March 19, 2018

Dan Milner: Irish Pirate Ballads and other Songs of the Sea

Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40553

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 2009
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Celtic
01 Ten Thousand Miles Away (3:36)
02 The Ballad Of O Bruadair / Out On The Ocean (3:53)
03 Saucy Ward (4:12)
04 Captain Coulston (5:36)
05 Granuaile (3:47)
06 Get Up Jack, John, Sit Down / Miss Thornton's (4:28)
07 The Flying Cloud (6:25)
08 Larry Maher's Big 5-Gallon Jar (3:13)
09 Bold McCarthy (The City Of Baltimore) (4:39)
10 All For Me Grog / Parnell's March (3:53)
11 Castle Gardens (Sixty Years Ago) (4:55)
12 The Lowlands Low (4:12)
13 The River Lea (5:34)
Dan Milner, Robbie O'Connell, Susan McKeown & The Johnson Girls (vocals) Gabriel Donohue (bouzouki/accordion/guitar/mandolin) Mick Moloney (banjo/mandolin/vocals) Bob Conroy (banjo) John Doyle (guitar/bouzouki/vocals) Tim Collins (concertina) Brian Conway (fiddle) Joanie Madden (flute/whistle)
Producer, Mixing Engineer & Liner Notes: Dan Milner, Liner Notes: Mick Moloney, Recorder & Mastering Engineer: Gabriel Donohue
Pirates, shanghaiers, slavers, and smugglers are just some of the central characters in this album of lusty, authentic maritime songs; others are ardent patriots, hard-pressed immigrants, and weathered sailors sheltering in the taverns of the seven seas. All are midway between some dicey spot in life and an uncertain future. Their compelling stories of bold adventure are excitingly re-told here by an all-star crew of Irish singers and musicians led by vocalist/author Dan Milner. Featuring an impressive array of guest musicians and singers, including Joanie Madden of Cherish the Ladies, John Doyle of Solas, Tim Collins of the renowned Kilfenora Ceili Band, All-Ireland champion fiddler Brian Conway, Robbie O'Connell and Susan McKeown, Irish Pirate Ballads captures centuries of tradition and the revelry, mischief, tales of love and caution that characterize nautical life. Milner "really gets inside a song and brings it alive," writes New York University professor Mick Moloney, who also appears on the album. "It's impossible not to be drawn in by the imagery of these songs and the absorbing stories they tell of memorable rakes, adventurers and scoundrels."

March 18, 2018

Eva Ybarra: Queen of the Accordion

Eva Ybarra, the "Queen of the Accordion," is one of on.y a few professional women accordionists in conjunto music. Ybarra has specialized in writing and composing original conjunto music while also exploring non-standard chord progressions, advancing the art form's evolution. After receiving her first record deal at age 14, she has performed and recorded many albums with her band, Eva Ybarra y Su Conjunto. Her notable recordings include "A Mi San Antonio" (1993) and "Romance Inolvidable" (1996). She has also served as a music educator and artist in residence at the University of Washington, Palo Alto College (San Antonio) and the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Ybarra is in the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Conjunto Hall of Fame, the Tejano R.O.O.T.S Hall of Fame, the Univision Salon de Fama and the Tejano Conjunto Music Hall of Fame and Museum. In 2015, she received the South Texas Conjunto Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Library of Congress  For more information, visit the website of the Library of Congress

March 17, 2018

Don't Mourn-Organize! Songs of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill

Smithsonian Folkways SF CD 40026

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1990
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Labor
01 Joe Hill: Billy Bragg (8:25)
02 Joe Hill's Last Will: Utah Phillips (3:13)
03 Joe Hill's Ashes: Mark Levy (3:20)
04 The Preacher and the Slave: n/a (3:40)
05 Joe Hill: Paul Robeson (2:59)
06 Paper Heart: Si Kahn (2:37)
07 Casey Jones (The Union Scab): Pete Seeger (1:59)
08 Mr. Block: Mats Paulson (3:03)
09 Joe Hill Listens to the Praying: Joe Glazer and Lori Elaine Taylor (7:23)
10 The Tramp: Cisco Houston (3:17)
11 Joe Hill: Earl Robinson (2:38)
12 The White Slave: Carlos Cortez (3:30)
13 Narrative: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn (1:08)
14 The Rebel Girl: Hazel Dickens (3:00)
15 There is Power in a Union: Entertainment Workers IU 630 with Utah Phillips (4:10)
Producer & Liner Notes: Lori Elaine Taylor, Designer: Daphne Shuttleworth
Joe Hill's powerful songs moved Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Utah Phillips, Si Kahn, and countless others to blend politics and song. This dramatic tribute to the Industrial Workers of the World songwriter and activist Joe Hill, features songs by and about Hill performed by Billy Bragg, Hazel Dickens, Earl Robinson, Paul Robeson, and others. Compiled by Lori Elaine Taylor. "A treasure for anyone interested in American folk or labor music." — Washington Post

March 16, 2018

Folk-Songs of America: The Robert Winslow Gordon Collection

The Library of Congress AFS-L68

Format: Vinyl, LP, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1978
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Ballad
A1 Haul The Wood Pile Down/Roll The Old Chariot Along: Singer unknown (Early 1920s)
A2 Old Ninety Seven: Fred Lewe (10/15/1925)
A3 The Old Gray Mare, Hesitation Blues/Not A-Gonna Lay My Religion Down: Bascom Lamar Lunsford (10/19/1925)
A4 Brother Jonas/Georgie: G. Stikeleather (11/11/1925)
A5 Isaac Meddler, Mississippi Sawyer/Sally Goodin: John W. Dillon (10/22/1925)
A6 Old Granny Hare: W. E. Bird (10/28/1925)
A7 Single Girl: Julius Sutton (10/28/1925)
A8 Prisoner's Song: Ernest Helton (11/20/1925)
A9 Let's Go To Bury: A. B. Holly (12/14/1925)
B1 Deep Down In My Heart/Jesus Is My Only Friend/Glory To God, My Son's Come Home: W. M. Givens (4/10/1926)
B2 Ol' Man Satan/Drive Ol' Satan Away/Finger Ring: Mary C. Mann (4/12/1926)
B3 Blow Boys Blow (1)/Blow Boys Blow (2)/Halw Away: J. A. S. Spencer (ca.1930-32)
B4 The Wagon: Ben Harney (9/9/1925)
B5 Milk White Stead/Mulberry Hill: Nellie Galt (ca.1928)
B6 Yes Ma'am/All God's Children Got To Humble Down: Betty Bush Winger (ca.1931-32)
B7 Testing Equipment: Robert W. Gordo (1/?/1932)
B8 Casey Jones: Francis H. Abbot (3/24/1932)
This LP is the first recorded publication of music that Gordon collected on cylinder and disc -- a representative sampling (17 songs) of fiddle tunes, ballads, spirituals, and sea shanties. Through the hiss and crackle that ineradicably mark early field recordings, we get a clear picture of American folklife of this era. Included is a deluxe, illustrated book.

The Library of Congress  Folk-Songs of America: The Robert Winslow Gordon Collection, 1922-1932

March 15, 2018

The Watson Family

Folkways Records FA-2366

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: 1963
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 Groundhog (2:21)
A2 Everyday Dirt (2:08)
A3 Bonaparte's Retreat (1:31)
A4 The House Carpenter (4:33)
A5 I'm Troubled (2:42)
A6 Your Long Journey (2:36)
A7 When I Die (2:17)
A8 The Train That Carried My Girl From Town (2:20)
B1 Down The Road (1:42)
B2 The Lone Pilgrim (3:08)
B3 Texas Gales And Blackberry Rag (1:58)
B4 Darling Cory (2:37)
B5 The Triplett Tragedy (5:31)
B6 Muddy Roads (1:24)
B7 The Lost Soul (3:01)
Doc Watson (guitar/banjo/harmonica/mandolin/autoharp/vocals) Merle Watson (guitar/banjo) Gaither Carlton (banjo/fiddle/vocals) Dolly Greer (vocals) Sophronie Miller Greer (vocals) Annie Watson (vocals) Arnold Watson (banjo/harmonica/vocals) Rosa Lee Watson (vocals) Willard Watson (banjo) Ralph Rinzler (guitar)
Recorder: Ralph Rinzler, Eugene W. Earl, Archie Green & Peter Peter Siegel, Liner Notes: D. K. Wilgus assisted by Ralph Rinzler & Eugene W. Earl, Photographer: Robert Yellin
Doc Watson, grandfather of the folk revival movement, has had a profound influence on American traditional music. Not only did he pioneer the playing of fiddle tunes on a flattop guitar, but through his incessant touring has brought traditional music to a larger audience. This Smithsonian Folkways release captures not only Doc Watson, but almost a dozen family members at the height of their power and has been deservingly hailed as a classic recording. Right from the opening track, "Old Groundhog," Watson and family send the listener on an amazing journey into the American musical past and present. Incidentally, their performance of "Old Groundhog" is certainly the equal of Bascom Lamar Lunsford's "I Wish I Was a Mole in the Ground," in terms of surreal country, capturing as it does race relations, commentary on shoe strings, as well directions for catching a groundhog. On "The House Carpenter," a weepy tale of that conflates religious and personal love, a haunting female voice sings almost off-key accompanied only by a fiddle that doubles on the melody. On the instrumental "Bonaparte's Retreat," Watson offers a droning, sea shanty-influenced version of this song staple of Mississippi river communities. Some of the family's best work is found in the spirituals scattered about the album. "When I Die" features a beautiful, uplifting three-part harmony, as does "The Lost Soul," which contains the wickedly abject refrain, "I'm paying now/the penalty." A fabulous record that's a must-listen for any serious fan of American music. (AllMusic Review by Brian Whitener)

March 14, 2018

Accent: Music and Dance of the Georgia Sea Islands

A segment on the Georgia Sea Island Singers shot at St. Simons Island – featuring Bessie Jones, John Davis, Peter Davis, Willis Proctor, Mable Hillery, Emma Lee Ramsey, Joe Dixon, Joe Armstrong, and others unidentified, and guest host Alan Lomax – from the short-lived CBS educational program "Accent," hosted by poet John Ciardi, 1962.

March 13, 2018

The Long Riders: Original Sound Track by Ry Cooder

Warner Bros. Records HS-3448

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1980
Genre: Blues, Stage & Screen
Style: Soundtrack
A1 The Long Riders (3:13)
A2 I'm A Good Old Rebel (2:18)
A3 Seneca Square Dance (1:58)
A4 Archie's Funeral (Hold To God's Unchanging Hand) (2:40)
A5 I Always Knew That You We're The One (3:04)
A6 Rally 'Round The Flag (4:20)
B1 Wildwood Boys (4:10)
B2 Better Things To Think About (1:24)
B3 Jesse James (2:23)
B4 Cole Younger Polka (2:22)
B5 Escape From Northfield (1:14)
B6 Leaving Missouri (0:57)
B7 Jesse James (5:04)
Ry Cooder (banjo/guitar/mandolin/percussion/saz/bass/vocals) Mitch Greenhill (guitar/vocals) Harry Careys, Joe Chambers, Jim Keach, Pico Payne, Simon Pico Payne & Lester Chambers (vocals) David Lindley (banjo/chumbus/fiddle/guitar/mandolin/tamboura/zither) Jim Dickinson (harmonium/organ/piano) Tom Sauber (banjo/fiddle/guitar/jaw harp/mandola) Curt Bouterse (dulcimer) George Bohannon (horn/sax/trombone) Oscar Brashear (cornet) Milt Holland (drums/gong/percussion/timbales) Jim Keltner (drums/percussion) Baboo Pierre & George Pierre (percussion) Bill Bryson (banjo/bass) Reggie McBride (bass)
Recorder: Lee Herschberg
The American Mastermind / Producer Behind the Great 'Buena Vista Social Club' also Owns Quite an Impressive Back Catalog of Original Material. This Release (1980) is the Soundtrack to Director Walter Hill's Telling of the Jesse James Gang Story. Includes Traditional Songs ('i'm a Good Old Rebel', 'Seneca Square Dance', 'Rally Round the Flag') and Original Cooder Cuts (Title Track, 'Better Things to Think About', 'Escape from Northfield') and More.

