December 8, 2018

Classic Protest Songs from Smithsonian Folkways

Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 40197

Format:CD, Compilation
Country: US
Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country
01 Freedom Now Chant: Mass-meeting Participants In Hattiesburg, Mississippi (0:26)
02 Jesus Christ: Woody Guthrie (2:37)
03 Bourgeois Blues: Lead Belly (2:18)
04 Black, Brown, And White: Big Bill Broonzy (2:42)
05 Baby, I've Been Thinking: Janis Ian (2:41)
06 Blowin' In The Wind: The New World Singers (2:28)
07 This Land Is Your Land: Steve Forbert, Jack Hardy, Jill Burkee & Mark Dann (4:39)
08 Turn, Turn, Turn: Liz Getz (3:04)
09 As Long As The Grass Will Grow: Peter La Farge (5:07)
10 Talking Pay TV: Phil Ochs (2:34)
11 Masters Of War: The Bergerfolk (4:07)
12 Waist Deep In The Big Muddy: Pete Seeger (2:57)
13 Agent Orange: Peggy Seeger (3:51)
14 Strange Fruit: Brother John Sellers (2:20)
15 How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live: New Lost City Ramblers (3:34)
16 I'm Going To Write The Governor Of Georgia: Champion Jack Dupree (3:13)
17 When We Make It Through: Barbara Dane (5:25)
18 Evicted Tenant: Sis Cunningham (2:06)
19 Corrido De César Chávez: Los Perros Del Pueblo Nuevo (3:02)
20 Gone, Gone, Gone: Red Shadow (2:14)
21 Spirits Of The Revolution: Larry Estridge (5:09)
22 We Shall Overcome: Guy Carawan (3:40)
Compiler: Mark Gustafson, Compiler and Liner Notes: Jeff Place, Engineer: Pete Reiniger, Photographer: Diana Davies
War, social injustice, personal plaints, and calls for action have long fueled musical creation and performance. In Classic Protest Songs, Mark Gustafson and Jeff Place tap the historic Smithsonian audio collections to compile 22 songs favored by leaders of antiwar, civil rights, industrial labor, farm worker, and other struggles to air their grievances. Woody Guthrie, Lead Belly, Janis Ian, Big Bill Broonzy, Pete Seeger, Barbara Dane, Guy Carawan, Phil Ochs, and other marquee artists let their voices ring out with calls for peace and justice.

December 7, 2018

From the Mountains to the Sea with Jeff and Gerret Warner

"From the Mountains to the Sea is a two-hour live presentation with multimedia, focusing on the Anne and Frank Warner collection, one of the great treasures in the American Folklife Center archives, containing a wealth of material collected by the husband-and-wife team of folklorists from 1938 to 1966, as they traveled through rural America in search of old songs. This important collection contains such seminal field recordings as North Carolina farmer Frank Proffitt's rendition of the murder ballad "Tom Dooly." This field recording was adapted and recorded in 1958 by The Kingston Trio, whose version became a number one hit, won the very first Grammy in country music, and set off the folk boom of the 1960s. Frank Warner was also a popular folksinger, and the Warners' sons, Jeff and Gerret, got their start as musicians backing up their dad on his recordings and performances. They have been renowned performing musicians for more than 50 years. Career musicians and filmmakers, they created this two-hour live multimedia presentation about the Warner collection, featuring not only their own performances, but also the voices of the singers recorded by their parents across rural America, along with corresponding photographs of the tradition bearers and their homes. It is full of the warmth of the Warners and the country wit of their new friends. Jeff and Gerret grew up listening to the songs and stories of the traditional singers their parents met during their folksong collecting trips, and they offer valuable insights into the lives and adventures of one of the nation's most eminent families of folksong collectors. In so doing, they contribute immensely to our understanding of the Warner collection, one of the most important in the American Folklore Center archives. The event was co-sponsored by the Folklore Society of Greater Washington.

