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American Folk Music

Buffy Sainte-Marie -> Sweet Honey In The Rock


BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Angel 35059 Up Where We Belong ● CD $15.98

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Vanguard VCD 3/4 The Best Of ... ● CD $15.98
After being knocked out by Buffy's Ensign album (now out of print) I decided to go back and listen to some of her earlier recordings and there is no better introduction to her 60s recordings than this 24 track, 71 minute collection drawn from her many Vanguard albums of the 60s and early 70s. It features some of her most famous 60s compositions, including the still topical and chilling Universal Soldier, her intense tale of codeine addiction Cod'ine based on personal experience, and the remorseless My Country 'Tis Of Thy People You're Dying about the treatment of Native Americans over the centuries. But it's not all grim - there are some beautiful love ballads, like Take My Hand For A While and Until It's Time For You To Go. Several songs are country songs with Buffy accompanied by Nashville studio group including Piney Wood Hills and I'm Gonna Be A Country Girl Again. She also shows her skill with blues on her reworking of Lottie Kimbrough's Rolling Log Blues and on the traditional American songs Ground Hog and Cripple Creek she plays a mouthbow. In spite of the diversity of material Buffy almost always sounds comfortable with only a couple of pieces sounding dated. It also includes one of my favorite songs of the era Many A Mile - written by Patrick Sky who plays guitar and harmonica this is a lovely and moving performance. If you think all 60s folk is corny - give this a listen and you might change your mind! (FS)

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Vanguard 33/34 Best Of - Vol 2 ● CD $15.98

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Vanguard VMD 79142 It's My Way ● CD $13.98

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Vanguard 79211 Little Wheel Spin & Spin ● CD $13.98
14 tracks with John Pilla or Merle Watson on second guitar. Walk On Boy/ Sweet Georgia Brown/ Southbound/ Call Of The Road/ That Was The Last Thing On My Mind/ Nothing To It/ Never No More Blues, etc.

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Vanguard 79280 I'm Gonna Be A Country Girl Again ● CD $13.98
13 tracks, 34 min., recommended. In the late 60's many folk musicians chose to move off in new directions. Dylan tried rock, Ochs championed the cause of Chairman Mao, and Ms. Sainte-Marie cut this LP with a group of country musicians backing her. The remakes of her earlier self-accompanied numbers, in particular Now That the Buffalo's Gone, lose some of their bite in the company of steel guitars and fiddles. But the material that first appears in this collection is often very effective. I particularly like the title track, The Piney Wood Hills, and Tall Trees in Georgia. All in all, a less-than-generous but nonetheless welcome reissue. Original cover art and liner notes. (DH)

BUFFY SAINTE-MARIE Vanguard 79330 Quiet Places ● CD $13.98
12 tracks, 36 min., good. The digital reissue of Buffy Sainte-Marie's last Vanguard album, from 1973, an outing in which she continued her search for an audience beyond the 60's folk crowd which she originally charmed. Here she lends her vibrato-laden voice to numbers penned by Mickey Newbury, Joni Mitchell, Randy Newman, Boudeleaux Bryant, and Carole King, as well as herself, and tries out musical styles that range from violin-accompanied ballads to 70's style rock. Featured numbers include Why Have You Been Gone So Long, No One Told Me, For Free, She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain When She Comes, Clair Vol's Young Son, Civilization, and Eventually. Sainte-Marie's voice is as strong and appealing as ever, but the material she tries out here, I think it's fair to say, is not uniformly successful. (DH)

PEGGY SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40048 The Folkways Years 1955-92 - Songs Of Love And Politics ● CD $15.98
21 tracks, 73 min., recommended. Subtitled Songs Of Love And Politics, this anthology focuses on recordings made for Folkways, but also issues previously unreleased live recordings and three tracks from Rounder. Included are traditional American folk songs such as Going To The West, Elizabeth Cotten's Freight Train, a couple of child ballads, Peggy's version of longtime partner Ewan MacColl's First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, and Peggy's own wonderful feminist anthem Gonna Be An Engineer, along with many other personal and political songs. A fine summing up of one artist's 35-year career. RP)

PETE SEEGER Columbia C2K 45312 The Complete Carnegie Hall Concert, June 8, 1963 ● CD $19.98

PETE SEEGER Columbia CK 46185 Children's Concert At Town Hall ● CD $9.98
26 tunes for the wee ones including Little Birdie/ Here's To Cheshire - Here's To Cheese/ Skip To My Lou/ Fifteen Miles On The Eerie Canal/ Riding In My Car/ The Foolish Frog/ Frere Jacques/ It Could Be A Wonderful World/ Abiyoyo/ Michael Row The Boat Ashore/ De Grey Goose, etc.

