Sonntag, 10. April 2016

Tom Paxton - The Complete Tom Paxton (Vinyl, 1971)

Tom Paxton proved to be one of the most durable of the singer/songwriters to emerge from the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the early '60s. In some ways, he had more in common with the late-'50s generation of folksingers such as Dave Van Ronk (who was 16 months his senior) and even older performers than with the new crop of singer/songwriters with whom he tended to be associated, such as Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs (both of whom were several years his junior). But like Dylan and Ochs, and unlike Van Ronk, Paxton was a songwriter caught up in the left-wing political movements of the time and inspired to compose topical and protest songs. In general, his tended to be more lighthearted than theirs (the musical satirist Tom Lehrer was at least as much of an influence on him as Woody Guthrie), though he could be just as witty and just as harshly critical of his opponents. Like such mentors as Pete Seeger, and unlike Dylan, he never cared to make much of a transition to the mainstream, never picked up an electric guitar and tried to play rock & roll.

A two-disc live set recorded at New York's Bitter End nightclub in June 1970, "The Complete Tom Paxton" is pretty close to definitive when it comes to the range of the folksinger's interests at the time. It's all here, from the pointed satire of "Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues" and "Wish I Had a Troubador" and the more subtle but no less biting social commentary of "Clarissa Jones" and "Jimmy Newman," all the way to the touching children's song "Jennifer's Rabbit" (Paxton would not go deeply into children's music for some years yet) and the romantic tenderness of "My Lady's a Wild Flying Dove" and the closing "The Last Thing on My Mind."

The arrangements range from solo acoustic performances (most of the album, actually) to a handful of songs with a semi-electric, drummer-less band. Paxton's banter throughout is light and humorous, and there's an appealing, easygoing feel to the album that makes its epic length seem considerably shorter.

Tracklist:

A1 Clarissa Jones
A2 Introduction
A3 The Things I Notice Now
A4 Jennifer's Rabbit; I Give You The Morning
A5 Intro To "The Marvellous Toy"
A6 The Marvellous Toy
A7 Leaving London
B1 Angie
B2 All Night Long
B3 Bayonet Rap
B4 Talking Vietnam Pot Luck Blues
B5 Jimmy Newman
B6 Outward Bound
C1 Morning Again
C2 Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound
C3 My Lady's A Wild Flying Dove
C4 Now That I've Taken My Life
C5 About The Children
C6 Ballad Of Spiro Agnew
C7 Mr. Blue
C8 Wish I Had A Troubadour
D1 Ev'ry Time (When We Are Gone)
D2 Cindy's Crying: Hooker
D3 Intro To Musicians
D4 Ramblin' Boy
D5 The Last Thing On My Mind

Tom Paxton - The Complete Tom Paxton (Vinyl, 1971)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

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