March 12, 2018

Arlo Guthrie: Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys

Reprise Records MS-2142

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Gatefold
Country: US
Released: 1973
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Folk Rock
A1 Farrell O'Gara (2:48)
A2 Gypsy Davy (3:43)
A3 This Troubled Mind Of Mine (2:26)
A4 Week On The Rag (2:21)
A5 Miss The Mississippi & You (2:54)
A6 Lovesick Blues (2:33)
A7 Uncle Jeff (0:53)
B1 Gates Of Eden (5:14)
B2 Last Train (3:05)
B3 Cowboy Song (3:36)
B4 Sailor's Bonnett (1:22)
B5 Cooper's Lament (2:46)
B6 Ramblin' Round (3:14)
Arlo Guthrie (guitar/banjo/piano/harmonica/vocals) Jessica Smith (vocals) Venetta Fields, Clydie King, Gene Merlino, Thurl Ravenscroft & Jesse Smith Robert Tebow (chorus) Kevin Burke, Don Rich & Gib Guilbeau (fiddle) Doug Dillard (banjo) Clarence White, Ry Cooder, Jesse Ed Davis, Grady Martin, Buddy Alan, Jerry Brightman, John Pilla & Bob Morris (guitar) Jim Gordon (piano) Stan Free (piano/harpsichord) Jim Shaw (organ/piano) Mike Utley (organ) George Bohanon, Dick Hyde & Gene Coe (horn) William Green (oboe) Ernie Watts (flute) Buddy Collette (clarinet) Richard Hyde (trombone) Donald Christlieb (woodwind) Nick DeCaro (accordion) Gene Parsons, Jim Keltner, Richard Hayward, Ed Shaughnessy & Jerry Wiggins (drums) Chuck Rainey, Bob Arkin, Bob Glaub, Thad Maxwell, Doyle Curtsinger & Leland Sklar (bass)
Producer: John Pilla & Lenny Waronker, Art Director: Ed Thrasher, Designer: John And Barbara Casado, Photographer: Marty Evans, Engineer: Bobby Hata, Donn Landee, Lee Herschberg & Terry Geiser
In the midst of the singer/songwriter era, Arlo Guthrie chose to become his generation's true folk singer, closer in spirit to Pete Seeger than to James Taylor, more an interpreter than a prolific songwriter. In this role, he kept songs alive that may have been forgotten or were never known, and recorded songs from the pens of his contemporary peers. Last of the Brooklyn Cowboys follows a formula similar to its predecessor, Hobo's Lullaby, with one exception -- there is no hit single à la "City of New Orleans." However, this release has some very strong material woven into its mix. Guthrie gives his father's "Gypsy Davy" a bouncy Caribbean feel, breathing new life into this tale of wanderlust in a way probably not envisioned by Woody Guthrie. He also pays tribute to Hank Williams with a yodeling rendition of "Lovesick Blues," and delivers his customary Dylan song. This time it's "Gates of Eden," featuring the fingerpicked electric guitars of Clarence White and the bottleneck slide of Ry Cooder. The album also contains two of Guthrie's finest original songs, "Last Train" and "Cooper's Lament." (AllMusic Review by Jim Newsom)

March 11, 2018

The Legend of Tom Dula and other Tragic Love Ballads sung by Sheila Clark

Folkways Records FTS-31110

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1986
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Ballad
A1 The Ballad of Tom Dula (3:47)
A2 The Ballad of Laura Foster (9:15)
A3 Cold, Cold Ground (4:18)
A4 Tom Dula's Own Ballad (2:00)
B1 House Carpenter (5:17)
B2 Come All Ye Fair Ladies (2:43)
B3 Silver Dagger (2:32)
B4 The Jealous Lover (3:22)
B5 The False Knight (5:20)
Sheila Clark (banjo/guitar/vocals)
Producer: John R. Craig, Designer: Ronald Clyne
Folk singer Sheila Clark sings songs of tragic love. The first four songs of the set tell the story of Tom Dula and the murder of Laura Foster, who may have been his fiancé. The title song "The Legend of Tom Dula" is the best-known, due in part by the 1958 folk hit "Tom Dooley"” made famous by the Kingston Trio. The five remaining songs include several Child ballads (“House Carpenter" and "The False Knight"). Clark sings and plays guitar with instrumental backup by David Johnson. The liner notes, written by album producer John R Craig, provide information about the legend of Tom Dula and complete lyrics for all the songs.

March 10, 2018

Jean Ritchie: British Traditional Ballads In The Southern Mountains Volume 1

Folkways Records FA-2301

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1961
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Ballads
A1 Gypsy Laddie (2:50)
A2 False Sir John (4:22)
A3 Hangman (2:01)
A4 Lord Bateman (6:05)
A5 The House Carpenter (4:22)
A6 Lord Thomas & Fair Ellender (5:30)
B1 The Merry Golden Tree (2:11)
B2 Lord Lovel (4:44)
B3 Old Bangum (1:55)
B4 Barbary Allen (5:04)
B5 Fair Annie Of Lochroyan (9:07)
Jean Ritchie (dulcimer/vocals)
Producer: Kenneth S. Goldstein, Designner: Ronald Clyne
Ten years after British scholar Cecil J. Sharp declared the traditional English ballad a "moribund" art form, he discovered a rich and thriving tradition of ballad-singing in America's southern Appalachian Mountains. Jean Ritchie, a tradition-bearer from Appalachian Kentucky, shares some of her favorite "story songs" of murder and romance. "Hangman" and "Old Bangum" feature the Appalachian dulcimer, a type of fretted zither unique to the region. Liner notes include an introduction by Ritchie, notes by Kenneth J. Goldstein, a bibliography on the ballads collected by Francis Child, and historical information and lyrics for each song.

