Sonntag, 31. Mai 2015

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Secrets (1978)

Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson made a lot of incredible music together and "Secrets" is no exception. Soul and Jazz come together with the brilliance that is Gil Scott-Heron's mind and the result is truly inspiring. This 1978 album from the poet/musician, an album that continues the journey started on the 1977 album, "Bridges".

"Angel Dust" warns of the dangers of drug abuse. "Show Bizness" is a hilarious look at the perils of the music business ('they'll take care of everything for only 95%'), whilst "Madison Avenue" talks of the over commercialization of western society ("buying is all that's asked of you..."). "Better Days Ahead" and "Prayer For Everybody" see Gil in a more optimistic light hoping for a better future.

Gil Scott Heron was rapping and telling it like it is long before hip hop even thought about running its course. This album was a good example of Gil's finest works.

1. Angel Dust
2. Madison Avenue
3. Cane
4. Third World Revolution
5. Better Days Ahead
6. 3 Miles Down
7. Angola Louisiana
8. Show Bizness
9. A Prayer For Everybody To Be Free

Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson - Secrets
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Joshua White & His Carolinians - Chaing Gang (1940)

Most blues enthusiasts think of Josh White as a folk revival artist. It's true that the second half of his music career found him based in New York playing to the coffeehouse and cabaret set and hanging out with Burl Ives, Woody Guthrie, and fellow transplanted blues artists Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee. When I saw him in Chicago in the 1960s his shirt was unbuttoned to his waist à la Harry Belafonte and his repertoire consisted of folk revival standards such as "Scarlet Ribbons." He was a show business personality — a star renowned for his sexual magnetism and his dramatic vocal presentations. What many people don't know is that Josh White was a major figure in the Piedmont blues tradition. The first part of his career saw him as apprentice and lead boy to some of the greatest blues and religious artists ever, including Willie Walker, Blind Blake, Blind Joe Taggart (with whom he recorded), and allegedly even Blind Lemon Jefferson. On his own, he recorded both blues and religious songs, including a classic version of "Blood Red River." A fine guitar technician with an appealing voice, he became progressively more sophisticated in his presentation. Like many other Carolinians and Virginians who moved north to urban areas, he took up city ways, remaining a fine musician if no longer a down-home artist. Like several other canny blues players, he used his roots music to broaden and enhance his life experience, and his talent was such that he could choose the musical idiom that was most lucrative at the time.
- Barry Lee Pearson, AMG

"Chain Gang" was a set of four 78rpm records recorded June 4, 1940 in New York City and released in the same year by Columbia with the follwing tracks:

- Chain Gang Boun'
- Nine Foot Shovel

- Trouble
- Goin' Home Boys

- Cryin' Who Cryin' You (part 1)
- Cryin' Who Cryin' You (part 2)

- Told My Cap'n
- Jerry

"Chain Gang" was produced for Columbia records in 1940, under the sponsorship of John Hammond, and within the next year Josh would become ubiquitous in the leftist folk music world. He was singing on Alan Lomax’s CBS radio programs, and acting as accompanist and sometimes vocalist for the Almanac Singers, the loose-knit group of agit-prop folkies centered around Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Fred Hellerman, and often Woody Guthrie. Featuring a vocal group called the Carolinians that included White's brother Bill and future civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, "Chain Gang" moved White's music further in the direction of pointed social commentary.

From the liner notes:
"Columbia Records proudly presents what is perhaps the most genuine folk music of our Negro laments of the chain gang sung by Joshua White and his Carolinians"

(192 kbps, front cover included)

Kendra Smith – Kendra Smith Presents The Guild Of Temporal Adventurers (1992)

A founding member of the Dream Syndicate, Kendra Smith was also one of the creative forces behind the California psychedelic band Opal in the mid-'80s. She left during the band's final tour and was replaced by Hope Sandoval (Opal changed its name to Mazzy Star after that tour). Smith next formed the Guild of Temporal Adventureers for one eponymous EP in 1992, and then remained silent until the 1995 release of "Five Ways of Disappearing", her solo debut, which features a number of different sounds and styles.

Kendra Smith resurfaced for the first time since the dissolution of Opal with this engaging effort recorded in tandem with Jonah Corey and A. Philip Uberman; although "The Guild of Temporal Adventurers" doesn't stray far from the trademark neo-psychedelic sound of Smith's previous work, the record's absorption of Eastern sounds and textures lend it a deep, meditative quality finely attuned to the warmth and simplicity of tracks like "Stars Are in Your Eyes" and "Wheel of the Law."

Kendra Smith - The Guild Of Temporal Adventurers
(cover art included, flac)

Gil Scott-Heron - Real Eyes (1980)

In 1980, Gil Scott-Heron had a nice opportunity to promote his "Real Eyes" album when he became the opening act on Stevie Wonder's "Hotter Than July" tour. On his own, Scott-Heron usually played small clubs, but opening for Wonder gave him the chance to perform in front of thousands of Wonder fans in major stadiums and sports arenas. Many of Wonder's white fans seemed to be unfamiliar with Scott-Heron (who had never had a major pop hit), while a lot of Wonder's black fans at least knew him for "The Bottle" and "Angel Dust" even if they hadn't bought a lot of his albums. Opening for all those Wonder fans certainly didn't hurt Scott-Heron's career, but it didn't make him a superstar either.

While it's possible that some Wonder fans enjoyed Scott-Heron's opening sets enough to go out and purchase "Real Eyes", most of the people who acquired this LP were already confirmed Scott-Heron fans. Unfortunately, "Real Eyes" lacked a hit single, although the material is excellent nonetheless. As usual, Scott-Heron has a lot of sociopolitical things on his mind - "The Train From Washington" concludes that the working class can't depend on the U.S. government for anything, while "Not Needed" angrily points the finger at companies who consider longtime employees expendable.

And the album's less sociopolitical songs are equally memorable. "Your Daddy Loves You" is a touching ode to Scott-Heron's daughter Gia Louise (who was only a child in 1980), and the jazz-oriented "A Legend in His Own Mind" is a humorous, clever put-down of a wannabe "Casanova" who isn't nearly the ladies' man he brags about being. Scott-Heron's love of jazz serves him well on "A Legend in His Own Mind" and the smoky "Combinations," but make no mistake: "Real Eyes" is an R&B album more than anything.

