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Mac Martin & Ed Brozi

THE SHADYSIDE SESSIONS

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Ed (or "Eddy") Brozi was born in late September, 1920, in southwestern Pennsylvania's Fayette County, then as now one of the poorest in the state. In both topography and in economy the county resembles eastern Kentucky or West Virginia, which it borders on Underground coal mining and subsistence farming in poor, rocky soil are important. As a teenager during the depression in the 1930s, Eddy traveled with a patent medicine show, selling snake oil by playing music to audiences of "farmers and miners." As Eddy put it, "Wasn't much money, but we stayed off of welfare."

By 1942, if not earlier, Eddy had moved to nearby Pittsburgh and had a job.It was then that Eddy met Mac Martin, who was to become a bluegrass music legend. Bluegrass as such had not fully evolved in 1942, so Eddy and Mac sang some old-time country music songs. Eddy particularly liked the Blue Sky Boys, but other groups such as the Bailes Brothers and Mainers' Mountaineers and, of course, the Carter Family performed material that appealed to and influenced both Mac and Eddy.

 

We first met Eddy in October of 1963 in Walsh's bar where he played mandolin on alternate Saturday nights with Mac Martin and the Dixie Travelers, a premier bluegrass and. Eddy knew a great many old-time numbers, some very obscure

In 1970, Tom Knight, an engineer at WQED in Pittsburgh, recorded the Mac Martin sessions for Rural Rhythm records. The "studio" was our large living room in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh (hence the name "Shadyside Sessions"). Tom would leave his big TEAC tape recorder with its 15-inch reels, his four microphones, and his essentially home-made stereo mixer in our home. We took advantage of this and asked Eddy and Mac to come over on a Friday night in May, 1970, so that we could record some of Eddy's many songs. Eddy brought his guitar, and Mac played old-time mandolin. After some time, Bob Artis showed up with his mandolin and Mac switched to lead guitar. The session proceeded apace, Eddy never at a loss for another number to do. Sometimes he would announce a number. Sometimes he would respond to a suggestion by Mac. At other times, Eddy would just start a number unannounced leaving Mac to identify it and jump in.

Eddy and Mac returned in late 1972 for a second session. A total of 63 songs were recorded, all from memory.

Fred Pement



Mac Martin & Ed Brozi

Sun Racer
& Other Tragic Ballads

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Ed Brozi - guitar & vocals
Mac Martin - guitar & vocals
Bob Artis - Mandolin

SUN RACER * I’M FREE AT LAST * BILLY RICHARDSON’S LAST RIDE *
ROCK MY CRADLE ONCE AGAIN * THE EAST BOUND TRAIN*
THE NEW LONDON SCHOOL TRAGEDY * WHEN THE ROSES BLOOM AGAIN *
TWO LITTLE ROSEBUDS * PRISONER AT THE BAR * THE LITTLE RED CABOOSE *
WRECK OF THE OLD NUMBER NINE * MOONLIGHT AND SKIES *
MY LAST LOVE LETTER TO YOU * ANSWER TO BROKEN ENGAGEMENT *
GOD HAVE PITY ON THE BLIND * WRECK OF THE 1262 * ASLEEP IN THE BRINY DEEP *
IN A LITTLE VILLAGE CHURCHYARD * THE LOVER’S RETURN *
THE DEATH OF FLOYD COLLINS * GOD MADE EVERYTHING *