January 18, 2018

Traditional Music From Grayson And Carroll Counties: Songs, Tunes with Fiddle, Banjo and Band

Folkways Records FS-3811

Format: Vinyl, 2xLP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: 1962
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Bluegrass, Old Time
A01 Cluck Old Hen: Vester Jones (3:22)
A02 Soldier's Joy: Glen Smith (2:51)
A03 Polly Put the Kettle On: Glen Smith (2:04)
A04 Ida Red: Wade Ward (1:29)
A05 Devilish Mary: Glen Neaves, Roscoe Russell, and Ivor Melton (2:28)
A06 Old Jimmy Sutton: Vester Jones (2:49)
A07 Fire in the Mountain: Glen and Frank Smith (1:21)
A08 Old Ruby (Old Reuben): Vester Jones (3:26)
A09 Little Love: Glen Smith (2:42)
A10 Sourwood Mountain: Wade Ward (1:07)
A11 Poor Ellen Smith: Vester Jones (2:25)
A12 Mississippi Sawyer: Glen and Frank Smith: (1:56)
A13 Pretty Polly: Ed Spencer (1:29)
B01 Katy Cline: Vester Jones (2:19)
B02 Cindy: Glen Smith (2:10)
B03 Ground Hog: Vester Jones (2:27
B04 Hell Among the Yearlings (Hell Amongst the Yearlings): Glen Smith (2:03)
B05 Sugar Hill: Ed Spencer (1:08)
B06 Old Joe Clark: Vester Jones (2:18)
B07 Johnson Boys: Glen Smith (2:50)
B08 Cripple Creek: Wade Ward (1:06)
B09 Tom Dooley: Glen Neaves, Roscoe Russell, and Ivor Melton (2:12)
B10 Fortune: Glen Smith (3:35)
B11 Pretty Little Willow / Sugarfoot Rag (medley): Glen Smith (1:40)
B12 Sally Goodin': Vester Jones (2:24)
B13 Old Jimmy Sutton: Glen Smith (2:05)
B14 Handsome Molly: Glen Neaves and Roscoe Russell (2:52)
Recorder & Producer: Eric H. Davidson & Paul Newman
Bordering each other in southwestern Virginia, Grayson and Carroll counties have a distinctive musical heritage. An important banjo technique, variously called "clawhammer," "flailing the banjo," or "thumbnoting," captured the interest of collectors Eric Davidson and Paul Newman, who set out to record examples of this indigenous style. Recorded between 1958 and 1961, the songs and tunes are believed to be representative of the traditional musical heritage of the area. How do we know? According to elderly locals, the style of the music on this album is similar to what they remember as far back as their grandparents’ day. Liner notes include a social and musical history of Grayson and Carroll counties, song notes and lyrics, and performer biographies.

January 17, 2018

Jefferson Airplane: Takes Off

RCA Victor AFL1-3584

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Released: August 15, 1966
Genre: Rock
Style: Folk Rock
A1 Blues From An Airplane (2:10)
A2 Let Me In (2:55)
A3 Bringing Me Down (2:22)
A4 It's No Secret (2:37)
A5 Tobacco Road (3:26)
B1 Come Up The Years (2:30)
B2 Run Around (2:35)
B3 Let's Get Together (3:32)
B4 Don't Slip Away (2:31)
B5 Chauffeur Blues (2:25)
B6 And I Like It (3:16)
Marty Balin (rhythm guitar/vocals) Signe Toly Anderson (percussion/vocals) Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar) Paul Kantner (rhythm guitar/vocals) Jack Casady (bass guitar) Skip Spence (drums)
Producer: Matthew Katz & Tommy Oliver, Liner Notes: Ralph J. Gleason, Recording Engineer: Dave Hassinger
The debut Jefferson Airplane album was dominated by singer Marty Balin, who wrote or co-wrote all the original material and sang most of the lead vocals in his heartbreaking tenor with Paul Kantner and Signe Anderson providing harmonies and backup. (Anderson's lead vocal on "Chauffeur Blues" indicated she was at least the equal of her successor, Grace Slick, as a belter.) The music consisted mostly of folk-rock love songs, the most memorable of which were "It's No Secret" and "Come up the Years." (There was also a striking version of Dino Valente's "Get Together" recorded years before the Youngbloods' hit version.) Jorma Kaukonen already displayed a talent for mixing country, folk, and blues riffs in a rock context, and Jack Casady already had a distinctive bass sound. But the Airplane of Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Anderson-Casady-Spence is to be distinguished from the Balin-Kantner-Kaukonen-Casady-Slick-Dryden version of the band that would emerge on record five months later chiefly by Balin's dominance. Later, Grace Slick would become the group's vocal and visual focal point. On Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, the Airplane was still Balin's group. (AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann)

January 16, 2018

Joan Baez Live in Japan

Vanguard / King Record GP-315

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: Japan
Released: 1973
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 Oh, Freedom (traditional)
A2 There But For Fortune (P. Ochs)
A3 Saigon Bride (J. Baez, N. Duschek)
A4 House Of The Rising Sun (traditional)
A5 Donna Donna (S. Secunda, A. Zeitlin) Blowin' In The Wind (B. Dylan)
B1 It Ain't Me Babe (B. Dylan)
B2 What Have They Done To The Rain (M. Reynolds)
B3 Wild Mountain Thyme (traditional)
B4 Pilgrim Of Sorrow (traditional)
B5 Farewell To This Today (S. Kaneko) 今日の日はさようなら (金子詔一)
B6 We Shall Overcome (G. Carawan, Hamilton, Z. Horton, P. Seeger)
Joan Baez (guitar/vocals) Mari Kobayashi (B5: vocals 小林万里)
Liner notes: Kazuo Mituhashi (三橋一夫)
Recorded at Kosei-Nenken Hall, Tokyo, Feb. 1, 1967(1967年2月1日東京厚生年金ホール)

January 15, 2018

Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40201

Format: 5xCD, Compilation, Remastered
Country: US
Released: 2015
Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Blues
Disc One
1-01 Irene (Goodnight Irene) (1:53)
1-02 The Bourgeois Blues (2:18)
1-03 Fannin Street (Mister Tom Hughes Town) (3:30)
1-04 The Midnight Special (2:03)
1-05 John Henry (3:10)
1-06 Black Girl (Where Did You Sleep Last Night) (2:07)
1-07 Pick A Bale Of Cotton (1:30)
1-08 Take This Hammer (2:15)
1-09 Cotton Fields (2:06)
1-10 Old Riley (1:58)
1-11 Rock Island Line (2:02)
1-12 The Gallis Pole (2:45)
1-13 Ha-Ha This A Way (1:34)
1-14 Sukey Jump (1:04)
1-15 Boll Weevil (3:07)
1-16 Scottsboro Boys (4:32)
1-17 Governor O.K. Allen (2:37)
1-18 Governor Pat Neff (3:40)
1-19 There's A Man Going Around Taking Names (1:24)
1-20 On A Monday (1:47)
1-21 You Can't Lose Me, Cholly (2:37)
1-22 Keep Your Hands Off Her (2:51)
1-23 We Shall Be Free (2:34)
Disc Two
2-01 Alabama Bound (2:17)
2-02 Almost Day (1:05)
2-03 Fiddler's Dream (2:28)
2-04 Green Corn (1:15)
2-05 Sally Walker (2:40
2-06 Bring Me A Little Water, Silvy (0:48)
2-07 Julie Ann Johnson (0:41)
2-08 Linin' Track (1:11)
2-09 Whoa, Back, Buck (2:09)
2-10 Shorty George (1:28)
2-11 Ham And Eggs (1:42)
2-12 Moanin' (1:00)
2-13 Out On The Western Plains (1:31)
2-14 Noted Rider (2:50)
2-15 Meeting At The Building (0:59)
2-16 Good, Good, Good (Talking, Preaching) / We Shall Walk Through The Valley (2:11)
2-17 Ain't You Glad (The Blood Done Signed My Name) (2:19)
2-18 I'm So Glad, I Done Got Over (1:21)
2-19 The Hindenburg Disaster (3:22)
2-20 Ella Speed (5:48)
2-21 Haul Away Joe (2:48)
2-22 Old Man (2:35)
2-23 Sweet Jenny Lee (1:51)
2-24 Jean Harlow (1:40)
2-25 Laura (1:41)
2-26 Queen Mary (4:46)
Disc Three
3-01 Good Morning Blues (2:24)
3-02 Sail On, Little Girl (3:14)
3-03 Easy Rider (2:51)
3-04 Poor Howard (1:36)
3-05 Duncan And Brady (4:06)
3-06 How Long, How Long (2:13)
3-07 T.B. Blues (3:43)
3-08 Jim Crow Blues (3:30)
3-09 Pigmeat (2:33)
3-10 John Hardy (2:43)
3-11 Outskirts Of Town (2:40)
3-12 4, 5 And 9 (2:20)
3-13 In The Evening (When The Sun Goes Down) (3:29)
3-14 Red Cross Store Blues (3:09)
3-15 Diggin' My Potatoes (2:34)
3-16 Blind Lemon (1:39)
3-17 When A Man's A Long Way From Home (2:57)
3-18 Alberta (3:11)
3-19 Excerpt From "The Lonesome Train" (3:11)
3-20 National Defense Blues (3:13)
3-21 Hitler Song (Mr. Hitler) (4:31)
3-22 Big Fat Woman (1:10)
3-23 Been So Long (Bellevue Hospital Blues) (2:44)
Disc Four
4-01 Grey Goose, Boll Weevil, Yellow Gal, Ha-Ha This A Way, Leaving Blues, Irene (14:42)
4-02 Almost Day, Blues In My Kitchen, Blues In My Dining Room, I Went Up On The Mountain, Good Morning Blues, Baby, Don't You Love Me No More, T.B. Blues, Irene (14:45)
4-03 If It Wasn't For Dicky (2:15)
4-04 What's You Gonna Do When The World's On Fire (2:12)
4-05 Rock Me (Hide Me In Thy Bosom) (2:19)
4-06 Packin' Trunk Blues (2:35)
4-07 Leaving Blues (2:58)
4-08 How Come You Do Me Like You Do? (3:26)
4-09 One Dime Blues (2:25)
4-10 I'm Going To Buy You A Brand New Ford (1:40)
4-11 Jail-House Blues (1:13)
4-12 Shout On (2:09)
4-13 Come And Sit Down Beside Me (1:02)
4-14 Red River (2:14)
Disc Five
5-01 Yes, I Was Standing In The Bottom (1:41))
5-02 Ain't Going Down To The Well No More (Version 2) (1:23)
5-03 Everytime I Go Out (1:25)
5-04 Go Down, Old Hannah (4:58)
5-05 Black Betty (1:53)
5-06 Nobody Knows You When You're Down And Out (3:42)
5-07 Stewball (2:34)
5-08 Ain't It A Shame To Go Fishin' On A Sunday (1:22)
5-09 Relax Your Mind (4:05)
5-10 Princess Elizabeth (3:33)
5-11 Silver City Bound (6:01)
5-12 The Titanic (5:11)
5-13 House Of The Rising Sun (2:24)
5-14 It's Tight Like That (3:09)
5-15 Diggin' My Potatoes (3:57)
5-16 Springtime In The Rockies (3:02)
5-17 Backwater Blues (3:23)
5-18 Didn't Old John Cross The Water (1:56)
5-19 De Kalb Blues (3:51)
5-20 They Hung Him On The Cross (Version 1) (2:26)
5-21 They Hung Him On The Cross (Version 2) (2:49)
5-22 In The World (2:02)
Leadbelly (guitar/vocals)
Liner Notes: Jeff Place & Robert Santelli, Art Direction: Visual Dialogue, Executive-Producer: D.A. Sonneborn & Daniel E. Sheehy, Compilation Producer: Jeff Place & Robert Santelli, Editor: Carla Borden Production Manager: Mary Monseur, Remastering: Pete Reiniger
Lead Belly is "the hard name of a harder man," said Woody Guthrie of his friend and fellow American music icon who was born Huddie Ledbetter (c. 1888–1949). From the swamplands of Louisiana, the prisons of Texas, and the streets of New York City, Lead Belly and his music became cornerstones of American folk music and touchstones of African American cultural legacy. With his 12-string Stella guitar, he sang out a cornucopia of songs that included his classics "The Midnight Special," "Irene," "The Bourgeois Blues," and many more, which in turn have been covered by musical notables such as the Beach Boys, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Van Morrison, Nirvana, Odetta, Little Richard, Pete Seeger, Frank Sinatra and Tom Waits. Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection brings us the story of the man as well as the musician. 5 Discs, 108 tracks (16 unreleased), 5 hours of music, historic photos, extensive notes, and 140-page book.