(320 kbps, front cover included)

Harry Belafonte - Belafonte On Campus (1967)

An actor, humanitarian, and the acknowledged "King of Calypso," Harry Belafonte ranked among the most seminal performers of the postwar era. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, Belafonte's staggering talent, good looks, and masterful assimilation of folk, jazz, and worldbeat rhythms allowed him to achieve a level of mainstream eminence and crossover popularity virtually unparalleled in the days before the advent of the civil rights movement -- a cultural uprising which he himself helped spearhead.

It can be hypothesized that Harry Belafonte's career as a singer of folk songs ended with this album. Launching into a four-year drought, he would not have another exceptional album for RCA Victor until 1971's "Calypso Carnival". The theme for the album was spurred by Belafonte's popularity on college campuses in the mid-'60s. College audiences in the '60s were to folk singers what armed forces recruits were to big band singers and comedians during World War II: sure things. The liner notes estimate that during his most recent tour, Belafonte played to a quarter of a million American students at forty colleges.

The selections on the album are ones he sang on the tour, and Belafonte deftly combines songs from folk tradition with new works by rising singer-songwriters. Of the latter, Gordon Lightfoot's "The Hands I Love" (featuring the delicate guitar work of Al Schackman) and Tom Paxton's "Hold On to Me Babe" stand out as memorable. Even Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind" is given an offbeat treatment, more as a gospel rocker than a tender ballad. Bill Eaton, more in his element than with the relatively quaint, alien music of the West Indies, created the kind of sound Belafonte thrived on: new ways to sing familiar songs. Lonnie Donegan's skiffle anthem "Don't You Rock Me Daddy-O" becomes more of a bluesy shuffle on "Sail Away Ladies," and Leadbelly's work song "Take This Hammer" is transformed into an entirely new song, now titled "Roll On, Buddy." The results of these upending of traditional arrangements could have been disastrous, but for Harry Belafonte during the Summer of Love, they were still working.

(192 kbps, cover art included)

VA - Steam Ballads (Broadside, 1977)

"Steam Balldads" was an album released on the Broadside label way back in 1977. This album features mostly 19th century railroad ballads and songs, performed by Harry Boardman, Jon Raven, Tony Rose and Kempion

01 - Harry Boardman - Navvy On The Line
02 - Jon Raven - The Bold Navvies
03 - Jon Raven - Paddy Works On The Railway
04 - Tony Rose - Opening Of The Newcastle & Shields Railway
05 - Harry Boardman - Johnny Greens Trip Fra Owdhum
06 - Kempion - Opening Of The Birmingham & Liverpool Railway
07 - Kempion - The Iron Horse
08 - Jon Raven - The Oxford & Hampton Railway
09 - Kempion - The Cockney's Trip To Brummagem
10 - Tony Rose - The Wonderful Effects Of The Leicester Railway
11 - Jon Raven - Cosher Bailey
12 - Tony Rose - Moses Of The Mail
13 - Tony Rose - The Fireman's Growl

VA - Steam Ballads (1977, Broadside)
(192 kbps, front & back cover included)

Gil Scott-Heron - 1970 – Small Talk at 125th & Lenox Ave

One of the most important progenitors of rap music, Gil Scott-Heron's aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry inspired a legion of intelligent rappers while his engaging songwriting skills placed him square in the R&B charts later in his career, backed by increasingly contemporary production courtesy of Malcolm Cecil and Nile Rodgers (of Chic).

Disregard the understated title, "Small Talk at 125th and Lenox" was a volcanic upheaval of intellectualism and social critique, recorded live in a New York nightclub with only bongos and conga to back the street poet. Here Scott-Heron introduced some of his most biting material, including the landmark "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" as well as his single most polemical moment: the angry race warning "Enough."

Still, he balances the tone and mood well, ranging from direct broadsides to clever satire. He introduces "Whitey on the Moon" with a bemused air ("wanting to give credit where credit is due"), then launches into a diatribe concerning living conditions for the neglected on earth while those racing to the moon receive millions of taxpayer dollars. On "Evolution (And Flashback)," Scott-Heron laments the setbacks of the civil rights movement and provides a capsule history of his race, ending sharply with these words: "In 1960, I was a negro, and then Malcolm came along/Yes, but some nigger shot Malcolm down, though the bitter truth lives on/Well, now I am a black man, and though I still go second class/Whereas once I wanted the white man's love, now he can kiss my ass." The only sour note comes on a brush with homophobia, "The Subject Was Faggots."

01. Intro
02. The Revolution will not be televised
03. Omen
04. Brother
05. Comment #1
06. Small Talk At 125th And Lenox
07. The Subject Was Faggots
08. Evolution (And Flashback)
09. Plastic Pattern People
10. Whitey On The Moon
11. The Vulture
12. Enough
13. Paint It Black
14. Everyday

Gil Scott-Heron - Small Talk At 125th & Lenox Ave
(192 kbps, front cover included)

"...hören Sie mal rot!" - Arbeiterlieder-Festival Essen 1970

This album is a collection of labour songs recorded at the "Arbeiterliederfestival 1970" in Essen, originally released on "Pläne" in the 70s.

It features classic songs like "Der rote Wedding", "Brüder, zur Sonne, zur Freiheit", "Gaslied", "Einheitsfrontlied" and "Die Internationale" in recordings by artists like Hanns Dieter Hüsch, Dieter Süverkrüp, Dietrich Kittner, Franz-Josef Degenhardt and Lerryn.

(192 kbps, cover art included)

Miriam Makeba - Miriam Makeba (1960)

Miriam Makeba had just made a splash in New York nightclubs and earned a fistful of press only a few months earlier when RCA Victor Records snapped her up and recorded her first album in May 1960. Clearly, the label was hoping to repeat the success of her mentor, Harry Belafonte, whose Belafonte Folk Singers accompanied her on some tracks and who wrote a blurb for the album's back cover.

Like Belafonte, she was a black singer with an exotic, folk-based repertoire who could translate her music into a sophisticated club act. In addition to the Belafonte troupe, which appeared on the calypso tune "The Naughty Little Flea," a song that sounded like a Belafonte number, the Chad Mitchell Trio joined her on "Mbube," aka the Weavers' "Wimoweh," and Charles Coleman was her duet partner on the comic Austrian tune "One More Dance."

She also turned in an early version of "House of the Rising Sun." Such familiar material offset the songs sung in her native South African tongue of Xhosa. Makeba had an expressive voice and was extremely versatile, as the range of material indicates. But despite the critical raves, she may have been a bit too exotic to be commercial on her first album, which was not a big seller. RCA let her go to Kapp Records for her second album, but came calling again three years later.


The Retreat Song
The Click Song
Lakutshn, Ilanga
The Naughty Little Flea
Where Does It Lead?
House of the Rising Sun
One More Dance
Iya Guduza

Miriam Makeba - Miriam Makeba (1960)
(256 kbps, cover art incuded)

Miriam Makeba - Live (1977)

This album is the German version of the South African release "'Live' For My Brothers And Sisters".

The songs are from a live concert at Théâtre des Champs Elysées in Paris in 1977. On the album are both political songs of various sorts as well as songs meant more for dance and fun ("Pata Pata" being the most recognizable).

Realistically, Makeba may have other albums of a higher recording quality out there, but the inclusion of crowd noises, monologues with the audience, and some acoustic irregularities (inherent in any live recording) make the album seem more worthy as a document of a live performance, giving the listener a feel for what a live concert by the great singer would be like.
Any fan of Makeba's music should be overjoyed upon hearing this album,


               I Shall Sing                         4:00      
               Kulala                                  3:32      
               Malaika                              5:09      
               Jolinkomo                          3:23      
               Ring Bell                             3:34      
               Pata Pata                           2:43      
               Ngoma Kurila                    5:08      
               Forbidden Games             3:29      
               Mas Que Nada                  3:50      
               West Wind                         3:38      
               Amampondo                     2:42

Miriam Makeba - Live (1977)
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Returns To Carnegie Hall (1969)

On May 2, 1960, Harry Belafonte returned to Carnegie Hall for what was supposed to be one of the last concerts in the venerable hall's last season.
Carnegie was scheduled to be torn down, although this was an edict that was thankfully short-lived. The hall was instead renovated and remains one of New York's premier showplaces.

The first Carnegie Hall recording from the previous year had had such an impact on the recording industry that it opened up new vistas for live recordings. Belafonte faced the challenge of living up to his own legend.

For this concert, he began what would be a concert tradition for him: sharing the spotlight with up-and-coming folk performers. Representing the new collegiate folk singing group trend was the Chad Mitchell Trio, currently appearing at New York's Blue Angel, where Belafonte had seen them perform. South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba, another Belafonte discovery, also performed, as did folk and blues singer Odetta, and the Belafonte Folk Singers.

The guest stars nearly upstaged Belafonte, but this turned out to be de rigueur for his concerts. Highlights include Odetta's powerhouse medley of the work songs "I've Been Driving on Bald Mountain" and "Water Boy," the Folk Singers' exciting "Ox Drivers Song," Makeba and Belafonte's charming duet on "One More Dance," and the Mitchell Trio's exuberant Israeli song "Vaichazkem."
For a finale, Belafonte turned to the Mexican folk dance "La Bamba," treating it to an eight-minute-long heels-flying festive romp.

  1. "Jump Down Spin Around" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 2:14
  2. "Suzanne" - Harry Belafonte - 5:50
  3. "A Little Lyric of Great Importance" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 1:29
  4. "Chickens" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:10
  5. "Vaichazkem" - The Chad Mitchell Trio - 1:34
  6. "I Do Adore Her" - The Chad Mitchell Trio - 3:18
  7. "The Ballad of Sigmund Freud" - The Chad Mitchell Trio - 3:28
  8. "I've Been Driving On Bald Mountain / Water Boy" - Odetta - 2:20 & 4:35
  9. "A Hole In the Bucket" - Harry Belafonte and Odetta - 5:19
  10. "The Click Song" - Miriam Makeba and The Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:46
  11. "One More Dance" - Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba - 3:43
  12. "The Ox Drivers" - Belafonte Folk Singers - 2:59
  13. "The Red Rosy Bush" - Belafonte Folk Singers - 2:51
  14. "Didn't It Rain" - Belafonte Folk Singers - 5:27
  15. "Hene Ma Tov" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:46
  16. "I Know Where I'm Going" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 3:27
  17. "Old King Cole" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 4:59
  18. "La Bamba" - Harry Belafonte and the Belafonte Folk Singers - 8:04
Harry Belafonte - Belafonte Returns To Carnegie Hall (1960)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 30. Mai 2015

Miriam Makeba - Sangoma (1988)

"Sangoma" was Miriam Makeba's comeback album, her first U.S. release in almost a decade. It is a beautiful collection of traditional South African songs with spare production values that highlight the power of Makeba's vocals. This is an excellent set of Xhosa folk songs she learned as a child.     

"It is said that a person can learn a lot about a society from their music. I invite you, my friend, to listen to these cries from the heart that are the songs of my people." - Miriam Makeba in the liner notes.           


1. Emabhaceni
2. Baxabene oxamu
3. Ngalala phantsi
4. Ihoyiya
5. Kulo nyaka
6. Baya jabula
7. Mabhongo
8. Ingwemabala
9. Mosadi ku rima
10. Angilalanga
11. Ungakanani
12. Ngiya khuyeka
13. Nyankwabe
14. Sabumoya
15. Congo
16. Nginani na
17. Umam' uyajabula
18. Nyamuthla
19. Icala

Miriam Makeba - Sangoma (1988)
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Kurt Weill, Bertolt Brecht, Lotte Lenya - Historische Aufnahmen

The actress and singer Lotte Lenya (1900–81) was born in Vienna and was a popular cabaret and musical star in Berlin before the advent of the Nazis forced her to flee Germany.

Lenya appeared in several of her husband's Kurt Weill works in Germany, including creating the role of Jenny ("Threpenny Opera") in 1928. Her first American appearance was in "The Eternal Road" (1937), followed by "Candle in the Wind" (1941), Weill's "The Firebrand of Florence" (1945), and "Barefoot in Athens" (1951). She later appeared as Fräulein Schneider in "Cabaret" (1966). Her “steel‐file voice” made her the definitive interpreter of her husband's songs.

Here´s another collection of historic recordings of the music of the great Kurt Weill. Included are recordings and excerpts from the 1930s and 1940s of "Die Dreigroschenoper", "Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny", "Happy End", "Kleine Dreiroschenmusik", "Lady In The Dark" and "One Touch of Venus".

(192 kbps, cover art included)

River Of Song - A Musical Journey Down The Mississippi

This two-hour, 36 track, musical journey down the Mississippi from the headwaters to the delta captures the power and diversity of American music in the late 20th century. The music, recorded between 1995 and 1997 in small towns and large cities along the river, reflects centuries of interaction and experimentation along America’s great waterway.

This album offers a landmark presentation of contemporary musicians who have forged their styles out of the rich musical heritage found along the banks of the Mississippi. The combination of musical diversity and striking continuity found in this remarkable region, which slices through the center of the United States, is reflected by a range of artists including Soul Asylum, John Hartford, Chippewa Nation, Babes in Toyland, and the Mississippi Mass Choir.

"River of Song" is the first of a stunning multimedia project (including a four-part PBS documentary, public-radio interviews, and book) on which an array of artists under the tutelage of director-curator Anthony Seeger give voice and share the lore of America's great Mississippi River. The musical journey is parceled into quadrants: from the Northern headwaters, slicing through Twain's heartland; snaking down into the Deep South; wending through Louisiana, where music is king; and culminating at its life-giving, life-taking mouth, the Gulf of Mexico. Prolonged visitation occurs in musical meccas Minneapolis, St. Louis, Memphis, and New Orleans, showcasing the abundant talent and distinct sound of each locale. River of Song celebrates not only the landscapes through which the water traverses but also the colorful cultures that have sprung from and thrive at her banks: Native American, Dutch, African-American, Cajun, and subcultures and hybrids of youth and religion, including indie-rock hipsters, heartland country rockers, Delta blues men, Mexican Dixieland jazz, and both black and white gospel musics from deep believers of faith. Much like driving the Natchez Trace, the journey is profoundly American - deeply affecting in providing not only a sense of the present but of our very roots.

River Of Song, pt. 1
River Of Song, pt. 2
(192 kbps)

Heiner Müller liest Heiner Müller

"Wenn die Diskotheken verlassen und die Akademien verödet sind, wird das Schweigen des Theaters wieder gehört werden, das der Grund seiner Sprache ist." - Heiner Müller

The german dramatist and playwright Heiner Müller was born in 1929 and died in 1995. Living in East Germany (GDR), he worked as managing, literary and artistic director at the Maxim-Gorki-Theatre (from 1958 on) and the Berliner Ensemble (from 1970 on), often staging his own productions.

Müller showed strong socialist leanings and worked in the tradition of Brechtian theatre. His initial agreement with the East German regime began to dwindle in 1960s when severals plays of his were censored and banned. He then began to work with West German theatres and ensembles and succeeded with pieces such as "Hamletmaschine" (1979), earning him worldwide fame. Müller was also renowned for his prose and poetry ("Das Ende der Handschrift. Gedichte") and publications on the theory of drama.

Before the collapse of the German Democratic Republic, Heiner Müller was widely regarded, internationally and in both German states, as “the most important German dramatist since Brecht”. Subsequently, like other “heroes” of the GDR semi-dissident scene, he was the target of a concerted campaign accusing him, among other things, of collaboration with the Stasi (Staats-Sicherheitsdienst, the GDR political police) and crypto-Stalinist tendencies. His reputation, despite a short-term eclipse, will survive these inanities; the extended public wake held upon his death on 30 December 1995 gave expression to a deep sense of loss in the vibrant East Berlin cultural scene of which he was the most brilliant protagonist.

Born in Eppendorf, Saxony, on 9 January 1929, his conscious life-span mirrors that of the GDR – from the bloody end of World War II through the difficult years of socialist reconstruction to the profound disillusionment of the “years of stagnation” and the ultimate implosion of the GDR, which he survived by only five depressive years of black clownery.

After the fall of the Wall, Müller became president of the East German Academy of the Arts for a short time in 1990 before its inclusion in the West German Akademie. In 1992, he was invited to join the directorate of the Berliner Ensemble, Brecht's former company at the Theater am Schiffbauerdamm, as one of its five members along with Peter Zadek, Peter Palitzsch, Fritz Marquardt and Matthias Langhoff. In 1995, shortly before his death, Müller was appointed as the theatre’s sole artistic director.
During the last five years of his life, Müller continued to live in Berlin and work all over Germany and Europe, mostly directing productions of his own works. He wrote few new dramatic texts in this time, though, like Brecht, he did produce much poetry in his final years.

Müller died in Berlin of cancer in 1995, acknowledged as one of the greatest living German authors and the most important German language dramatists since Bertolt Brecht.

Here´s his reading of some poems and prose at his 60s birthday, January 9, 1989, at the "Academy Of The Arts" in Berlin.
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Betrolt Brecht - Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder

"Mother Courage and Her Children" ("Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder") was a play written in 1939 by the German dramatist and poet Bertolt Brecht (1898 - 1956) with significant contributions from his mistress at the time, Margarete Steffin. It has subsequently been filmed.


It is one of nine plays that he wrote in an attempt to counter the rise of Fascism and Nazism. Following Brecht's own principles for political drama, the play is not set in modern times but during the Thirty Years' War of 1618-1648. It follows the fortunes of Anna Fierling, nicknamed "Mother Courage," —a wily canteen woman with the Swedish Army who is determined to make her living from the war. Over the course of the play, she loses all three of her children, Swiss Cheese, Eilif, and Katrin, to the same war from which she sought to profit.
The play is an example of Brecht's concepts of Epic Theatre and Verfremdungseffekt or "alienation". ("Alienation", however, is something of a misleading translation, for it suggests that the audience are actively cut off from the performance. A more accurate translation of Verfremdungseffekt is "distancing effect" or "to make strange", since Brecht's intention was to set the audience apart from familiar situations so that they may think about them objectively). Verfremdungseffekt is achieved through the use of placards which reveal the events of each scene, juxtaposition, actors changing characters and costume on stage, the use of narration, simple props and scenery. For instance, a single tree would be used to convey a whole forest, and the stage is usually flooded with bright white light whether it's a winter's night or a summer's day. Several songs are used to underscore the themes of the play.

The action of the play takes place over the course of 12 years —1624 - 1636 —represented in 12 short scenes. One is given a sense of Courage's career without being given enough time to develop sentimental feelings and empathize with any of the characters. Meanwhile, Mother Courage is not depicted as a noble character—here the Brechtian epic theatre sets itself apart from the ancient Greek tragedies in which the heroes are far above the average. With the same alienating effect, the ending of Brecht's play does not arouse our desire to imitate the main character, Mother Courage.

Brecht and Steffin wrote this play in only two months, and it is among his most famous plays. His work attempts to show the dreadfulness of war and the idea that virtues are not rewarded in corrupt times. He used an epic structure so that the audience focuses on the issues being displayed rather than getting involved with the characters and emotions. Epic plays are of a very distinct genre and are typical of Brecht; a strong case could be made that he invented the form.

The play was originally produced in Zurich at the Schauspielhaus, produced by Leopold Lindtberg in 1941. Music was written by Paul Dessau. The musicians were placed in view of the audience so that they could be seen—this is one of Brecht's many techniques in Epic Theatre. Therese Giehse, (a well-known actress at the time) took the title role. The first production in (East-)Berlin was in 1949, with Brecht's (second) wife Helene Weigel, his main actress and later also director, as Mother Courage.

