I Saw A Sight All in A Dream" sung and
played by two brothers, Dave and Jim Couch from
Harlan County. We found it while we were looking
for another song.
Bill: What song were you looking for?
Arvid: Another song by the Couch family called
“Hiram Hubbard." It’s a song we did on the Wind
Lee: Right. We were looking for “Hiram Hubbard" by
searching through archive tapes at Berea College in
Berea, Kentucky. They have all these old tapes
where historians went out and recorded music. We
found a 1955 recording by the Couch brothers called
“I Saw A Sight All In A Dream." We did extensive
research but no one ever heard of it, not even the
Library of Congress.
Arvid: So we reintroduced a forgotten song to the
Bill: From 1955?
Lee: The recording was done in 1955, but from the
style and content, we believe it was written in the
1800’s, the Victorian Era. It’s a sad song.
Bill: What’s it about?
Arvid (drolly) : It’s a downer. It’s part of an old genre known as “dying mother songs."
Lee: We gave new life to it.
Arvid: On our version, there is a stunning violin performance by Darol Anger.
Bill: How do you classify your music?
Lee: “Roots" music. Roots based.
Bill: I guess a lot of people would call it “folk" music. That’s the broad term. So where does the
“Celtic" label come in?
Arvid: We don’t really do much Celtic music. It’s a hard label to shake. I mean, it’s good music but it’
s not all we do.
Lee: I really like the American Appalachian Mountains traditional music. Celtic music comes from
Scotland and Ireland. Even when we were called “Celtic" we did mostly English traditional, which is
not the same thing. There are two English songs on our new CD, One Kind Favor.
Bill: I remember you mentioning before that you like the Appalachian Mountain music. But you also
write a lot of songs. Who does most of the writing?
Arvid: I’ve written one song.
Lee: I write a lot of the songs. When I write the lyrics, I also compose the music to the songs I write.
Bill: I’d like to talk about the
rock band, the Great Invisibles.
Arvid, you played guitar with
them before teaming up with
Lee. They were…different, but
Arvid: That was during the time
of “New Wave." I think we were
the hottest band in town for
about two weeks.
Bill: Oh, it was more than two
weeks. A lot of other bands has
a goal to open for you guys. Why
didn’t the Great Invisibles last?