CD Classic Folk Music from Smithsonian Folkways (CD 599531),
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Classic Folk Music from Smithsonian Folkways

  • 1. Pastures of Plenty - Woody Guthrie
    2. We Shall Overcome - Pete Seeger
    3. Rock Island Line - Leadbelly
    4. No More Auction Block - Paul Robeson
    5. Deportees (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) - Barbara Dane
    6. John Henry - Doc Watson
    7. John Hardy - Mike Seeger
    8. Betty and Dupree - Brownie McGhee
    9. Gallis Pole - Fred Gerlach
    10. Polly Von - Paul Clayton
    11. Butcher Boy - Peggy Seeger
    12. Duncan and Brady - Dave Van Ronk
    13. Railroad Bill - Hobart Smith
    14. Wayfaring Stranger - Burl Ives
    15. Big Rock Candy Mountain - Haywire Mac
    16. Born 100,000 Years Ago - Cisco Houston
    17. Sugar Babe, It's All Over Now - Mark Spoelstra
    18. Changes - Phil Ochs
    19. Black and White - Earl Robinson
    20. Most Fair Beauty Bright - Jean Ritchie
    21. Cielito Lindo - Pete Seeger
    22. Tom Dooley - The New Lost City Ramblers
    23. Freight Train - Elizabeth Cotten
    24. Down on Me - Mary Pickney/Janie Hunter
    25. This Train (Bound for Glory) - Big Bill Broonzy
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 40110

  • Credits
    ProducerJeff Place (Compilation)

    Personnel: Cisco Houston, Dave Van Ronk, Doc Watson, Elizabeth Cotten, Fred Gerlach, Harry McClintock, Hobart Smith, John Cohen, Leadbelly, Mark Spoelstra, Paul Clayton, Peggy Seeger, Phil Ochs, Barbara Dane, Woody Guthrie, Big Bill Broonzy, Brownie McGhee, Burl Ives (vocals, guitar); Pete Seeger (vocals, 12-string guitar, banjo); Mike Seeger (vocals, banjo, fiddle); Earl Robinson (vocals, piano); Jan Hunter, Mary Pickney, Jean Ritchie, Paul Robeson (vocals); Arnold Watson (banjo); Gaither Carlton (fiddle).
    Liner Note Author: Jeff Place.
    Editor: Jacob Love.
    Photographers: Diana Davies; Galen Lawson.
    Arrangers: Huddie Ledbetter; Alan Lomax.
    Moses Asch founded Folkways Records in 1948 with the express purpose of recording music on the margins of the music industry, where the freedom was greater and the risks were considerably less. Folkways became a sterling example of how to run an independent label, and everything Asch recorded continues to be available, thanks to the Smithsonian Institution music arm, which now handles the catalog along with the backlist of several other small labels (Monitor, Paredon, Cook, Dyer-Bennet, Fast Folk, Collector). This brings the Smithsonian album total to well over 3,000 titles, all of which are maintained in print, a truly amazing achievement. This sampler of that vast collection concentrates on the urban-based folksingers of the so-called folk revival, and as such, works as a companion volume to the more rural-centered compilation called Classic Mountain Songs from Smithsonian Folkways. There are easily a dozen gems here, including Woody Guthrie's "Pastures of Plenty" (a song about migrant workers set to the tune of "Pretty Polly"), Doc Watson's beautifully archaic version of "John Henry" (with his brother Arnold Watson on banjo and father-in-law Gaither Carlton on fiddle), Jean Ritchie's airy dulcimer work on "Most Fair Beauty Bright," Elizabeth "Libba" Cotten's childhood composition "Freight Train," and a tender and innocent-sounding version of "Changes" by Phil Ochs. Obviously this is but the barest tip of the Smithsonian Folkways iceberg, but as a sampler, it features a diverse array of interpretations and approaches to American vernacular music. ~ Steve Leggett

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