For over fifty years, The New Lost City Ramblers have been bringing traditional American music to the forefront. The group -- Mike Seeger, John Cohen, and Tom Paley -- started in 1958, singing and playing unvarnished Appalachian music, imbuing it with various and distinctive styles. Along the way, Tom Paley left
and was replaced by Tracy Schwartz. Their old-timey string band approach and scholarship have been influential in the country, folk, and popular music fields.
Mike Seeger, the half-brother of folk legend Pete Seeger and the brother of folk legend Peggy Seeger, passed away in 2009. Cohen, Paley, and Schwartz are still around and making their individual marks on the music scene. John Cohen, by the way, was the "Uncle John" in The Grateful Dead's song Uncle John's Band.
Anyway, here are some samples of their take on traditional music:
Here's The New Lost City Ramblers from 2009:
The first song I ever heard the group do was Al Smith for President. I couldn't find a link to their version, so -- as a bonus -- here are the Carolina Night Hawks: