August 9, 2018

Joan Baez "Fare Thee Well" Farewell Tour

Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
01 Don't Think Twice (Bob Dylan)
02 God Is God (Stephen F. Earle)
03 Farewell Angelina (Bob Dylan)
04 Whistle Down The Wind (Tom Waits - Kathleen Brennan)
05 Silver Blade (Josh Ritter)
06 It's All Over Now Baby Blue (Bob Dylan)
07 Deportee (Woody Guthrie - Martin Hoffman)
08 L'Auvergnat (Georges Brassens)
09 Diamonds And Rust (Joan Baez)
10 Me And Bobby McGee (Kris Kristofferson - Fred Foster)
11 The Times They Are A Changin' (Bob Dylan)
12 The President Sang Amazing Grace (Zoe Mulford)
13 Joe Hill (Earl Robinson - Alfred Hayes)
14 Seven Curses (Bob Dylan)
15 The House Of The Rising Sun (Woody Guthrie - Traditional)
16 Darlin' Corey (Traditional)
17 Gracias A La Vida (Violeta Parra)
18 Imagine (John Lennon)
19 The Boxer (Paul Simon)
20 Here's To You (Joan Baez - Ennio Morricone)
Joan Baez (guitar/vocals) Dirk Powel (fiddle/banjo/mandolin/guitar/accordion/keyboards) Gabriel Harris (percussion) Grace Stumberg (vocals)
Tour manager: Blair Woods, Sound engineer: Jason Reboin

August 1, 2018

Pete Seeger: American Folk, Game & Activity Songs

Smithsonian Folkways SFW CD 45056

Format: CD, Album, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 25 Jan 2000
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
01 Bought Me a Cat (3:14
02 The Blue Tailed Fly (Jimmie Crack Corn) (2:18)
03 The Train is A-Coming (3:09)
04 This Old Man (2:38)
05 Froggie Went A-Courtin' (4:25)
06 Jim Along Josie (2:07)
07 There Was an Old Man and He Was Mad (1:46)
08 Clap Your Hands (3:01)
09 She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain (1:56)
10 All Around the Kitchen (2:04)
11 Billy Barlow (2:38)
12 I Know a Little Girl (2:21)
13 I Want to Be a Farmer (2:50)
14 Skip to My Lou (3:35)
15 Candy Gal (5:02)
16 Ring Around the Rosy / Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush / London Bridge (1:01)
17 Shoo Fly (1:48)
18 Liza Jane (1:49)
19 Pig in the Parlor (2:32)
20 New River Train (2:56)
21 Yankee Doodle (1:47)
22 Jolly is the Miller (4:15)
Pete Seeger (banjo/vocals)
Recorder: Moses Asch, Designer: Galen Lawson, Mastering Engineer: Charlie Pilzer
Kick off your shoes, tap your feet, and clap your hands along with Pete Seeger, whose contagious performances have introduced generations of children to the richness of traditional American music. Accompanied by his banjo, Pete Seeger presents 22 songs for young children that the whole family will enjoy. Extensive notes include lyrics and some instructions for dance. Especially for children 3 to 7. 59 minutes. Originally released as "American Folk Songs for Children." Winner of the 2001 Early Childhood News' Director's Choice Award Winner of the Parents' Choice 2000 Audio Classic Award.

July 28, 2018

The Folk Music Of The Newport Folk Festival 1959-60 Vol.1

Folkways Records FA-2431

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1961
Genre: Blues, Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass, Folk
A1 On The Banks Of The Don: O. J. Abbott (2:01)
A2 Barley Grain: O. J. Abbott (3:03)
A3 I'm A Stranger Here: Willie Thomas* With Butch Cage (3:04)
A4 44 Blues: Willie Thomas With Butch Cage (4:15)
A5 Bonny Bunch O' Roses-O: Pat Clancy (4:48)
A6 Fair Ellender: Mike Seeger (4:23)
B1 Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase: Pete Seeger (1:43)
B2 Citadel Hill: Alan Mills (1:50)
B3 Cod Liver Oil: Alan Mills (2:21)
B4 I'm A Stranger Here: Frank Hamilton (3:41)
B5 I Am a Pilgrim: Frank Hamilton (2:54)
Producer: Irwin Silber, Designer: Interdesign, Photographer: David Gahr
This volume is half of a two-recording set that includes recordings not issued on the Vanguard or Elektra Newport compilations. It features folk songs and ballads sung by Irish, Canadian, and American singers, as well as selections from Louisiana blues singers Willie Thomas and Butch Cage.

