Our Bret Lunsford, element of musical combos Beat Happening and D+, cultural cultivator via the Anacortes, WA Knw-Yr-Own collective, recently joined the pencil pushers over at Substack with his own newsletter offering. Resounding - Harry Smith in NW Washington features Bret's musings and ramblings concerning Anacortes' number one wayward waif, the artist, filmmaker and archivist Harry Smith.
Last year Bret Lunsford published Sounding for Harry Smith (Knw-Yr-Own), a biography of Harry Smith during his first two decades, which were spent in the Pacific Northwest. Explains Bret, "I still have things I was finding out about the subject and decided to archive them in this Substack form. It's more my style than social media posts because I think about things in terms of short articles." And why Substack? "I'd been reading Nikki McClure's newsletter (The Quill Scene) and I liked the way it presented, and Damon's [Kukowski] Dada Drummer Almanac, I read his articles. Also Phil Elverum has a Substack [P. W. Elverum & Sun Announcements]. A lot of people are moving away from Twitter." Sounds legit.
"I noticed I kept finding out more stuff, and I already wrote the book but am interested in adding this new stuff to the historical narrative. For instance, some interesting stuff about High School era collaborations with his mother, and about service clubs in Anacortes; general activities he's thought of as coming to on his own. You get to see how his mother contributed to his development."
The most recent issue of Resounding - Harry Smith in NW Washington explores the connections between Harry Smith and another famed Anacortes resident, Burl Ives. Is there any connection between the two? "I allow myself some transgressions into the Burl Ives realm. He had a radio show on KVI-AM, Seattle, throughout the '40s. Was Harry Smith exposed to the Lomax catalogue of American folk music through the show?" It's worth researching.
You can view Bret's latest issue and subscribe (it's free!) HERE.
He's the beatnik-era filmmaker, painter and archivist most well known for compiling the three volume Anthology of American Folk Music (Folkways Records).
Sounding for Harry Smith by Bret Lunsford (Knw-Yr-Own Publishing) is the biography of Harry Smith's early years; born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the Salish Sea towns of Anacortes and Bellingham, Washington.