H.R. Stoneback


The Fugitive magazine and the evolution of Nashville Agrarianism were exactly coincident and contiguous, geographically and historically, with the Grand Ole Opry and the evolution of hillbilly and country music, yet at Vanderbilt, it was something called traditional balladry or true folksong that was highly respected, and taught in courses in the English Department curriculum. It was from within these contexts that singer/songwriter and then graduate student, H. R. “Stoney” Stoneback, first wrote about Robert Penn Warren’s The Cave. Forty years later, singer/songwriter and now Distinguished Professor Stoneback revisits the question of the guitar, the songs, and the hillbillyness of The Cave, reading “Warren’s ballad” from the unique perspective of his own, personal experience.