PETE SEEGER Columbia CK 57311 Waist Deep In The Big Muddy And Other Love Songs ● CD $11.98
15 tracks, 47 min., recommended The digital reissue of an LP originally released in 1967, with the addition of two previously unreleased bonus tracks, Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies and Los Quatros Generalas. The hallmark of the first half of this set is that several numbers find Seeger in the company of a chorus of "young people" from his home town of Beacon, New York. Together they perform Oh Yes I'd Climb (The Highest Mountain)/ Down by the Riverside and several other numbers. The second half of the program highlights old and new songs of social protest, including My Name is Liza Kalvelage and Those Three Are on My Mind. More fine music from one of America's most prolific consciences and current poster boy for Ben & Jerry's ice cream. (DH)

PETE SEEGER Columbia CK 64772 A Link In The Chain ● CD $25.98
2 discs, 38 tracks, 113 min., essential. A solidly worthwhile overview of the works of this genuinely seminal performer during his years with the Columbia label, between 1961 and 1971. The two disc program is divided into four parts, each with eight to ten selections. Part one is called "Tall Tales and Stories," and its songs include My Oklahoma Home Blowed Away, Get Up and Go, Oh Had I a Golden Thread, and Waist Deep in the Big Muddy. Part two, "Songs of Freedom," features This Land Is Your Land, Draft Dodger Rag, Turn Turn Turn, Guantanamera, and We Shall Overcome. Part three is entitled "Saints, Sinners, Just Plain Folks," and among its selections are Pretty Boy Floyd, Hobo's Lullaby, Jesse James, and Jay Gould's Daughter. And part four, called "For the Children," includes What Did You Learn in School Today, Put Your Finger in the Air, This Car, Be Kind to Your Parents, and Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase. More evidence, as if any were needed, that Pete Seeger is and has been a national treasure for a significant part of this century. A man with a musical yarn for just about any occasion, he has had to live for a while before much of America could see his many virtues. But he has managed to make the journey from the McCarthy era blacklist to the receipt of a National Medal of Honor and induction into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. And that's not too bad for one lifetime. (DH)

PETE SEEGER Flyright 68 In Prague ● CD $27.98
Two CD set featuring recordings made by Pete in Prague in 1964 including a live concert and a radio broadcast as well as some spoken reminiscences.

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40018 Darling Corey And Goofing-Off Suite ● CD $15.98
30 tracks, 53 min., recommended As is suggested by the dual title above, this disc reissues two of Seeger's 10 inch Folkways lps, the first one from 1950, the second from 1955. The first 13 cuts, from LP #1, highlight southern mountain music such as John Riley/ Come All Fair Maids/ Skillet Good and Greasy, and Danville Girl. The last 17 numbers, from LP #2, show off Seeger's virtuoso skills as a banjo, guitar, and mandolin player. He plays winning string renditions of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring/ Blue Skies/ Duet from Beethoven's Symphony no. 7/ Chorale from Beethoven's Symphony no. 9, and a splendidly jaunty final number titled Woody's Rag. A joy from start to finish. Fine sound quality, original notes, lyrics, and solid graphics. (DH)

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40024 Traditional Christmas Carols ● CD $11.98
13, often obscure, folk carols from the French, English, Italian & African-American traditions - 'Twas On A Night Like This/ Glory To That New Born King/ Rise Up Shepherd & Follow/ Carol Of The Beasts/ Behold That Star, etc.

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40027/8 Singalong - Live At Sanders Theatre 1980 ● CD $24.98
Double reissue of Folkways 36055, featuring Seeger doing what he does best - leading an old-fashioned folk singalong. Spoken introductions accompany many of these favorite songs, which include John Henry/ Amazing Grace/ Old Time Religion/ Abiyoyo/ We Shall Not Be Moved/ If I Had A Hammer/ Jacob's Ladder/ Greensleeves and many more.