March 9, 2018

American Ballads Sung by Pete Seeger

Folkways Records FA-2319

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1957
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Ballad
A1 Pretty Polly (3:41)
A2 The Three Butchers (2:54)
A3 John Henry (4:34)
A4 Jay Gould's Daughter (2:45)
A5 The Titanic Disaster (3:47)
A6 Fair Margaret & Sweet William (2:56)
A7 John Hardy (3:36)
B1 The Golden Vanity (3:56)
B2 Gypsy Davy (5:03)
B3 Farmer's Curst Wife (2:53)
B4 Down in Carlisle (In Castyle There Lived a Lady) (3:24)
B5 St.James Hospital (2:58)
B6 Jesse James (4:33)
B7 Barbara Allen (2:57)
Pete Seeger (banjo/vocals)
Recorder: Moses Asch, Designer: Ronald Clyne, Photographer: David Gahr
This collection reminds us that the ballad's purpose, first and foremost, is to tell a story. These songs narrate tales of ordinary people—hoboes and lovers and sailors—and their extraordinary deeds. From "John Henry" to "Lady Margaret" Pete Seeger's expressive style is ideally communicative.

March 8, 2018

Cajun Songs from Louisiana

Folkways Records FE-4438

Series: Ethnic Folkways Library
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Released: 1956
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Cajun
A1 Gabriel: Bobby Bourke (1:35)
A2 Les Maringouins Ont Mangé Ma Belle: Bobby Bourke (0:52)
A3 La Chanson De Cinquante Sous: Marion Dugadet (1:49)
A4 La Fille De Quatorze Ans: Madame Daniel Bourke (4:03)
A5 Valse De Char' Toutoune: Roy Brulé (2:04)
A6 Allons Danser Colinda: Roy Brulé (1:55)
A7 Valse De Church Point: Roy Brulé (3:52)
A8 Johnny Kid Dance: Roy Brulé (6:25)
B1 Jolie Blonde: Tony and Rufis Allemand (2:10)
B2 J'ai Passé Dessou' L'Pommier: Children (1:49)
B3 Fleur De La Jeunesse: Elie Landry (2:56)
B4 Les Filles De Vermillion: Elie Landry (1:43)
B5 La Papier D'Eping': Elie Landry (1:21)
B6 J'ai Passé Devant Ta Porte: Bobby Bourke (1:43)
B7 La Noce À Joséphine: Fernand Labore (2:47)
Recorder: I Bonstein, Producer: Lucie De Vienne Blanc, Designer: Ronald Clyne
Although characteristic of the state of Louisiana, Cajun music has its roots in the French-speaking Acadian population of Canada. The lives of those French colonists were wracked by political discord, war, and for some families, deportation; after the Seven Years' War (1756–63) many sought refuge in Louisiana. On this recording, humorous ballads and lively reels, bolstered by accordion, fiddle, and guitar accompaniment, belie the harsh experiences of the Acadians. Album producer Lucie de Vienne describes how the superimposed elementary rhythms give these songs a "jazzy" atmosphere shared with other French-derived folk songs in the Caribbean. The liner notes include a history of the Cajun people, musical notations, and song lyrics in Cajun French and in English.

March 7, 2018

Dillard Chandler: The End of an Old Song

Folkways Records FA-2418

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1975
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 The Carolina Lady (4:16)
A2 Black Jack Daisy (2:45)
A3 Rain And Snow (2:25)
A4 Old Shep (2:19)
A5 Hicarmichael (2:48)
A6 Short Time Here (1:02)
A7 Meeting Is Over (2:50)
B1 Gathering Flowers (1:26)
B2 Gastony Song (1:35)
B3 Sport In New Orleans (1:30)
B4 Drunken Driver (4:06)
B5 Jesus Says Go (2:01)
B6 Going Down The Road (1:14)
B7 Young Emily (3:09)
B8 Little Farmer Boy (4:34)
Dillard Chandler (vocals)
Recorder, Producer and Photographer: John Cohen
In his introduction to the original liner notes, John Cohen writes, "With Dillard Chandler, the ballads are not just a preservation of something that is passing. They are his connection to the world as he grew up in it. They are not merely stories which he passes on, but contain moral and amour-al positions by which he lives. In this sense they become his definition of himself."