January 12, 2018

Earl Scruggs: I Saw The Light With Some Help From My Friends

Columbia KC-31354

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1972
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass
A1 Lonesome And A Long Way From Home: Earl Scruggs Revue (2:33)
A2 Silver Wings: Linda Ronstadt (3:25)
A3 It's A Picture From Life's Other Side: Arlo Guthrie (3:36)
A4 Motherless Child Blues: Tracy Nelson (4:29)
A5 Some Of Shelley's Blues: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (2:44)
B1 Never Ending Song Of Love: Earl Scruggs Revue (2:44)
B2 Rock Salt And Nails: Linda Ronstadt & Tracy Nelson (3:20)
B3 The Banks Of The Ohio: Arlo Guthrie (3:25)
B4 Ring Of Fire: Linda Ronstadt (2:11)
B5 Propinquity: Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (2:17)
B6 I Saw The Light: Guest Artists (3:43)
Earl Scruggs (banjo) Linda Ronstadt, Arlo Guthrie, Tracy Nelson, Gary Scruggs, Jeff Hanna (lead vocals) Norman Blake (dobro) Vassar Clements (fiddle) Les Thompson (mandolin) Bob & Pauline Wilson (piano) Jody Maphis, Karl Himmel (drums) The Earl Scruggs Revue, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Stacey Belson & Arloff Boguslavaki
Producer: Don Law, Designer: Bill Barnes, Photographer: Slick Lawson, Engineer: Charlie Bragg
When Earl Scruggs split with longtime collaborator and fellow Foggy Mountain Boy Lester Flatt in 1969, it was evident who of the pair had the more commercial aspirations. While Flatt remained firmly rooted in the bluegrass tradition, Scruggs, much like similar-minded artists such as the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Johnny Darrell, and the Dillards, sought to bridge the gap between pop, folk, and the old-timey sounds of yesteryear. I Saw the Light With Some Help from My Friends may sound like it was culled from the buckle of the "Bible Belt" (there are indeed a few spirituals), but the "friends" referenced in the title are merely saviors of the late-'60s/early-'70s country-folk movement. Scruggs gathered both family -- sons Gary, Randy, and Steve -- and contemporaries like Linda Ronstadt, Arlo Guthrie, Vassar Clements, Tracy Nelson, Norman Blake, and the aforementioned Dirt Band, to flesh out an album of covers both sublime (Merle Haggard's "Silver Wings") and surprising (Monkee Michael Nesmith's "Some of Shelley's Blues"). The musicianship is top-notch and the vocals, especially Ronstadt and Nelson -- Arlo Guthrie will always be an acquired taste for some -- are warm and soulful, resulting in one of the more lucid and enjoyable examples of the crossover genre. (by James Christopher Monger)

January 10, 2018

Foggy Mountain Banjo: Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys

Columbia CS-8364

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo
Country: US
Released: 1961
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass
A1 Ground Speed
A2 Home Sweet Home
A3 Sally Ann
A4 Little Darlin', Pal Of Mine
A5 Reuben
A6 Cripple Creek
B1 Lonesome Road Blues
B2 John Henry
B3 Fire Ball Mail
B4 Sally Goodwin
B5 Bugle Call Rag
B6 Cumberland Gap
Earl Scrugg (banjo) Lester Flatt (guitar) Paul Warren (fiddle) Josh Graves (dobro) Cousin Jake (bass) Buddy Harman (drums)
Artwork: Thomas B. Allen, Liner Notes: Rich Kienzle
The album that secured Flatt & Scruggs standing among folk music enthusiasts in the 1960s, Foggy Mountain Banjo focuses on Earl Scruggs' instrumental prowess as well as his sharp interplay with dobroist Josh Graves, fiddler Paul Warren and Lester Flatt's flat-picking guitar. The album also features drummer Buddy Harman, whose appearance shocked purists.