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40058 American Industrial Ballads ● CD $15.98
This classic collection of songs of the working man first appeared as Folkways lp 5251 in 1957. It brings together twenty-four songs from many traditions, but all dealing with the concerns of working men and women. Fine original and new notes by Irwin Silber. Songs include, Peg And Awl/ The Blind Fiddler/ The Buffalo Skinners/ Eight Hour Day/ Hard Times In The Mill/ The Farmer Is The Man/ Casey Jones/ Cotton Mill Colic/ Beans, Bacon, And Gravy and Seven Cent Cotton And Forty Cent Meat. RP

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 40096 If I Had A Hammer - Songs Of Hope And Struggle ● CD $15.98
Collection of all topical songs - mostly drawn from various Folkways albums but also including two songs recorded in 1998 - If I Had A Hammer/ Talking Union/ Where Have All The Flowers Again/ Turn, Turn, Turn, etc.

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 45001 Abiyoyo And Other Story Songs For Children ● CD $15.98
Reissue of Folkways #7525/#31500. With Sam The Whaler/ Abiyoyo/Where Are My Pajamas/One Grain Of Sand and 3 more.

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 45039 Birds, Beasts, Bugs & Fisher (Little & Big) ● CD $15.98
Two LPs from 1955 on one CD - a collection of 28 songs and stories about animals.

PETE SEEGER Smithsonian Folkways 45056 American Folk Songs For Children/ American Game & ● CD $15.98
22 tracks, 59 minutes, recommended This delightful collection of traditional children's songs is a re issue of 2 recordings by Seeger, American Folk Songs for Children (1953) and American Game and Activity Songs for Children (1962). Songs from the first collection were transcribed by Seeger's stepmother, Ruth Crawford Seeger, from Library of Congress recordings. Listeners will recognize many of these old classics like Jimmy Crack Corn/ This Old Man/ Frog Went A-Courting, and She'll be Comin' Round the Mountain. The songs from the second collection include rope skipping chants, square dances, and songs associated with other activities; for example Skip to My Lou/ Ring Around the Rosey/ London Bridge/ Shoo Fly, and Liza Jane. The arrangements are basic, with just Seeger and his banjo. This enjoyable collection is sure to bring back many pleasant memories for adults and serves as an excellent way of introducing new generations of kids to this rich tradition. (DP)

PETE SEEGER Sony LK 48907 Pete Seeger's Family Concert ● CD $11.98
12 sing-along favorites for young and old - Skip To My Lou/ Coming Round The Mountain/ This Land Is Your Land/ Abi Yo Yo/ Guantanamera/ Lonesome Valley/ My Rainbow Race and more.

PETE SEEGER Vanguard VCD 97/98 Essential ● CD $15.98

PETE SEEGER Vanguard VCD 77008 Live At Newport 1963-65 ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 63 min., essential Aptly described in the liner notes here as "the Johnny Appleseed of American folk song," the charismatic Seeger and his whimsical, humble, and rousing music are fittingly viewed in a live audience context in this set, specifically through his performances at the 1963-1965 Newport Folk Festivals. Featured numbers include Manyura Manyah/ Oh Mary Don't You Weep/ Never Wed an Old Man/ Holy Ground/ Midnight Special, and Down by the Riverside with able assistance from Odetta; Joan Baez; Peter, Paul, and Mary; and several other folk luminaries. Seeger, of course, enthusiastically aims for full audience participation on most numbers. If you are or were a fan of the folk scene, this one's a definite winner. Nice cover art, appreciative notes, and reasonably good sound for a live recording. (DH)

PETE SEEGER, JANE SAPP & SI KAHN Flying Fish 0104 Carry It On ● CD $15.98
21 songs about America's working people including Step By Step/ Harriet Tubman/ I'm Gonna Be An Engineer/ Black, Brown & White Blues/ A Hayseed Like Me/ Carry It On/ Union Maid/ Soup Song/ I Am A Union Woman/ Somos El Barco/ Solidarity Forver, etc. More than 60 minutes of music.

SHADY GROVE BAND Flying Fish 0544 Mulberry Moon ● CD $15.98

SHEL SILVERSTEIN Columbia 39412 Where The Sidewalk Ends ● CD $8.98
Children's album.

SHEL SILVERSTEIN Columbia 40219 A Light In The Attic ● CD $8.98
A zany collection of children's poems written and performed by Shel Silverstein. These poems are excerpts from his book, A Light In The Attic.

CHRIS SMITHER Genes 1031 It Ain't Easy ● CD $15.98
Smither is a New England singer-songwriter who's performed widely in recent years. He plays guitar in an assured alternating bass fingerpick style that rolls along as a perfect accompaniment to his low, "c'mon over here and I'll tell you a story" voice. Only three of the 14 tracks here were written by Smither, but they're fine work - as worthy as are John Hurt's Creole Belle or Once in a Very Blue Moon. The rest represent quite a nice variety of folk and blues songs, carefully chosen to match Smither's approach. This is a most pleasant CD, and completely American - without resorting to tricks, he hands you fireflies, magnolias, sea air, and distant thunder and let's you put it all together how you please. (DC)

CHRIS SMITHER Hightone HCD 8060 Up On The Lowdown ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, 41 mins., recommended. This is a fine collection of personal, unabashedly honest songs with solid, laid-back drive. The spacious, airy production leaves plenty of room for Smither's low, just-woke-up-with-hair-in-his-eyes voice on his original songs - moody and dark at the edges - and well-chosen covers of noir Dylan and Jesse Winchester. Smither makes you pay attention to the stories he tells in his own unexpected rhythms and his own sweet time. Good bass and understated percussion lend just the right tonal palette under it all. Lots of hearts stretched to breaking and eloquent confusion to be had in this excellent lyrical mirror for our troubled times. (DC)

CHRIS SMITHER Hightone HCD 8077 Small Revelations ● CD $15.98
10 tracks, 36 mins., good It's as if Smither has pulled up a chair in your kitchen, pulled the cork on a bottle of Old Overcoat, and begun channeling some 80-year-old black bluesman with ill-fitting teeth and a twinkle in his eye. Smither delivers old blues and original blues-tinged songs with an easy grace and a gravel voice. This CD opens with Jesse Winchester's Thanks to You, one of his best, then launches into a string of Smither originals plumbing different depths of the human heart. Winsome Smile is particularly nice, perfectly encapsulating all the conflicting thoughts raging in the wake of a love gone wrong. Smither includes two classic blues, including a kick-butt romp through Dust My Broom. But 36 minutes? C'mon on! That's short even for an LP. (DC)

CHRIS SMITHER Hightone 8088 Another Way To Find You ● CD $12.98
Reissue of 1989 recordings.

CHRIS SMITHER Hightone 8098 Drive You Home Again ● CD $15.98

CHRIS SMITHER Hightone 8120 Live As I'll Ever Be ● CD $15.98
Collection of live performances by this excellent singer and guitarist recorded over a period of three years in California, Virginia, Massachusetts and Ireland. Songs (mostly original) includes Hold On/ Link Of Chain/ No Love Today/ Winsome Smile/ Help Me Now/ Can't Shake These Blues/ I Am The Ride/ Killin' The Blues, etc

SOCIAL HARP Rounder 0094 Early American Shape Note Song ● CD $15.98

ROSALIE SORRELLS & UTAH PHILLIPS Red House 83 The Long Memory ● CD $15.98
15 tracks, 41 mins, highly recommended. This collaboration between long time friends Rosalie Sorrels and Utah Phillips is a moving tribute to the labor movement and the long memory that reminds us of the need for solidarity. No duets here, rather the artists take turns singing their favorite union songs, acapella or with guitar accompaniment. Sorrels opens her portion of the program with a recitation written by Aunt Molly Jackson and follows it with stirring versions of I am a Union Woman, Aragon Mill, and De Coleurs among others. Utah Phillips delivers a Soapbox Oration for the IWW and performs some of his best labor material, great songs both original and traditional like All Used Up, Dump the Bosses Off Your Back and Nevada Jane. It's hard to imagine a more enjoyable and moving collection by these enduring folk artists. The recording is particularly meaningful with Phillips recent retirement from active touring for health reasons. (DP)

BILL STAINES Red House 25 Bridges ● CD $15.98

BILL STAINES Rounder 11560 1st Million Miles/ Mineral River ● CD $15.98
2 LPs on one CD.