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

December 4, 2018

The Folk Music of the Newport Folk Festival 1959-60 Vol.2

Folkways Records FA 2432

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Mono
Country: US
Released: 1961
Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Blues, Folk, Bluegrass
A1 The Midnight Special: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (3:31)
A2 Living with the Blues: Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee (2:57)
A3 Instrumental: The New Lost City Ramblers (1:07)
A4 Hop High Ladies: The New Lost City Ramblers (1:36)
A5 Take a Drink on Me: The New Lost City Ramblers (2:19)
A6 As I Was Out Walking: Frank Warner (2:14)
A7 Fod!: Frank Warner (1:46)
A8 Asheville Junction: Frank Warner (1:57)
B1 Rake and a Rambling Blade: Fleming Brown (3:17)
B2 Tom Hubbard: Fleming Brown (4:16)
B3 Talking Dust Bowl: John Greenway (3:00)
We Shall Overcome: Guy Carawan (3:50)
Liner Notes: Irwin Silber, Photographers: Dave Gahr, W. Field and Ted Bettancourt
This volume is half of a two-recording set that includes recordings not issued on the Vanguard or Elektra Newport compilations. Intended to represent music from the American South and then-current trends in folk singing, the album features Brownie McGhee, Sonny Terry, the New Lost City Ramblers, Frank Warner, John Greenway, Guy Carawan, and Fleming Brown.

December 3, 2018

Cisco Houston Sings Songs of the Open Road

Folkways Records FA 2480

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1960
Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country Blues, Folk
A1 Mule Skinner Blues (6:32)
A2 Git Along Little Dogies (1:58)
A3 The Erie Canal (1:47)
A4 Hobo's Lullaby (1:54)
A5 East Virginia Blues (1:39)
A6 Travel On (1:37)
B1 Pie In The Sky (3:05)
B2 Mysteries Of A Hobo's Life (1:09)
B3 Soup Song (1:36)
B4 Beans, Bacon And Gravy (2:22)
B5 Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (3:11)
B6 Cryderville Jail (3:16)
B7 I Ain't Got No Home (1:42)
Cisco Houston (guitar/vocals)
Producer and Recorder: Moses Asch, Designer: Ronald Clyne
In the liner notes, Cisco Houston writes that he's been from coast to coast at least thirty times and has traveled a "good part" of the world as well. This album presents thirteen songs about the tribulations and joys of life on the road.

November 30, 2018

Pete Seeger and Ed Renehan: Fifty Sail on Newburgh Bay

Folkways Records FH 5257

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: October 1976
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 Kayowjajineh (1:17)
A2 Fifty Sail On Newburgh Bay (2:08)
A3 The Burning Of Kingston (2:32)
A4 The Phoenix And The Rose (3:46)
A5 The Old Ben Franklin And The Sloop Sally B. (1:27)
A6 The Moon In The Pear Tree (2:33)
A7 The Erie Canal (1:49)
A8 Yankee Doodle (1:18)
B1 This Is A Land (1:08)
B2 Big Bill Snyder (3:12)
B3 Tarrytown (3:43)
B4 The Hudson Whalers (3:19)
B5 Follow The Drinking Gourd (3:15)
B6 Hudson River Steamboat (1:32)
B7 The Knickerbocker Line (2:08)
B8 Of Time And Rivers Flowing (2:55)
Pete Seeger (banjo/vocals) Edward Renehan (guitar/vocals)
Designer: Ronald Clyne
Cleaning up the badly polluted Hudson River and its environs has long been a cause that Pete Seeger has devoted himself to, even organizing the building of a sloop--the Clearwater--to promote the effort. Here he devotes a recording to songs relating to the river, which played a major role in the commercial life and early history of New York State, including the Revolutionary War. Both traditional and newly composed songs are included. Folk singer Ed Renehan (born 1956), who was a member of the board of the Clearwater, sings and plays guitar along with Seeger. William Gekle, who wrote the lyrics for five of the songs, also wrote the liner notes, which detail the context of each song and provide the lyrics.