January 6, 2018

Del and Woody: The Del McCoury Band

McCoury Music – Number None

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 2016
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass, Folk
A1 The New York Trains
A2 Cheap Mike
A3 Ain't A Gonna Do
A4 Left In This World Alone
A5 Californy Gold
A6 Because You Took Me In Out Of The Rain
B1 The Government Road
B2 Dirty Overhalls
B3 Family Reunion
B4 Wimmen's Hats
B5 Little Fellow
B6 Hoecake Fritters
Del McCoury (guitar/vocals) Ronnie McCoury (mandolin/vocals) Rob McCoury (banjo/vocals) Jason Carter (fiddle/vocals) Alan Bartram (bass/vocals)
Executive Producer: Nora Guthrie, Art Director: Chris Harris, Designer: Mollie B. Creative, Engineers: David Ferguson, Sean Sullivan and Dave Shipley
Woody Guthrie is one of America's greatest songwriters. Del McCoury was dubbed a "national treasure" by the Washington Post. Though Woody’s career had concluded before Del’s began, the two are teaming up in an unlikely way as Del is setting Woody's handwritten lyrics to music. The Woody Guthrie archives features almost 3,000 song lyrics that were either never set to music, or the music was never preserved. Woody's daughter, Nora Guthrie, asked Del to resurrect these tunes. The result is nothing short of fantastic, and the Del McCoury Band has recorded these songs for the world to hear.

January 5, 2018

Pete Seeger: Songs of the USA

Super Majestic SBBH 1.580

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 1972
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 East Virginia
A2 Deep Blue Sea
A3 I Knew Leadbelly
A4 El Dia De Tu Santo
A5 Cumberland Bearhunt
B1 Pretty Polly
B2 He Lies In The American Land
B3 One Big Fat Hen
B4 Leather Britches
B5 Jesu Joy Of Man's Desiring
B6 Suliram
B7 The Bells Of Rhymney
Pete Seeger (banjo/guitar/vocals)
Originally released 1965

January 3, 2018

Square Dances: Woodhull's Old Tyme Masters

RCA Camden CAL 220

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: 1960
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Country
A1 Oh Susanna
A2 Pop Goes The Weasel
A3 Captain Jinks
A4 The Wearin' Of The Green
A5 The Girl Behind Me
A6 Triple Right And Left Four
B1 Blackberry Quadrille
B2 Soldier's Joy
B3 The Irish Washerwoman
B4 Pony Boy
B5 Bloom On The Sage
B6 Ann Green
Woodhull's Old Tyme Masters (fiddle/accordion/guitar/banjo/bass) Floyd C. Woodhull (calls)
Illustrator: Pete Hawley

January 1, 2018

Ola Belle Reed: Rising Sun Melodies

Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40202

Format: CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 2010
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass, Folk
01 I've Endured (2:49)
02 Ola Belle's Blues (2:18)
03 Springtime Of Life (4):19)
04 Bonaparte's Retreat (2:46)
05 Foggy Mountain Top (2:29)
06 Fortunes (4:12)
07 High On The Mountain (3:02)
08 Sweet Evalina (2:43)
09 Sing Me A Song (4:28)
10 Tear Down The Fences (3:34)
11 My Epitaph (3:13)
12 Look Down That Lonesome Road (2:40)
13 Undone In Sorrow (3:16)
14 I Believe In The Old Time Way (2:56)
15 Nine Pound Hammer (3:21)
16 I Am The Man, Thomas (3:26)
17 I've Endured (2:35)
18 Ranger's Command (2:56)
19 I Saw The Light (4:27)
Ola Belle Reed (banjo/guitar/vocals) David Reed (banjo/dobro/guitar/vocals) Bud Reed (guitar/harmonica/vocals) Kevin Roth (dulcimer/vocals) Alex Campbell, Sarah Cleveland & Betsy Rutherford(vocals) John Coffey (fiddle)
Editer: Carla Borden, Producer: Jeff Place, Assistant Producers: Nina Rao & Erin Durant, Production Manager: Mary Monseur, Mastering: Pete Reiniger
Ola Belle Reed was a trailblazing force for women in bluegrass music, an Appalachian woman of hard-earned talent and generous ways who delivered honest music sung from the heart. Her songs "I've Endured," "High on the Mountain," "My Epitaph," and many others forge real-life experiences into music steeled with determination, family tradition, and commanding presence. Classic tracks from the Smithsonian Folkways and Smithsonian Folklife Festival archives remind us why the light of Ola Belle's music shines brightly to this day. 8 previously unreleased tracks, 40-page booklet with photos, 61 minutes.
  • Tracks 1-11 recorded 1976-78 and produced by Kevin Roth, released on Folkways Records
  • Tracks 12-19 recorded at the Smithsonian Festival of American Folklife 1972 and 1976