The Smithsonian Folkways festival is under way here in Washington, DC, and will continue through the weekend. Well worth experiencing, and I plan to do so myself. If you can't get here, however, Independence Day is a great excuse to dig into the archives of Smithsonian Folkways, the non-profit record label of the Smithsonian Institution, which is the national museum of the United States. Their published collection includes a wide variety of folk music from around the world, but July 4 seems like a fine day to dig into their Americana archives.
Right now, I'm listening to various Appalachian records, and specifically to the late West Virginia folk music icon Hazel Dickens' "Black Lung," from "Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways."