One of the true treasures of Appalachian music, Roscoe Holcomb played banjo and guitar and sang like no one else. A coal miner and farmer for much of his life, Holcomb was discovered in 1959 by New Lost City Rambler John Cohen. By then, Holcomb was a fully formed musical island with an off-kilter two-fingered picking technique and an eerie voice that, even in high falsetto, had a forceful, reedy quality that Cohen described as "the high, lonesome sound." While that phrase has become synonymous with bluegrass singing, Holcomb is too rough around the edges for that genre's strict dictates and occupies instead an Appalachian hollow between bluegrass and the blues. Heralded by Bob Dylan, Holcomb became a fixture of the '60s folk revival and also toured with the Stanley Brothers. He died in 1981 after a long struggle with emphysema.