There’s been a lot of speculation about the chain of musical events that link the blues back to Africa. Most of that chain is unrecorded and shrouded in mystery. But there is one chapter, just before the blues, that we do know something about. And that’s the history of African-American string bands. This program explores that history, with music and memories from a special guest: the late string maestro Howard Armstrong. Along the way, we hear music from Canray Fontenot, Blind James Campbell, Hobard Smith and other legends of this little known chapter of Americana. Originally produced in 2000 by Banning Eyre.