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NEWSLETTER #134
Folk Music - American, British Isles, etc.
Barbara Dane ->
Waterson:Carthy
 

 

 
AMERICAN FOLK BARBARA DANE Dreadnaught 1605 I Hate The Capitalist System ● CD $14.98
14 tracks, 52 mins, highly recommended
Excellent collection of political songs about the plight of the working man and woman originally issued on Barbara's own Paredon label in 1973. Songs range from the 30s to the 70s and songs from the repertoire of older singers like Sarah Ogan Gunning (the powerful title song) and Woody Guthrie (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos/ Deportees/ Ludlow Massacre) along with writers from the 60s and 70s like Malvina Reynolds, Jack Warshaw (the fierce Kent State Massacre) and Jane Felczer. There are also a couple of traditional songs, Barbara's rewrite of the 1954 blues by J.B. Hutto Things Are So Slow and her reworking of a song from Vietnamese singer Xuan Hong. The arrangements are as varied as the selection ranging from an acapella vocal to a small band. Set comes with 28 page booklet with detailed notes including information on all the songs as well as lyric transcripts. Although originally issued more than 30 years ago much of what is sung about here is just as true today as it was then. (FS)

 
ENGLAND FAIRPORT CONVENTION Island (UK) IMCD 307 Angel Delight ● CD $18.98
11 tracks, 39 mins, recommended
The follow-up to "Full House" finds the group down to quartet - Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson and Ashley Hutchings have left and Dave Pegg has joined on bass, violin & viola. This is a fine collection of mostly traditional songs and tunes delivered with a lighter and more whimsical flavor, lacking some of the beauty and power of it's predecessors. Highlights are Lord Marlborough, the risqué Bonny Black Hare and a great version of one of my all time favorite songs Banks Of The Sweet Primroses. The title song, written by the group, is a pretty silly and self-indulgent song which doesn't really stand the test of time. There are also a couple of Dave Swarbrick/ Richard Thompson songwriting collaborations which are excellent, particularly Sickness & Diseases . This newly remastered edition features a bonus live version of The Journeyman's Grace and includes a 12 page booklet with notes on all the songs plus notes by Simon Nicol. (FS)

 
IRELAND PLANXTY Tara 3001 After the Break ● CD $19.98
Back in print. Joyful, sweeping, brilliantly conceived and performed, this is Planxty at their best--the first and greatest Irish neo-traditional super group. The camaraderie and musical passion expressed by these five masters when they played together on this 1979 recording has never been eclipsed. Christie Moore and Andy Irvine share vocal honors, while Liam O'Flynn, Donal Lunny, and Matt Molloy construct their intricate instrumental latticework of flute, pipes, bouzoukis, guitars, and more. The emotions are rich throughout, from Irvine's cocky, politically incorrect Rambling Sailor to the dark, eerie, and inexorable Farmer Michael Hayes sung by Moore. The finish is a riotous Bulgarian dance that leaves the listener breathless. This is a classic--not to be missed! (DC)

 
ENGLAND JOHN RENBOURN Vestapol 13048 In Concert, 1990 ● CD $22.98
DVD Now on DVD featuring this great British guitarist in Concert in Toronto in 1990.

 
AMERICAN FOLK PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40152 American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 3 ● CD $15.98
27 tracks recorded for Folkways between 1957 and 1962 including Swanee River/ Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child/ She'll Be Coming Round The Mountain and more. Includes 20 page booklet with extensive liner notes.

 
IRELAND SWEENEY'S MEN Castle CMDDD 932 The Legend Of Sweeney's Men ● CD $18.98
Two CD set with 41 tracks featuring the complete recordings of this seminal Irish band. Sweeney's Men was Johnny Moynihan's and Andy Irvine's first successful band, in which they were joined by banjo/ guitar/ vocalist Terry Woods. This set includes both their LPs, rare singles plus sides by The Capitol Showband and Johnny Kelly featuring various Sweeney's. It also includes other recordings featuring members of the group by Anne Briggs, Steeleye Span, Andy Irvine & Paul Brady and The Woods Band and ends with two 1996 recordings featuring Andy Irvine where he recaptures the spirit of the Sweeneys. A mix of traditional and contemporary songs. Includes 12 page booklet with notes by Colin Harper.

 
ENGLAND RICHARD THOMPSON Fledgling 3045 Starring As Henry The Human Fly ● CD $17.98
12 tracks, 37 mins, essential
Available again after too long an absence this was Richard's first solo album from 1972 after leaving Fairport Convention and is an unquestionable masterpiece. Although the songs are original and contemporary there is a strong thread of traditional music that runs through it all. It includes such anthemic folk-rock classics as The New St George and The Old Changing Way, the wonderful The Angels Took My Racehorse Way with glorious harmony vocals from Sandy Denny and Linda Peters (soon to be Mrs. Thompson), the haunting Poor Ditching Boy and more. The arrangements are stunning using friends like John Kirkpatrick, Pat Donaldson, Sue Draheim, Barry Dransfield, Andy Roberts and others and a couple of the tracks features some effective brass accompaniments. Sound quality is superb and booklet includes lyrics and some more pictures of Richard in his outrageous fly outfit. A must! (FS)

 
AMERICAN FOLK VARIOUS ARTISTS Smithsonian Folkways 40110 Classic Folk Music ● CD $11.98
25 track, budget priced, introduction to some of the great folk artists recorded for Folkways in the 40s through the 60s including Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Barbara Dane, Mike Seeger, Fred Gerlach, Peggy Seeger, Hobart Smith, Haywire Mac McClintock, Mark Spoelstra, Earl Robinson, Pete Seeger, Elizabeth Cotten, Big Bill Broonzy and more.

 
MISCELLANEOUS VARIOUS ARTISTS Vestapol 13061 World Of Slide Guitar ● CD $22.98
DVD Now on DVD. Wide ranging survey of slide guitar practitioners featuring John Fahey, Bob Brozman, Debashish Bhattacharya, Mike Auldridge and Martin Simpson.

 
ENGLAND WATERSON:CARTHY Topic TSCD 542 Fishes & Fine Yellow Sand ● CD $16.98
12 tracks, 64 mins, essential
Another set of magnificent performances from England's finest folk group. The group now includes Tim Van Eyken as a regular member playing melodeon and contributing a couple of vocals which are fine but not of the same caliber as those of Norma, Martin and Eliza. There's one great song after another, nearly all traditional, and it's hard to pick favorites but among the highlights are Eliza's versions of Newry Town and Captain Kidd, Norma's version of Black Muddy River and Martin's Farewell Lovely Nancy but it's all great with some wonderful instrumental work. Another must! (FS)

 

 

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