July 26, 2018

The Maddox Brothers & Rose: America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band

Arhoolie Records CD-391

Format: CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1993
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country, Rockabilly
01 George's Playhouse Boogie (2:45)
02 Midnight Train (3:06)
03 Shimmy Shakin' Daddy (2:11)
04 Careless Driver (2:50)
05 Move It On Over (2:47)
06 Whoa Sailor (2:36)
07 Milk Cow Blues (3:11)
08 Mean And Wicked Boogie (2:40)
09 Brown Eyes (2:58)
10 Honky Tonkin' (2:27)
11 Time Nor Tide (3:09)
12 New Mule Skinner Blues (2:10)
13 Philadelphia Lawyer (3:15)
14 Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down (2:19)
15 When I Lay My Burden Down (2:16)
16 Hangover Blues (2:38)
17 Water Baby Boogie (2:10)
18 Dark As A Dungeon (2:23)
19 Mule Train (2:56)
20 Oklahoma Sweetheart Sally Ann (2:15)
21 Faded Love (2:42)
22 New Step It Up And Go (2:29)
23 (Pay Me) Alimony (2:13)
24 I Wish I Was A Single Girl Again (2:13)
25 Your Love Light Never Shone (2:02)
26 Meanest Man In Town (2:33)
27 I Want To Live And Love (2:05)
Rose Maddox, Don Maddox (vocals) Fred Maddox (bass/vocals) Don Maddox (fiddle) Henry Maddox (mandolin/guitar) Cliff Maddox (mandolin) Cal Maddox (guitar/harmonica) Gene Breeden, Jimmy Winkle, Roy Nichols (guitar) Bud Duncan (steel guitar)
Reissue Producer: Chris Strachwitz, Designer: Wayne Pope, Liner Notes: Keith Olesen
The Maddox Brothers & Rose were America's most colorful hillbilly band all right, and not just because they wore snazzy sequined Western suits that screamed louder than a blast of TNT. Everything they did was at the top of their lungs, from sister Rose's effectively braying twang and tittering, high-pitched asides to the brothers' nuclear-charged postwar fusion of boogie-woogie, Western swing, and California honky-tonk. Most colorful of all was the group's aesthetic--unabashed emotionalism on a poignant gospel ballad such as "When I Lay My Burden Down" alternating with broad comedy displayed on covers of "Milk Cow Blues" and "Honky Tonkin'." "Got a hillbilly band called Maddox and Rose ... [and] they play a boogie-woogie that'll wiggle your toes," Rose guffaws on "George's Playhouse Boogie." Never has such a colorful self-description been so accurate. --David Cantwell

