TONIGHT @ The Arm in Williamsburg – Brooklyn, NY – Screening of Two Films by John Cohen – 8pm

Hermitage Film Program No. 8
Featuring Two Films by John Cohen – Filmmaker in Person
Friday December 18th, 8pm at The Arm

The High Lonesome Sound -1963 30 min B&W

Songs of church-goers, miners, and farmers of eastern Kentucky express the joys and sorrows of life among the rural poor. This classic film evocatively illustrates how music and religion help Appalachians maintain their dignity and traditions in the face of change and hardship.

The End of an Old Song -1970 27 min B&W

Filmed in the mountains of North Carolina, this documentary revisits the region where English folklorist Cecil Sharp collected British ballads in the early 1900s. It contrasts the nature of the ballad singers with the presence of the juke box: although the lyrical tradition has changed, the singing style continues. Features Dillard Chandler, who sings with rare intensity and style.

Please join us Friday December 18th at The Arm, located at 281 N7th St. Between Havemeyer and Brooklyn. (
$7 admission. John’s book “There is No Eye” will be available for sale, along with a select group of books from the shelves of hermitage.


A Short Bio of John Cohen:
His work crosses many disciplines – both in the arts and sciences, and has been seen on NOVA PBS, at experimental film series, art museums, anthropology film festivals, ethnomusicology conferences, visual anthropology classes, Appalachian studies, the politics of poverty classes, and Andean music & textile exhibitions.

From the late 1950s on, he was involved with the emerging Art world in New York City, and photographed Robert Frank’s production of the film Pull My Daisy about the beat generation- including Jack Kerouac & Alan Ginsberg. He also documented the emergence of Pop Art, and the Cedar Bar, homeplace of the Abstract Expressionist painters. He was part of the music scene from which Bob Dylan emerged in Greenwich Village during the 1960’s. After 1960, the major focuses of his work include Old Time Music (from the Appalachians) and Peruvian projects. He has filmed, photographed and recorded Andean music in Peru, and made an early study and collection of contemporary Andean textiles.

John Cohen’s body of work has been recognized in a wide range of fields: his photographs are in major museum collections and publications, his award winning films have been shown on PBS and BBC and at festivals worldwide. The sound recordings of the New Lost City Ramblers have received several Grammy nominations, and, along with his field recordings, have influenced many musicians – including Bob Dylan, Jerry Garcia, Ry Cooder – and shaped the old time fiddle music revival.

John Cohen’s work invites interpretation. Although it has the appearance of a “documentary style” it reflects his own viewpoint as a visual artist. That his body of work is called cross-disciplinary, and he has been labeled a “Renaissance man,” doesn’t detract from the perception of his art as something which emanates directly from his own personal vision.

more can be learned about John’s life and works at

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About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

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