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"Rob Amberg's images have the same durability and tenacity as the lives they depict. He is trusted well enough to be there, up close, when the women embrace in affection or when the farmer pauses in the heat. And Amberg does not betray that trust. What we see is sympathetic, not sentimental, simple but not facile. Amberg makes real what is found on the pages of the Southern novel." —Sally Mann

"These photographs are suffused with a lyrical sense of beauty, rhythm, and the dignity of light. You come away with a deep understanding of the hardships and glories that made up Dellie Norton's life, her community, and her adventures in this world. Amberg's photographs of Junior transcend the document, even go beyond everyday life, and arrive at a new visionary depiction of the shared experience of being human." —John Cohen

"Rob Amberg captures the daily life of this community faithfully, scrupulously, beautifully. This book is not only a priceless record of a vanishing way of life; it's a work of art. It deserves every prize out there." —Lee Smith

"These photographs and texts haunt like the ballads Dellie Norton sang, and they startle with paradox, unexpected detail. Rob Amberg's pictures bring to life a world almost gone, and yet intimately connected to the present. He gives us a window on the families and lands of Sodom Laurel, far above the cities of the plain, and close as your pulsebeat." —Robert Morgan

"In this magnificent ensemble of images and voices, Amberg always sees rightly and pitilessly. He lays before us a vista of place and people, not just to delight the eye but to invite praise. A luminous spirit of uncommon folk at labor, play, music-making, and love envelopes this beautiful work in an aura of strangeness. —Alan Trachtenberg

"Rob Amberg has rendered exquisite portraits of Americans rarely seen, bent to their tasks in barns and tobacco fields, or singing on their porches in brief respites from their hard lives. If not for him, their stories might pass into the dust of memory. But thanks to him, they live on in these pages, and tell their stories, and their existence on this earth is given dignity and meaning and reverence." —Larry Brown

"This story is not always a pretty one—it has its share of pain and conflict—but it captures the full dimensions of life in Sodom Laurel, and by doing so, it reminds us of the warmth, strength, and compassion that also marked the lives of the people who lived there. This book reminds us of the dignity and nobility that lie in ordinary places and ordinary people, without a trace of condescension." —Bill Malone

"This is the real thing! Wonderful photos, narrative, and interviews take you deep into the lives and times of the folks of Sodom Laurel. And the singing! The powerful unaccompanied singing tradition, the likes of which you rarely hear anymore, flows from the old people of Sodom Laurel like a deep mountain spring." —Alice Gerrard, Old-Time Herald

"We have Rob Amberg's beautiful and respectful photos, stories, and recorded interviews and performances to thank for preserving these real 'songcatchers' and their rich and essential history for a whole new generation." —Mark D. Moss, Sing Out!




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