July 25, 2018

Abigail Washburn: City Of Refuge

Rounder Records 11661-3289-2

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 11 Jan 2011
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass, Folk
01 Prelude (0:52)
02 City Of Refuge (3:42)
03 Bring Me My Queen (4:14)
04 Chains (3:51)
05 Ballad Of Treason (3:07)
06 Last Train (3:55)
07 Burn Thru (4:26)
08 Corner Girl (3:24)
09 Dreams Of Nectar (5:51)
10 Devine Bell (2:38)
11 Bright Morning Stars (4:40)
Abigail Washburn (banjo/vocals) Batubagen, Kai Welch, Ketch Secor, Kevin Dailey, Yiliq (vocals) Kai Welch (guitar/keyboards/loops/organ/piano/slit drum/trumpet) Annalisa Tornfelt, Rayna Gellert (fiddle) Jeremy Kittel (viola/violin) Wu Fei (guzheng) Ketch Secor, Kevin Dailey (guitar) Bill Frisell, Carl Broemel, Chris Funk (electric guitar) Carl Broemel, Chris Funk (pedal steel guitar) Morgan Jahnig, Viktor Krauss (bass) Nathaniel Smith (cello) Chris Funk (dulcimer) Jamie Dick, Kenny Malone, Tucker Martine (drums) Diego (trombone) Joe Murphy (tuba) Jamie Dick, Kenny Malone, Tucker Martine (percussion) Ben Elkins, Bobby Funk, Carla Parisi, Casey Mickle, Dabney Morris, Dyar Jr., Elizabeth Pullum, Harry Skeen, Jacob Gordon, James Wallace, Kevin Dailey, Leslie Arney, Neil Anderson, Reverend Robert Hardy, Veta Bates Allen (Choir)
Producer and Recorder: Tucker Martine
City of Refuge, the ambitious third album by singer, songwriter, and banjoist Abigail Washburn, extends the reach of both the stripped-down roots sounds on Song of the Traveling Daughter and the more musically exploratory Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet. She’s been seasoned by continually playing with stellar musicians and opening herself to musical traditions from those of the Deep South and the British Isles to folk traditions from Asia, jazz, and rock. This set showcases her singing and lyrics up front. Produced and mixed by Tucker Martine, City of Refuge boasts an extensive and impressive list of players and singers -- including Bill Frisell, Jeremy Kittel, Viktor Krauss, guzheng master Wu Fei, and Kai Welch, to name a few. In Martine, Washburn found the perfect collaborator: he understands implicitly how far-reaching her songs are; he assists her in cracking wide the conventions of traditions while showcasing their influence with reverence and grace. The title track opens with her clawhammer banjo-style playing “old-time mountain music,” but quickly shape-shifts through country gospel, folk-blues, open droning tones, and shimmering rock. The orchestration on the heartbreaking “Bring Me My Queen” is spacious with lilting piano; Kittel’s fiddle provides soft textural elements that let Washburn's voice articulate the deeply poetic lyric. Rayna Gellert's fiddle, Frisell's electric guitar, and a pedal steel adorn “Last Train,” as Washburn and Welch harmonize the loneliness of loss and longing in her lyric. “Burn Thru” opens with what seems like a coda with an orchestral lushness that almost reaches a crescendo before it all disappears, just before Washburn, backed by acoustic guitars and her banjo, declares her resilience and her ability to transcend: “There’s shadows in my tracks/I’m not lookin’ back at the rest of you...I’m not goin’ down with the rest of you.” The musical abstraction and sheer beauty on City of Refuge is born out best on “Dreams of Nectar.” Its root is an a cappella Appalachian ballad, but before long, Wu Fei’s dreamy guzheng (a zither-like instrument) enters, and is layered upon by a humming choir, chirping birds, and even tempered brass instruments. Yet, even as the elements gel, they slowly dissolve into a gauzy haze, leaving the listener in reverie -- which is shattered by the stomping country gospel of “Divine Bell.” The set closes with the haunting “Bright Morning Stars,” a hymn that contains choir drones resembling the chanted throat-sung prayers of Tibetan monks. City of Refuge reveals that Abigail Washburn has grown exponentially as an artist. She's created a visionary American music that extends its traditions as it embraces others, free of borderlines. City of Refuge shines from West to East, from South to North -- and beyond. (AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek).

July 23, 2018

Profile II: The best of Emmylou Harris

Warner Bros. Records Inc. 9-25161-2

Format: CD, Compilation
Country: US
Released: 1984
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Country
01 Blue Kentucky Girl (3:16)
02 Wayfaring Stranger (3:25)
03 Beneath Still Waters (3:40)
04 Born To Run (3:43)
05 Someone Like You (3:14)
06 Mister Sandman (2:18)
07 Pledging My Love (2:57)
08 I'm Movin' On (2:38)
09 (Lost His Love) On Our Last Date (3:20)
10 Save The Last Dance For Me (3:38)
Emmylou Harris (guitar/vocals)
Producer: Brian Ahern, Designer: Simon Levy, Photographer: Jim McGuire, Engineers: Donivan Cowart, Bradley Hartman, Stuart Taylor, Alan Vachon and Mike
Harris' second hits collection is highlighted by a pair of chart-toppers, "Beneath Still Waters" and "(Lost His Love) On Our Last Date." It also includes the Top Five smashes "Born to Run," "I'm Movin' On" and "Save the Last Dance for Me." (AllMusic Review by Jason Ankeny)

July 21, 2018

Nanci Griffith: Winter Marquee

Rounder Records 11661-3220-2

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 2002
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk, Folk Rock
01 Speed Of The Sound Of Loneliness (4:40)
02 I Wish It Would Rain (2:36)
03 Boots Of Spanish Leather (6:34)
04 Two For The Road (2:59)
05 Listen To The Radio (3:51)
06 There's A Light Beyond These Woods (Mary Margaret) (4:46)
07 Gulf Coast Highway (3:32)
08 The Flyer (4:46)
09 Good Night, New York (5:06)
10 Traveling Through This Part Of You (4:19)
11 Last Train Home (3:05)
12 I'm Not Drivin' These Wheels (Bring The Prose To The Wheel) (3:40)
13 What's That I Hear (4:08)
14 White Freight Liner (5:01)
Nanci Griffith (guitar/vocals) Le Ann Etheridgeh (guitar/vocals) Ron De La Vega (bass/vocals) James Hooker (keyboards/vocals) Chas Williams (dobro/guitar) Pat McInerney (drums)
Producer: Monty Hitchcock, Engineer: Dean Norman and Mark Lambert
Artistically speaking, Nanci Griffith has been in somewhat of a funk since 1998's Other Voices, Too. 1999's The Dust Bowl Symphony offered a syrupy greatest-hits package and 2001's Clock Without Hands, her first new material in several years, seemed both over-produced and overwrought. To further muddy the picture, Rounder released three early Griffith albums in 2002, reminding listeners how well she could write. Also released by Rounder, the live Winter Marquee is the first new album Griffith has released on the label since the mid-'80s. Following the reissues, it seems like something of a homecoming. The straightforward, hour-long set is made up of old favorites, a couple recent pieces, and a few covers. Accompanied by a country-folk band, Griffith's vocals take center stage to offer fine versions of "I'm Not Drivin' These Wheels" and "The Flyer." She's in great voice, and one of the pleasures of her music has always been the way she lovingly lingers over phrases for emphasis. She's joined by a couple of special guests, including Emmylou Harris on "Good Night, New York" and Tom Russell on "What's that I Hear" and "White Freight Liner." The set is also strengthened by the inclusion of less-frequently covered pieces like "There's a Light Beyond These Woods." While Winter Marquee may lack the spark of an early album like Once in a Very Blue Moon, fans will enjoy this live set. (AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.)

July 19, 2018

The Bergerfolk Sing For Joy

Folkways Records FA-32415

Format: Vinyl, LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 1971
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 I'll Fly Away (2:24)
A2 Who Killed Cock Robin? (4:48)
A3 What'll We Do With The Drunken Sailor (2:53)
A4 What'll We Do With The Baby-O (1:31)
A5 The Bowery / Yankee Doodle / Tom Dooley (1:24)
A6 We Are Going To The Zoo (1:40)
A7 Roll On Columbia (2:05)
A8 Amazing Grace (1:41)
B1 Deportees (Plane Wreck At Los Gatos) (4:49)
B2 I'm Gonna Mail Myself To You (1:26)
B3 Jesse James (3:12)
B4 Shule Aroon (2:13)
B5 Baby Tree (1:49)
B6 Plastic Grass (1:22)
B7 Day Is Done (3:39)
The Bergerfolk: Steve Berger (banjo), Phoebe Berger, Claudia Berger, Jennifer Anne Berger, Margaret Louise Berger, Jonathan Glenn Berger and Emily-Kate Berger
Designer: Ronald Clyne, Photographer: Mort Mace and Donald Clyne
The musical family band Bergerfolk performs a collection of traditional, modern, and original folk songs on this, the first of 4 albums they recorded for Folkways Records. The family consists of dentist and banjo player Steve Berger, his wife Phoebe, and their five children: Claudia, Jennifer, Margaret, Jonathan and Emily. The Bergerfolk lend their vocals and instrumentation to renditions of traditional tunes, including "Amazing Grace" "What'll We Do with the Drunken Sailor" and "I’ll Fly Away". The group covers two songs written and originally recorded by Woody Guthrie: "Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)" and "I'm Gonna Mail Myself to You". They also perform two original songs written by Phoebe Berger: "We Are Going to the Zoo" and "Plastic Grass". The album closes with "Day Is Done" penned by Peter Yarrow of the folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary. An introduction by Phoebe Berger and all song lyrics are included in the liner notes.

July 16, 2018

Dolly Parton Interview

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton discusses her Imagination Library children's literacy program and her new partnership with the Library of Congress. For transcript and more information, please visit:

July 13, 2018

Jim & Jesse: Songs From The Homeplace

Pinecastle PRC 1082 CD

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1998
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass
A1 East Bound Freight Train (2:36)
A2 Dreaming Of A Little Cabin (3:16)
A3 Give Me Your Love And I'll Give You Mine (2:39)
A4 Worried Man Blues (2:42)
A5 Faded Love And Winter Roses (2:38)
A6 Jimmy Brown The News Boys (2:45)
B1 The End Of Memory Lane (2:46)
B2 No Letter In The Mail Today (2:50)
B3 Keep On The Sunny Side Of Life (2:46)
B4 I'll Be An Angel Too (2:57)
B5 My Time Is Running Out (2:58)
B6 My Long Journey Home (2:14)
Jim McReynolds (guitar/vocals) Jesse McReynolds (mandolin/vocals) Allen Shelton (dobro) Roy Husky Jr. (bass) Carl Jackson (fiddle/guitar) Mike Scott (banjo) Steve Thomas (fiddle) Scotty Blevins (bass) Emmylou Harris (vocals)
Producer: Tom Riggs and Carl Jackson, Designer: Rebecca Pittard, Photographer: Kitsy Kuykendall, Engineer: Scotty Blevins and John Eberle
On Songs From the Homeplace, the veteran bluegrass duo Jim & Jesse cover songs that they learned growing up in Virginia and that have continued to have a special place with them throughout their career. The aging McReynolds brothers are still in fine throat here and offer up strong versions of tunes by the Carter Family, Grandpa Jones, and Cliff Carlisle, among others. The vocals of Emmylou Harris (who is fast becoming the most ubiquitous album guest in the music industry) meld nicely with the brothers on the plaintive "No Letter in the Mail Today." While possessing a less-haunting sound than peers such as Ralph Stanley (and despite a run at commercial country at one point), the McReynolds brothers are original bluegrass masters. And anytime you hear Jim & Jesse's vocal tones merging together and Jesse's distinctive cross-picking on the mandolin, you're staring down bluegrass history. (AllMusic Review by Erik Hage)

July 11, 2018

Epilogue: A Tribute to John Duffey

Smithsonian Folkways CD SFW 40228

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 2018
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass
01 Sad and Lonesome Day: Randy Waller and Lou Reid (2:36)
02 If That's the Way You Feel: Amanda Smith (3:20)
03 If I Were a Carpenter: Jonathan Edwards (2:44)
04 Lonesome River: Dudley Connell (2:56)
05 Sunrise: Sam Bush and Béla Fleck (3:22)
06 Going to the Races: James King (1:59)
07 Some Old Day: John Cowan (2:43)
08 Girl from the North Country: Steve Gulley (3:32)
09 He Was a Friend of Mine: Dudley Connell and John Cowan (3:08)
10 Poor Ellen Smith: Tim O'Brien (2:22)
11 Reason For Being: Fred Travers (3:16)
12 Ain't Gonna Work Tomorrow: Don Rigsby (2:41)
13 Chim-Chim-Cher-Ee: Bruce Molsky (1:27)
14 Cold Wind a Blowin': Ronnie Bowman and Lou Reid (2:15)
15 Christmas Time Back Home: John Duffey Tribute All-Stars (3:13)
16 Bringing Mary Home: John Starling (3:48)
17 First Tear: Akira Otsuka (1:22)
Producers: Akira Otsuka and Ronnie Freeland, Annotation: Katy Daley, Dudley Connell and Jeff Place, Photographers: Charles Tompkins and Nobuharu Komoriya, Editor: Carla Borden, Engineers: Rick Watson, Bill Wolf, Greg Lukens, Brent Truitt and Phil Rosenthal
John Duffey's influence on bluegrass cannot be overstated. His contributions to legendary bands The Country Gentlemen and The Seldom Scene helped transform the genre from a regional Appalachian music to a sophisticated, urban sound, resulting in a legion of new fans the world over. On Epilogue, the bluegrass music community comes together to create a marvelously fitting tribute to "the father of modern bluegrass." Sam Bush, John Cowan, Béla Fleck, Bruce Molsky, Tim O'Brien, Don Rigsby, and so many more—it’s a rare and special all-star cast. Their eagerness and passion to record the album attest to how profoundly Duffey impacted them and countless other musicians today. 46 minutes, 44-page booklet with extensive notes and photos.

July 6, 2018

Laurie Lewis & Her Bluegrass Pals

Rounder Records ROUNDER-11661-0461-2

Format: CD, HDCD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1999
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Bluegrass
01 Tall Pines (3:17)
02 Stepping Stones (4:16)
03 Blow, Big Wind (2:53)
04 Going To The West (4:20)
05 When I Get Home (2:35)
06 Black Waters (5:04)
07 Big Eddy (3:16)
08 Acony Bell (3:04)
09 Wind At Play (3:32)
10 Weevily Wheat (3:04)
11 Hard Luck And Trouble (3:05)
12 The Wood Thrush's Song (3:09)
13 Beyond The River Bend (4:31)
Laurie Lewis (fiddle/guita/vocals) Tom Rozum (mandolin/vocals) Mary Gibbons (guitar/harmony) Craig Smith (banjo) Todd Phillips (bass) Mary Gibbons(guitar)
Designer: Angelynn Grant, Photographer: Jon Sievert, Liner Notes: Neil Rosenberg and Laurie Lewis, Engineers: Tom Size, Ken Lee, Dave Wellhausen and Matt Campagna
Laurie Lewis comes full circle and brings a batch of her friends together for an inspired session of straight-ahead bluegrass. There's an empathy to the playing of Lewis with mandolinist Tom Rozum, banjoist Craig Smith, bassist Todd Phillips, and rhythm guitarist Mary Gibbons that grows on you as the album unfolds with the strong trio singing of Lewis, Gibbons, and Rozum that's equally as seductive. Highlights include "Tall Pines," Jimmy Martin's "Stepping Stones," Jean Ritchie's "Black Waters," "Acony Bell," and Lewis' own "Wind at Play," "Blow, Big Wind," and "Big Eddy." An inspired session. (AllMusic Review by Cub Koda)

July 2, 2018

Lucinda Williams: Car Wheels On A Gravel Road

Mercury P2-58338

Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1998
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Country, Folk
01 Right In Time (4:35)
02 Car Wheels On A Gravel Road (4:44)
03 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten (4:42)
04 Drunken Angel (3:20)
05 Concrete And Barbed Wire (3:08)
06 Lake Charles (5:28)
07 Can't Let Go (3:28)
08 I Lost It (3:31)
09 Metal Firecracker (3:30)
10 Greenville (3:23)
11 Still I Long For Your Kiss (4:09)
12 Joy (4:01)
13 Jackson (3:42)
Lucinda Williams (guitar/vocals) Jim Lauderdale (vocals) Buddy Miller, Steve Earle, Bo Ramsey, Buddy Miller, Charlie Sexton, Gurf Morlix, Johnny Lee Schell, Bo Ramsey, Buddy Miller, Charlie Sexton, Gurf Morlix and Johnny Lee Schell (guitar) Buddy Miller (mandoguitar) Roy Bittan (accordion) Roy Bittan (organ) John Ciambotti (bass) Donald Lindley (drums)
Producer: Roy Bittan, Designer: Jeffdidthis, Art Directer: Margery Greenspan, Photographers: Miller Williams, Birney Imes, Shelby Lee Adams and Alan Messer, Engineers: Ed Thacker, Steve Churchyard, Hank Williams, Jim Scott and Rick Rubin
It's not that the performances on Car Wheels on a Gravel Road aren't first-rate — they are. It's just that when you start with songs this impressive, it's hard to go wrong. Lucinda Williams had done strong work before, but it all came together here. From the openhearted yearning of "Right in Time" to the surrealist country funk of "Joy," she runs a gamut of styles and themes, handling each with authority and ease. You don't arrive in your mid-forties without stories to tell — Williams' are riveting in every detai. (Rolling Stone)

June 30, 2018

Doc Watson: Live At Club 47

Yep Roc Records YEP-2499

Format: Vinyl, 2LP, Album
Country: US
Released: 2018
Genre: Folk, World, & Country
Style: Folk
A1 Wabash Cannonball (3:47)
A2 The House Carpenter (5:23)
A3 I Wish I Was Single Again (3:37)
A4 Little Darling Pal of Mine (3:00)
A5 Train That Carried My Girl from Town (4:31)
A6 Worried Blues (2:53)
B1 Old Dan Tucker (2:36)
B2 Sweet Heaven When I Die (3:04)
B3 Doc's Talkin' Blues (4:18)
B4 Little Margaret (3:09)
B5 Sitting On Top of the World (2:25)
B6 Don’t Let Your Deal Go Down (3:45)
B7 Blue Smoke (1:34)
C1 Deep River Blues (3:07)
C2 Way Downtown (2:54)
C3 Somebody Touched Me (3:39)
C4 Billy in the Low Ground (1:44)
C5 Boil Them Cabbage Down (2:14)
C6 Everyday Dirt (2:39)
D1 I Am a Pilgrim (3:31)
D2 No Telephone in Heaven (2:54)
D3 Hop High Ladies the Cake's All Dough (1:12)
D4 Little Sadie (2:26)
D5 Black Mountain Rag (2:07)
D6 Blackberry Rag (1:29)
D7 Days of My Childhood Plays ( 2:18)
Doc Watson (guitar/autoharp/banjo/harmonica/vocals) Ralph Rinzler (mandolin/harmony) John Herald (guitar/harmony)
Producer: Steve Weiss, Liner Notes: Mary Katherine Aldin, Photographers: David Gahr, John Cohen, Hugh Morton, Eugene Earle and Daniel Seeger, Engineers: Mike Eisenstadt, Brent Lambert, John Loy and Brian Paulson
In the mid-'60s, Doc Watson rose from relative obscurity to become one of the leading lights of American folk music, displaying a dazzling flatpicking technique on the guitar and an encyclopedic knowledge of old-timey and traditional music. Watson was just starting to make a name for himself as a solo act (and was a few months away from his breakthrough performance at the Newport Folk Festival) when, in February 1963, he played Boston's venerable folk music venue Club 47, where he quickly became a favorite of the New England cognoscenti. A local music fan, Michael Eisenstadt, brought a professional-grade tape recorder to the show, and 55 years later, the show has been given a commercial release by Yep Roc Records as Live at Club 47. The audio is remarkably crisp and clear despite being recorded with a single microphone, and it captures Watson in splendid form. It should surprise no one that Watson was picking up a storm on guitar this evening, as well as showing he was a sure hand on banjo and autoharp. But Live at Club 47 is a vivid reminder of how personable and engaging Watson could be performing in front of an audience. Playing in a small room, Watson's simple but expressive vocals are superb, finding humor and drama in these songs, which he delivers with genuine warmth and sincerity. If there are moments when Watson seems to be playing up his hillbilly roots for the sake of the Big City audience, there's no arguing that he knew how to work a crowd and get an honest laugh. Watson seems fully engaged and having a great time on Live at Club 47, and the set list is a treasure trove of essential American folk tunes (including a few he never got around to recording in the studio). Live at Club 47 doesn't reveal much that's unknown about the artistry of Doc Watson, but the good humor and intimacy of this performance are irresistible, and it's as pleasing a document of Doc Watson in concert as you could ask for. (AllMusic Review by Mark Deming)