Mittwoch, 16. Mai 2018

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1

The first in a series of five immensely popular Pete Seeger releases, "American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1" was intended to gather together and set down songs that "everyone" knew (or seemed to know), in simple, unadorned musical settings, accompanied by his guitar or banjo, that adults and children could learn and sing together.

At the time, the albums were primarily aimed at schools and libraries, though one can bet that more than a few progressive-minded and left-leaning families bought them a well, even if these weren't the union and topical songs Seeger was loved for in those circles, if only as a statement against the blacklist that had hurt the artist's career; one also wonders, as a minor point, if the decision to include "Big Rock Candy Mountain" wasn't a little zing at Burl Ives, for whom the song had been something of a signature tune, and who had ended up on the opposite side of Seeger in the ideological wars of the 1950s (a hatchet that wasn't fully buried between them until the '80s).

Seeger's range on this album is stunning, from the gentle simplicity of "Skip to My Lou" to the rousing exuberance of "Oh Mary, Don't You Weep" - his voice is melodious and powerful across a range that may surprise listeners who only know the artist for the recordings done in his seventies and eighties - and while his guitar playing is fine, it's his banjo work that is the real treat across these songs. For a man who (supposedly) so resented the electrification of folk music, Seeger isn't shy about spinning some (admittedly acoustic) pyrotechnics out of his banjo when the song seems to call for it. Moe Asch's recording technology was more than good enough for Seeger and his instrument, and the tapes have held up across five decades. And as to the songs, they encompass folk, country, and gospel standards, and their sheer power is perhaps the most amazing aspect of this record (and its four follow-ups): the world and its so-called culture, popular or otherwise, have moved on so far (even in the late '60s, these seemed kind of hokey to kids who thought they knew better) that 50-plus years later, this record is still an education, as well as a rare treat.                

Tracklist:
A1 Down In The Valley
A2 Mary Don't You Weep
A3 The Blue Tail Fly
A4 Yankee Doodle
A5 Cielito Lindo
A6 Buffalo Gals
A7 The Wabash Cannon Ball
A8 So Long, It's Been Good To Know You
Written-By – Woody Guthrie
B1 The Wagoner's Lad
B2 The Big Rock Candy Mountain
B3 The Wreck Of The Old '97
B4 On Top Of Old Smokey
B5 I Ride An Old Paint
B6 Frankie And Johnny
B7 Old Dan Tucker
B8 Skip To My Lou
B9 Home On The Range

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 1
(256 kbps, cover art included)

3 Kommentare:

MrGildons hat gesagt…

Nice album! Back in the early '70 the italian label Albatros printed an italian edition of the "American Favorite Ballads" by Seeger; they printed five albums but in a different order. Albatros started with the "American Ballads" (wich was released by Folkways in 1957) as the first album and so the "American Favorite Ballads" vol. 1 became the vol.2 in the italian edition. They printed five albums ("American ballads" and four of the "American favorite ballads") Each album contained the lyrics of the songs (just like the Folkways ones) and a translation in italian

zero hat gesagt…

Thanks a lot for the information. Best wishes!

MrGildons hat gesagt…

Thanks to you, your blog is great!

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