November 25, 2018

Dick Fariña & Eric Von Schmidt

Folklore Records F-LEUT/7

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Limited Edition, Mono
Country: UK
Released: 1963
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 Johnny Cuckoo (4:24)
A2 Jumping Judy (3:52)
A3 Glory, Glory (2:36)
A4 Old Joe's Dulcimer (2:52)
A5 Wobble Bird (2:41)
A6 Wildwood Flower (1:53)
A7 Overseas Stomp (2:41)
B1 Lonzo N'Howard (3:29)
B2 You Can Always Tell (3:04)
B3 Xmas Island (3:15)
B4 Stick With Me Baby (3:30)
B5 Riddle Song (1:09)
B6 Cocaine (4:00)
B7 London Waltz (3:16)
Dick Fariña (dulcimer/harmonica/vocal) Eric von Schmidt (guitar/vocal) Bob Dylan as Blind Boy Grunt (backup voca/harmonica) Ethan Signer (fiddle/mandolin/vocal)
Designer: Eric Von Schmidt, Liner Notes: Dick Fariña, Producer: Tom Costner, Engineer: Don Sollash
This obscure album, recorded in January 1963 at Dobell's record shop in London, is known primarily for a very famous session musician playing under a pseudonym. Blind Boy Grunt, aka Bob Dylan, contributed harmonica and backup vocals to half a dozen of the tracks (using that pseudonym, most likely, as he was under contract to a different label at the time). Fariña and Von Schmidt, already noted performers in the American coffeehouse folk scene, are the principal figures on this pretty typical '60s folk revival LP. The material and delivery are rooted in traditional folk forms, including jug band, blues, and Appalachian music, and are neither too dry nor too exciting. Certainly Fariña, the more talented of the front line pair, shows few flashes of the first-rate songwriting and arrangements that would flower on the albums he did in the mid-'60s with his wife Mimi Fariña. The one vivid flash of that brilliance is on the instrumental "Old Joe's Dulcimer," in which he unveils his considerable talents on the instrument. With its almost Indian-like drones, it could just about fit as one of the instrumentals on the Richard & Mimi Fariña albums, although the absence of Mimi Fariña's guitar accompaniment creates (if only in retrospect) a sonic gap. "Wobble Bird" (derived from the standard "Cuckoo") and "Wildwood Flower" (a vocal number which has some dulcimer) aren't bad, but really this is just another folk album of its time, notable primarily as a collector's item. If you're picking this up just for Dylan's contributions, be advised that those are pretty low-key; he doesn't contribute any songwriting or lead vocals. Also lending a hand on these sessions is Ethan Signer of the Original Charles River Valley Boys. (AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger)

November 13, 2018

Lamine Konté: La Kora Du Sénégal

Arion ARN 33179

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: France
Released: 1974
Genre:Folk, World, & Country
Style: African, Griot
A1 M'Besseyla (Air Afrocubain) (2:17)
A2 Casamance (3:58)
A3 Mama Tamba (Solo De Kora) (2:19)
A4 Moune Ma Ko (Rythme Afrocubain) Chant De La Dot (3:25)
A5 Diouala (Air De La Casamance) (3:02)
A6 Kaki Lambé (Danses De Possédés) Solo De Percussions (2:16)
B1 Africa (2:58)
B2 Ma Konon (2:50)
B3 Yobaléma (CHant Pour Danse Des Femmes Du Nord Du Sénégal) (2:51)
B4 Yarabi (Chant D'Amour Malinké) (3:27)
B5 Casa Saby (3:10)
B6 Chant Des Pilons (1:57)
Lamine Konté (kola/vocals) Yvan Labé Jofe (percussion)
Liner Notes: Ariane Ségal, Designer: Dominique Michellier, Engineer and Photographer: Claude Morel

November 11, 2018

Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard: Sing Me Back Home - The DC Tapes 1965-1969