This production would highly influence the formation of the Berliner Ensemble, which would provide Brecht a venue to direct many of his plays. Brecht died directing Galileo for the Ensemble.

(128 kbps)

Donnerstag, 28. Mai 2015

VA - No volveremos atrás (Chile, 1973)

This september it was 42 years ago that General Pinochet launched a bloody CIA-assisted coup against the democratically-elected socialist President Allende of Chile.

On September 11, 1973, General Augusto Pinochet and his right-wing supporters in the Chilean military and government staged a brutal coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected and socialist-leaning administration of Salvador Allende.
They did so with substantial assistance from the Nixon administration and the CIA, which had been supporting anti-socialist forces throughout Chile following the election of Allende in 1970 and his efforts to nationalize some key industries including the phone company, whose majority owner was the U.S.-based International Telephone and Telegraph (ITT).

Following the coup - in which tens of thousands were arrested and imprisoned in Chile’s football stadiums, untold numbers were tortured, executed, or “disappeared,” and Allende shot himself inside the presidential palace following his farewell speech - the Chicago Boys who had been trained in Friedman’s brand of neoliberalism, previously rebuffed in the 1970 election, were now suddenly given the keys to the Chilean economy by the Pinochet regime.
This came on the heels of a proposal published on the day of the coup by the Chicago Boys to restructure Chile as a kind of laboratory of neoliberalism.

During the airforce bombardment of the Presidential palace, La Moneda, Allende addressed the nation one final time. These were Allende’s famous last words, delivered after personally engaging in a bitter hours-long firefight with Pinochet’s treasonous military forces, and just moments before taking his own life with a rifle given to him as a gift by Fidel Castro:
"Surely, this will be the last opportunity for me to address you. The Air Force has bombed the antennas of Radio Magallanes. My words do not have bitterness but disappointment. May there be a moral punishment for those who have betrayed their oath: soldiers of Chile, titular commanders in chief, Admiral Merino, who has designated himself Commander of the Navy, and Mr. Mendoza, the despicable general who only yesterday pledged his fidelity and loyalty to the Government, and who also has appointed himself Chief of the Carabineros [paramilitary police]. Given these facts, the only thing left for me is to say to workers: I am not going to resign!
Placed in a historic transition, I will pay for loyalty to the people with my life. And I say to them that I am certain that the seeds which we have planted in the good conscience of thousands and thousands of Chileans will not be shriveled forever. They have force and will be able to dominate us, but social processes can be arrested by neither crime nor force. History is ours, and people make history.
Workers of my country: I want to thank you for the loyalty that you always had, the confidence that you deposited in a man who was only an interpreter of great yearnings for justice, who gave his word that he would respect the Constitution and the law and did just that. At this definitive moment, the last moment when I can address you, I wish you to take advantage of the lesson: foreign capital, imperialism, together with the reaction, created the climate in which the Armed Forces broke their tradition, the tradition taught by General Schneider and reaffirmed by Commander Araya, victims of the same social sector who today are hoping, with foreign assistance, to re-conquer the power to continue defending their profits and their privileges.
I address you, above all, the modest woman of our land, the campesina who believed in us, the mother who knew our concern for children. I address professionals of Chile, patriotic professionals who continued working against the sedition that was supported by professional associations, classist associations that also defended the advantages of capitalist society.
I address the youth, those who sang and gave us their joy and their spirit of struggle. I address the man of Chile, the worker, the farmer, the intellectual, those who will be persecuted, because in our country fascism has been already present for many hours — in terrorist attacks, blowing up the bridges, cutting the railroad tracks, destroying the oil and gas pipelines, in the face of the silence of those who had the obligation to act.
They were committed. History will judge them.
Surely, Radio Magallanes will be silenced, and the calm metal instrument of my voice will no longer reach you. It does not matter. You will continue hearing it. I will always be next to you. At least my memory will be that of a man of dignity who was loyal to his country.
The people must defend themselves, but they must not sacrifice themselves. The people must not let themselves be destroyed or riddled with bullets, but they cannot be humiliated either.
Workers of my country, I have faith in Chile and its destiny. Other men will overcome this dark and bitter moment when treason seeks to prevail. Keep in mind that, sooner rather than later, the great avenues will once again be opened through which free man will pass to build a better society.
Long live Chile! Long live the people! Long live the workers!
These are my last words, and I am certain that my sacrifice will not be in vain, I am certain that, at the very least, there will be a moral lesson that will punish felony, cowardice, and treason.
Santiago de Chile,
11 September 1973"

Chile is - 40 years after the bloody overthrow of the socialist Allende government - focus of this year's "Festival Musik & Politik" in February. Besides a lot of other interesting events with music, discussion and film there will be a concert "Victor Jara presente" with Quilapayun and others on February 24, 2013. More information via

We will present in the following month some albums remembering the struggle of the people in Chile and the brutal coup d’etat that overthrew the democratically elected and socialist-leaning government in Chile 40 years ago.

This LP, released by DICAP, is emblematic of the Chilean Unidad Popular and the way of making music in the service of popular political struggles. With most of the songs by Quilapayun, the idea of the work was to support the political campaign for the UP elections in March 1973.


01 - Este es mi lugar [Quilapayún]
02 - Por siempre muy juntos [Quilapayún]
03 - No vamos hoy a bailar [Quilapayún]
04 - Conchalí [Bonnie-Baher y Quilapayún]
05 - Cueca negra [Quilapayún]
06 - Nuestro amor [Bonnie-Baher y Quilapayún]
07 - Onofre sí, Frei [Quilapayún]
08 - Al centro de la injusticia [Isabel Parra] (versión 1973
09 - El desabastecimiento [Víctor Jara]
10 - Frei, ayúdame [Quilapayún e Inti-illimani]
12 - Cueca roja [Quilapayún]

VA - No volveremos atras (Chile, 1973)
(160 kbps, front cover incuded)

Opal - Early Recordings

The neo-psychedelic group Opal formed in the mid-'80s, featuring former Rain Parade guitarist David Roback and former Dream Syndicate bassist Kendra Smith. Initially, the group was called Clay Allison, but the group dropped the name after one single; Roback, Smith, and drummer Keith Mitchell released the remaining Clay Allison tracks under their own name in 1984 on the "Fell From the Sun" EP. After its release, the group adopted the name Opal and released an EP, "Northern Line", in 1985.

"Early Recordings'"is a collection of songs by David Roback and Kendra Smith that date from 1983-1987; they were released under both the Opal and Clay Allison band monikers.