JODY STECHER Acoustic Disc 39 Going Up On The Mountain- The Classic First Recordings ● CD $15.98
19 tracks, 68 mins, essential. A superb reissue all around. Jody Stecher is close to peerless. He is an expressive singer, a masterful player of a host of stringed instruments (notably guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin) that he brings into play not just with skill but with taste that could only come from years of respectful playing, listening, jamming, and grace from the Almighty. This set was rendered digital under the auspices of Jody and long-time fellow traveler David Grisman, for the latter's esteemed Acoustic Disc label. It reissues all of Jody's "Going Up On the Mountain" LP (recorded 1976/77 for Bay Records) and a lot of "Snake Baked a Hoecake (recorded 1973/74 for the same label). Jody does the lead singing and a lot of the playing, and he's joined by a roster of guests that reads like a Who's Who of acoustic greats. Among them, John Herald, Larry Hanks, Hank Bradley, EricThompson, Suzy Rothfield, and long-time companion Kate Brislin (their first duet recording, The Hills of Isle Au Haut, is here). The music is largely in the old-timey/bluegrass/American folk genres but a lot more figures into the mix - Cajun, British, a strong Indian music subtext. But where others end up "eclectic" Jody ends up Jody, and that's more than almost anybody else could manage. This set, seamless ensemble material, is balanced by Jody's more recently recorded "Oh The Wind And Rain" (Appleseed Recordings APR CD 1003, $15.98), a set of Jody's (pretty much) solo performances. Also a classic. I listened to it over and over, so much so that Frank told me he was going to get me a new record to listen to. Lucky me - it was this one! (NSN)

JODY STECHER Appleseed 1030 Oh The Wind And Rain ● CD $15.98
11 tracks, 73 mins, highly recommended. First solo album in a long time from one of America's finest interepreters of traditional song is a superb collection of 11 traditional ballads. Jody's singing is stunning and he beautifully accompanies himself on guitar, mandolin, oud and banjo. Some tracks feature his wife Kate Brislin on banjo, Hank Bradley on fiddle or Larry Hanks on bass vocal. Some of the songs may be familiar but Jody inject. them with new life and meaning - John Detroy/ Gyspy Davey/ Little Johnny Sailed From London/ Young Rapoleon/ Rhinordine/ Barbary Ellen, etc. The 22 page booklet has an extensive introduction by Jody's good friend Martin Carthy, notes on the songs by Jody and some wonderful painting by Martha Lewis illustrating the songs. (FS)

JODY STECHER & KATE BRISLIN Rounder 0424 Heart Songs - The Old Time Country Songs of Utah Philli ● CD $15.98
Newest from outstanding husband/wife duo.

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK Flying Fish 022 Sweet Honey In The Rock ● CD $15.98

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK Flying Fish 0105 Breaths ● CD $15.98
19 selections from their Flying Fish albums "Good News" and "We All...Everyone One Of Us" including Biko, How Long?, Study War No More .

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK Flying Fish 0106 Live At Carnegie Hall ● CD $15.98
15 songs recorded live at Carnegie Hall in November, 1987 - Beatitude/ Wade In The Water/ Where Are The Keys To the Kingdom/ Letter To Dr. Martin Luther King/ Our Side Won/ Are My Hands Clean?/ My lament/ Song Of the Exiled, etc.

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK Flying Fish 0366 The Other Side ● CD $15.98
This album is extremely varied. In Mandiacapella , the human voice actually becomes a percussion section through the vehicle of Sweet Honey. This album is a bit of a Sweet Honey In the Rock demonstration album and the entirely varied repertoire takes a good deal of doing. It sometimes feels as if there is a bit of a strain with technique triumphing over soul. ([DB])

SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK Flying Fish 0375 Feel Something Drawing Me On ● CD $15.98
This album is a different matter. In this, the six members of Sweet Honey concentrate on sacred music. Their range is impressive again, although this time they are comfortable in the range. They draw on American Gospel and owe to Liberia and West Africa and Jamaica. What comes through on this album is their joy of music making. The result is rich, both old and new. One number, particularly, the reggae Waters of Babylon drew me on. ([DB])


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