Free Dirt Records DIRT-CD-0087

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: September 21, 2018
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk & Coutry
01 Bye Bye Love (2:51)
02 Tell Me That You Love Me (2:33)
03 Seven Year Blues (2:04)
04 Cannonball Blues (2:09)
05 This Little Light of Mine (1:57)
06 James Alley Blues (4:23)
07 Little Darling Pal of Mine (2:26)
08 Are You All Alone (2:08)
09 No One to Welcome Me Home (2:57)
10 Let Me Fall (2:03)
11 Will You Miss Me (3:11)
12 No Telephone in Heaven (2:39)
13 I'll Wash Your Love from My Heart (1:48)
14 Hard Time Blues (3:03)
15 Why Not Confess (2:02)
16 Bound to Ride (1:37)
17 Sing Me Back Home (3:25)
18 The First Whippoorwill (Bonus Track) (2:26)
19 In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad) (Bonus Track) (2:56)
Recorded by Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard, Liner Notes: Erica Haskell and Maureen Loughran, Designer: MacDonald Studios, Engineer: Joseph Dejarnette, Photographer: Betsy Siggins
Beloved bluegrass trailblazers Hazel Dickens & Alice Gerrard are revered as pioneers of the form, who challenged the norm at a time when bluegrass remained largely in the purview of men. Nowhere is this more clear than on a set of newly unearthed recordings, Sing Me Back Home: The DC Tapes, 1965-1969, out September 21 on Free Dirt Records. Sourced from Alice's private archive and digitized with help from the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC Chapel Hill, the recordings invite us to witness the creative process of these towering figures—just two voices and a handful of instruments working out arrangements at home. Across 19 tracks the duo sings the classic country of The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers, and Jimmie Rodgers; contemporary hits of the 1960s penned by Dolly Parton and Merle Haggard; and barn-burning traditional standards that blur the line between old-time and early bluegrass. Sing Me Back Home is a raw, unfiltered listen to Hazel & Alice at the height of their collaborative energy.

November 9, 2018

Helen Gene Purdy: The Laundry Story and the Bakery Story

Scholastic Records SC 7671

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1960
Genre: Children's, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Story, Folk
The Laundry Story
A1 Checking Our List (2:02)
A2 Question And Answer Song (2:10)
A3 Sorting Song (1:00)
A4 Washer Song (0:50)
A5 Tumbler Song (1:13)
A6 Sheet Roller Song (1:13)
A7 Wrapping Song (0:48)
A8 Laundry Song (0:39)
The Bakery Story
B1 Bakery Song (2:21)
B2 Cupcake Song (1:24)
B3 Everything Is White (0:39)
B4 So Much - So Big (1:00)
B5 Dough Rising Song (1:21)
B6 Proofer Song (1:36)
B7 Oven Song (2:21)
B8 Cake Decorating Song (0:54)
B9 Dough Song (0:36)
Helen Gene Purdy (narration/vocals)
This recording is a follow-up to The Downtown Story with children’s storyteller Helen Gene Purdy. Alternating between speaking and singing, Purdy tells two stories involving a mother and her young child (girl in the first, boy in the second) in two common scenarios: sending clothing to the laundry to be cleaned and visiting the bakery. Purdy describes the several aspects of laundry preparation, such as sorting clothes by color, using the washer, and wrapping laundry for delivery. On a visit to the bakery, Purdy sings about the equipment frequently used for baking, including the proofer, the oven, and tubes used for decorating cakes. Complete lyrics and musical notation are included in the liner notes.

November 8, 2018

Cumberland Mountain Folksongs Sung by Paul Clayton

Folkways Records FP 2007

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1957
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 The Hustling Gamblers (2:53)
A2 Lord Bateman (2:57)
A3 Floyd Collins (3:28)
A4 Mush Toodin (0:48)
A5 The House Carpenter (2:18)
A6 Sugar Baby (1:44)
B1 Spotty and Dudie (1:19)
B2 Pretty Polly and False William (3:46)
B3 Once I Courted a Pretty Little Girl (1:16)
B4 Kathy Fiscus (1:55)
B5 Walk, Tom Wilson, Walk (0:43)
B6 Cold Winters Night (2:43)
B7 Texas Rangers (2:32)
Paul Clayton (guitar/dulcimer/vocals)
Illustration: Rosenhouse, Producer: Kenneth S. Goldstein
Collector Paul Clayton performs the songs and ballads he collected in the Cumberland Mountains of Virginia and Kentucky in the 1950s—a repertoire that includes both old English and Scottish ballads and recently-composed songs about events such as the cave-in that trapped and killed Floyd Collins in Kentucky’s Sand Cave in 1925.