While Opal's "Happy Nightmare Baby" is more representative of the group's richly textured brand of neo-psychedelia, the stripped-down "Early Recordings" compilation is an even better example of David Roback and Kendra Smith's remarkable songcraft.

Released in the wake of the group's breakup, the album collects the majority of tracks from the "Fell From the Sun" and "Northern Line" EPs, along with a handful of outtakes and unreleased cuts, all spotlighting Opal's more subdued, acoustic-folk side. Peeling away the mystical haze which enshrouded "Happy Nightmare Baby", the songs are plaintive and stark, exposing the emotional complexity at the band's core - the wistful "Empty Box Blues" and the haunting "Harriet Brown," both previously unissued, are unmatched in their beauty and grace.

Opal - Early Recordings
(256 kbps, front cover included)

Hanns Eisler - Hollywood Songbook (Matthias Goerne, Eric Schneider)

Hanns Eisler was a composer with a social conscience, but, like the poet in one of these songs, he reaped only anguish. Driven from his native Germany where his music was banned by the Nazis, he went to California and wrote excellent film scores, but was unable to reconcile himself to Hollywood's mass culture, leaving him a stranger in a foreign land. These songs - like so much in the extraordinary "Entartete Musik" series - express the experience of actual and spiritual exile, with its aching yearning for a home that no longer exists. Most of the texts are by Eisler's friend and fellow exile, Bertolt Brecht; together they create a grim picture of bleak desolation in the midst of material plenty. The songs are connected by a feeling of isolation and despair at the state of the world, as well as a pervasive strain of desperate humor and irony. The sense of rootlessness is most clearly reflected in the songs' abrupt, incomplete-sounding endings. The musical language is eclectic but highly original, ranging from echoes of Schubert, intimations of the serialism Eisler learned from Schönberg, to cabaret songs. Eisler was finally deported back to Germany during the McCarthy era, having never attained the stature he deserved. Matthias Goerne's incomparably velvety, variable, expressive voice and riveting inward concentration give the tragedy of the uprooted exile's loneliness a shattering emotional impact, and pianist Eric Schneider is terrific. It is interesting to compare Goerne's approach to that of baritone Wolfgang Holzmair, who uses a much drier sound and very pointed diction, underlining the songs' cabaret style to give them a stinging, sardonic sarcasm with stiletto-like sharpness.
"An issue of major importance, hugely impressive. Goerne has obviously been smitten by these wonderful, neglected songs: he calls them 'the 20th century Winterreise´ and in performances as gripping as these it is hard to contradict him. They are Eisler's songs of exile, written in Hollywood while the Germany for which he felt both passionate revulsion and deep nostalgia sank into the abyss. Most of the 46 short songs are settings of poems by Brecht, some written specifically for Eisler, but they also incorporate 'mini-cycles' to texts by MOrike and Eichendorff, two poems by Blaise Pascal (set in English) and one or two others including a single poem by Eisler himself.
The songs are not here sung in the order in which Eisler eventually published them, but the sequence chosen makes poignant dramatic sense, chronicling Brecht's and Eisler's horror at what was happening in Germany, their flight and exile, their reaction to the alien world of Hollywood and meditations on Germany's vanished past, hideous present and uncertain future. As performed here, the cycle ends with a loving homage to Schubert, 'On Watering the Garden', followed by the haunting and moving 'Homecoming', a vision of Berlin obliterated by bombardment, and by the intense and characteristically Eislerian lyricism of 'Landscape of Exile' ('The ravines of California at evening...did not leave the messenger of misfortune unmoved'). These were Eisler's first Lieder since his student days, and to convey his epic theme in a sequence of miniatures he ranged across all the styles available to him, from a terse, Schoenberg-derived angularity via Berlin cabaret towards, more and more as the sequence proceeds, deliberate evocation of Schubert, Schumann and Mahler.

They demand a prodigious expressive range from any singer who undertakes them. Goerne can sing 'On Suicide' with a mere thread of sound without ever losing the quality of his voice but can then swell in an instant to a formidable fff for the last syllable of the terrifying final line ('People just throw their unbearable lives away'). The sheer beauty of his voice is just what those many homages to the Lied tradition need. His English is pretty good, his diction immaculate, and he makes a memorably sinister thing of the seventh Hollywood Elegy (set in English; Brecht's German original is lost), that horrifying image of a man sinking in a swamp with a a 'ghastly, blissful smile'. Goerne has done nothing better; this is a masterly and profoundly moving achievement. His pianist is first-class, the recording admirable." -  from: Gramophone (1/1999)

Hanns Eisler - Hollywood Songbook (Matthias Goerne)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Hanns Eisler - Choral Songs - Children´s Songs - Popular Songs (Chorlieder - Kinderlieder - Volkslieder)

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of the composer Hanns Eisler (September, 6), there was a wonderful "Long Hanns Eisler night" three years ago at the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) with artist like Sonja Kehler, Wenzel, Hanns Eisler Chor and Bremer Eisler Ensemble. One of the highlights of the evening was the appearance of Gisela May. The wonderful actress and singer had an interesting on-stage conversation with the Eisler expert Jürgen Scherbera about her collaboration with Hanns Eisler. And she gave us an interpretation of "Die haltbare Graugans".

One of the most original and prolific composers of the twentieth century, Hanns Eisler proved that expressing humanistic and political concerns does not necessarily lead to musical banalities, but can achieve his stated aesthetic ideal of "freshness, intelligence, strength and elegance" (as opposed to "bombast, sentimentality and mysticism"). Eisler´s variety of genres and writing styles surpasses anything to be found among other leading 20th-century composers. Songs of widely differing kinds and levels were the principal fruit of Eisler´s talent and ability: marching songs, ballads, lullabies, art songs, canons, anthems, chansons, choral songs and cycles.

This album is a collection of choral songs, children´s songs and popular songs, including the "Little Woodbury song book". It contains key works illustrating Eisler´s characteristic, largely song-oriented musical thinking.

Tracklist01 - 20: Woodburry-Liederbüchlein
21 - 23:  Kanons
24: Gegen den Krieg, Op. 51
25 - 29: Fünf Lieder für Kindergärten
30 - 32: Drei Kinderlieder für Gesang und Bratsche
33 - 41: Suite für Septett No. 1, Op. 92a
42 - 47: Neue deutsche Volkslieder
48: Nationalhymne der DDR

Hanns Eisler - Chorlieder - Kinderlieder - Volkslieder
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dienstag, 26. Mai 2015

Floyd Westerman - Custer Died For Your Sins (1969)

This is one of the few recordings made by this intriguing Sioux musician Floyd Westerman who also goes by the name of Red Crow, which he traces back to his grandfather.

He inherited this recording back from the label that had originally financed and released it, and it contains most of Westerman's most famous songs. He doesn't seem to have created a large catalog of compositions in his career, but the tricks he does have up his sleeve are good ones. The title song is tough and to the point, while other songs such as "Here Come the Anthros" reveal a stinging satirical sense of humor.

Two anthems on the second side are particularly hard-hitting: "Missionaries," certainly a well-deserved jab, and "Where Were You When," which takes a poke at Native American pride of the opportunistic sort.

Westerman is an engaging singer with a catchy sense of rhythm, and it is a shame he hasn't cranked out another dozen albums of protest songs; his people certainly have plenty to complain about.      

Custer Died For Your Sins3:18
World Without Tomorrow3:36
Goin' Back2:58
35 More Miles3:40
Red, White And Black1:45
Where Were You Then3:12
Here Come The Anthros1:57
They Didn't Listen3:21
Task Force1:40

Floyd Westerman - Custer Died For Your Sins (1969)    
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Sonntag, 24. Mai 2015

Eric Von Schmidt - The Folk Blues Of Eric Von Schmidt (1963)

Painter, illustrator, singer/songwriter, and folksinger Eric Von Schmidt was a spearhead of the folk revival that swept through Cambridge, Massachusett's Harvard Square in the early '60s. When he wasn't hosting late-night jam sessions at his apartment/studio, Von Schmidt was performing Leadbelly-influenced songs in coffeehouses and inspiring several generations of folk-rooted singer/songwriters.    

As the third generation of painters in his family, Von Schmidt was the son of famed illustrator Harold Von Schmidt, best known for his serial Tugboat Annie. Von Schmidt was the first in his family to become involved with music. Although his mother read music and played piano at Christmas, his father and brother were unable to carry a tune. Determined that their children be given a grounding in music, Von Schmidt's parents purchased a collection of records including tunes by Johnny Noble & His Royal Hawaiians, Burl Ives, Segovia, Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians, Hoagy Carmichael, and Duke Ellington.

Von Schmidt stumbled onto folk music by chance when he heard a live broadcast by Leadbelly on radio station WNYC. The theme song was "Goodnight Irene." "I was going out with a girl called Irene, " Von Schmidt explained in 1992. "I thought, 'Boy, there's a song that I've got to learn.'"
Leadbelly's performance inspired Von Schmidt to teach himself to play guitar. In addition to learning songs from the records that he bought at a local store, he learned songs from the few music books that he could find. Much to his surprise, Von Schmidt found other high-school students in awe of folk music. Together they would travel to New York, where they would sit around playing their guitars and banjos in taverns. Among the first New York-based folksingers who Von Schmidt befriended were Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Tom Paley. At Elliott's invitation, Von Schmidt made his radio debut on a program hosted by Oscar Brand, playing "Pretty Polly" on a banjo.

Von Schmidt continued his musical education while serving in the Army. During the two years that he was stationed in Washington D.C., he searched for songs in the archives of the Folklore Department of the Library of Congress. After being discharged and spending two years studying art in Italy via a Fulbright Scholarship, Von Schmidt went to Harvard Square. Around the corner from his apartment and studio was Tulla's Coffee Grinder, a coffeehouse that served as the center of the early folk music movement.

Although the folk scene was initially relaxed and strictly amateur, things began to change around 1958 when Joan Baez made her debut appearances. The folk music craze spread quickly and new clubs opened, including Club 47 in Harvard Square and the Unicorn in Boston. One of the first folk artists to be recorded, Von Schmidt released his debut album in 1962.
An early friend and supporter of Bob Dylan, Von Schmidt was mentioned on Dylan's debut album as the source of the song "Baby, Let Me Follow You Down, " which Von Schmidt had recorded as "Baby, Let Me Lay It on You." In 1963, Von Schmidt traveled to England with Dylan and Rolf Cohn, recording an album with Dylan appearing as "Blind Boy Grunt." Von Schmidt's debut album, "Folk Blues", rests on the floor in the cover photograph of Dylan's 1965 "Bringing It All Back Home" album. Von Schmidt's original song "Joshua Gone Barbados" was recorded by Dylan and the Band during their Basement Tapes sessions and was included on the bootleg album "The Genuine Basement Tapes, Vol. 5".

The folk scene was still going strong when Von Schmidt, who had been divorced from his first wife, left for Florida in 1970. After meeting the woman who would become his second wife, he relocated to Henniker, New Hampshire. He continued to record albums until the late '70s. Although he released an album with the Cruel Family on Philo in 1977, the label was experiencing severe problems and failed to promote the recording. The album was never included in the label's catalog. Baby, Let Me Lay It on You, a book about the Boston/Cambridge folk years that Von Schmidt co-wrote with folksinger and record producer Jim Rooney, was originally published in 1979; the book was later reissued by the University of Massachusetts. For much of the 1980s and early '90s, Von Schmidt concentrated on his artwork. His illustrations were featured on numerous record albums and exhibited in several galleries and museums.
After meeting guitarist and vocalist Linda Clifford, Von Schmidt began performing again. In 1995, he recorded Baby, "Let Me Lay It on You" -- his first album in 18 years. In addition to 15 new songs, the album featured reworkings of "Joshua Gone Barbados" and the title track. Eric Von Schmidt died at age 75 on February 2, 2007 in Fairfield, Connecticut, after having suffered a stroke in August of the preceding year.    

A1Crow Jane
A2Gulf Coast Blues
A3Brave Wolfe
A4Junco Partner
A5De Kalb Blues
B1Champagne Don't Hurt Me. Baby
B2Buffalo Skinners
B3Jack O' Diamonds
B4He Was A Friend Of Mine
B5Cocoa Beach Blues
B6Down On Me

Eric Von Schmidt - The Folk Blues Of Eric Von Schmidt (1963)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Samstag, 23. Mai 2015

Lightnin Hopkins - How Many More Years I Got

Though he had been performing since the 1920s, Texas bluesman Lightnin' Hopkins was a fresh face to the majority of the young folk audiences of the 1960s.

