NEWSLETTER #130
American Folk Music
The Holy Modal Rounders -> Chris Smither

THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS
GEOFF MULDAUR
MIKE SEEGER
PETE SEEGER
CHRIS SMITHER
 

THE HOLY MODAL ROUNDERS Sundazed 6208 Good Taste Is Timeless ● CD $11.98
Reissue of this anarchic folk group's classic 1971 album for Metromedia cut in Nashvill with guest artists Tracy Nelson, D.J. Fontana and legendary steel guitarist Pete Drake. Includes the definitive version of their highly popular Boobs-A-Lot.

 
GEOFF MULDAUR Tradition & Moderne 025 Beautiful Isle Of Somewhere ● CD $16.98
16 tracks, 66 mins., highly recommended. After nearly 20 years in the spotlight, blues singer and guitarist Geoff Muldaur dropped out of sight in the early 1980s and didn't re-emerge until 1997. This terrific CD documents one of his first return concerts in front of a Bremen, Germany audience. Drawing from original and classic repertoire spanning his time with the Kweskin Jug Band and all the way back to his "Sleepy Man Blues" days, Muldaur is confident, soulful, and better than ever. His Gee, Baby Ain't I Good to You is intimate and sweet, without the playful jug band cast he might have given it 20 years ago. And nobody can deliver blues like Wild Ox Moan and Drop Down Mama like Muldaur, with his hair-raising vocals and rock-solid guitar work. Welcome back, Geoff, we're awful glad to see you. Please sing Prairie Lullaby one more time. (DC)

 
MIKE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40136 True Vine ● CD $15.98
23 tracks, recommended Mike Seeger has been promoting the cause of American traditional music for more than 40 years and on this latest solo album he sound comfortable on a diverse selection of traditional songs and tunes accompanying himself on guitar, banjo, fiddle, jews harp, quills, autoharp and harmonica. Includes Braking Up Ice In The Alleghany/ Little Rbabit, Where's Your Mamy/ Did You Ever See The Devil, Uncle Joe/ Spoonful/ Claco/ Goodbye, My Little Darling/ Grandad Jim's Waltz/ Young Johnnie and others. Includes booklet with biography of Mike and notes on all the performances. (FS)

 
PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40151 American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 2 ● CD $15.98
27 tracks, 73 mins., recommended This collection is culled from the encyclopedic Folkways discography, spotlighting the young Seeger in sessions first released from 1954 to 1961. Anyone raised on American folk music will recognize most of these classics, perhaps having first heard Seeger sing them. Seeger's open-hearted, meticulous renderings, as he accompanied himself on banjo and guitar, inspired countless covers of well-known songs from Midnight Special to House of the Rising Sun to Stagolee to the Weavers' big hit Wimoweh. The sound is clean here, if thin in the old Folkways style. This is a fine, utterly singable addition to any well-rounded folk collection. (DC)

 
CHRIS SMITHER Hightone 8158 Train Home ● CD $16.98
11 tracks, 46 mins., recommended It's difficult to fathom just where Smither's incredible voice comes from, as it seems to surround you and penetrate you the way few singers can. This collection of songs features Smither at his best, recorded so closely that he seems to be sitting in your lap as he spins his lyrical stories. The opener Train Home is a rocking hit that deserves massive airplay. Bonnie Raitt provides some delicate harmonies on Dylan's Desolation Row, a song that sounds here like it was written yesterday. And Smither finishes off with Richie Furay's sweet Kind Woman, giving it perhaps more heart than the original. (DC)

 

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