On the verge of drifting into obscurity, the singer had been rediscovered by enthusiast Mack McCormick and promoted to college crowds as a singer/guitarist in the folk-blues mold. What followed was a series of albums cut both solo and with session musicians for a variety of labels. "How Many More Years I Got" was one of the earliest. The players here are extremely loose, betraying a casual interest in the task at hand. They sound like a group of borrowed session men, but were in fact a small combo familiar both with each other and Hopkins himself. Bassist Donald Cooks, pianist Buster Pickens, drummer "Spider" Kilpatrick, and Hopkins' harp-playing cousin, Billy Bizor, all played on a number of the guitarist's dates during the early '60s. Hopkins was apparently reluctant to do second takes, however, and these recordings show it. The singer leads the group with his relaxed lines and Kilpatrick follows, further defining the tempo with the light, stiff patter of his drums. Bizor occasionally plays the role of catalyst, though his moans, hollers, and vocal/harmonica dialogues do little to increase the interest of his partners. Things pick up slightly during the album's second half, though even then the performances hardly approach the level of Hopkins' solo sides from the period, let alone his best work.         

A1How Many More Years I Got2:58
A2Walkin' This Road By Myself4:48
A3The Devil Jumped The Black Man4:09
A4My Baby Don't Stand No Cheatin'2:05
A5Black Cadillac3:37
B1You Is One Black Rat2:29
B2The Fox Chase3:18
B3Mojo Hand3:30
B4Mama Blues5:16
B5My Black Name3:59
C1Prison Farm Blues4:35
C2Ida Mae5:25
C3I Got A Leak In This Old Building5:19
C4Happy Blues For John Glenn5:20
D1Worried Life Blues2:53
D2Sinner's Prayer3:45
D3Angel Child3:30
D4Pneumonia Blues3:30
D5Have You Ever Been Mistreated4:04

Lightnin Hopkins - How Many More Years I Got
(192 kbps, cover art included)

Rolando Alarcón - Canta a los Poetas Soviéticos (1971)

The Chilean composer and singer/player Rolando Alarcon (1929 - 1973) is one of the pioneers of the New Chilean Song movement.
He founded the folk band "Cuncumén" in 1955. In 1962 he left the band and in 1965, after the brief period with "Los De Las Condes", he released his first solo album: "Rolando Alarcón Y Sus Canciones", followed by "Rolando Alarcón" and "El nuevo Rolando Alarcón" (1967) where he turned to a more social implication and to the pop music. He also played on "La Peña de los Parra" and in "Chile Ríe y Canta" peñas.
Canta a los poetas soviéticos is his eleventh album. It is a hommage to the soviet poet Yevgeni Yevtushenko and the singer Bulat Okudzhava.

01. ¿Querrían los rusos la guerra? (Yevgeni Yevtushenko – Eduard Kolmanowski)
02. Cuando mataron a Lorca (Yevgeni Yevtushenko)
03. La prisa es la maldición del siglo (Yevgeni Yevtushenko)
04. La isba (Yevgeni Yevtushenko)
05. El último trolebús (Bulat Okudzhava)
06. Canción del soldado americano (Bulat Okudzhava)
07. Cancioncita sobre la puerta abierta (Bulat Okudzhava)
08. ¿Escuchan los botines al pasar? (Bulat Okudzhava)
09. Sharmanka (Bulat Okudzhava)

Rolando Alarcón - Canta a los Poetas Soviéticos (1971)
(160 kbps, front cover included)

Dave Van Ronk - Ragtime Jug Stompers (1960, vinyl rip)

Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and native New Yorker Dave Van Ronk has inspired, aided, and promoted the careers of numerous singer/songwriters who came up in the blues tradition. Most notable of the many musicians he's helped over the years is Bob Dylan, whom Van Ronk got to know shortly after Dylan moved to New York in 1961 to pursue a life as a folk/blues singer.Van Ronk's recorded output over the years is healthy, but he's never been as prolific a songwriter as some of his friends from that era, like Dylan or Tom Paxton. Instead, the genius of what Van Ronk does lies in his flawless execution and rearranging of classic acoustic blues tunes.

This wild and unrestrained collection of blues, jazz and blues standards makes Van Ronk's "Red Onion" album sound positively subdued. The rave-up of "Everybody Loves My Baby" is an acoustic equivalent of garage bands-to-come for sheer energy. You can tell that he loves these tunes; and in the notes, Van Ronk says he had been planning to start a jug band for a while, since 1958. In any case, it's a record brimming with an energetic spirit.
"As for the jug band, that came about more or less by accident. One weekend Max Gordon, the owner of the Village Vanguard, was in Cambridge for some reason, and he walked by the Club 47 and saw this huge line of people waiting to get in to see the Jim Kweskin Jug Band. In his mind's eye he transposed this queue to 7th Avenue South, where he had his room, and visions of sugarplums started dancing in his head. So when he got back to New York, he called Robert Shelton and said, "Are there any jug bands around town?" Bob said, "Well, yeah, but what you really ought to do is get hold of Dave Van Ronk and have him put one together."
So he did, and I did. I called up a bunch of friends, and we formed the Ragtime Jug Stompers. Sam Charters was back in town, so he was our Pooh-Bah and Lord High Everything Else—he sang, arranged, and played washtub bass, washboard, jug, and occasionally would lend a hand on guitar. Barry Kornfeld played banjo and guitar. Artie Rose was on mandolin, and also played some fine Dobro. Finally, Danny Kalb, who had been a student of mine, played lead guitar and some very nice harmonica. (We also made him sing bass on "K.C. Moan," because he was the youngest and none of us wanted to do it.) It was a very flexible band because the musicians were all good enough to double or triple on various instruments, plus it had all the possibilities offered by kazoos and that sort of thing, so it was capable of more than one kind of sound." - from: "The Mayor of Macdougal Street"


Side A
01 - Everybody Loves My Baby
02 - Stealin
03 - Saint Louis Tickle
04 - Sister Kate
05 - Take I Slow And Easy
06 - Mack The Knife

Side B
07 - Diggin' My Potatoes
08 - Temptation Rag
09 - Shake That Thing
10 - K. C. Moan
11 - Georgia Camp Meeting
12 - You'se A Viper

(320 kbps, cover art included)

Ewan MacColl - Broadside Ballads, Vol. 2 (London: 1600 - 1700) (1962)

Tracks & Artist/Performer:
101 Female Frolic, The (Female Frollick, The) Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Alf Edwards
102 Give Me My Yellow Hose Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Alf Edwards
103 King and No King, A Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Alf Edwards
201 Constance of Cleveland Ewan MacColl, Peggy Seeger, Alf Edwards

Ewan MacColl - Broadside Ballads, Vol. 2 (London: 1600 - 1700) (1962)
(128 kbps, cover art included)

Dave Van Ronk - Just Dave Van Ronk (1964)

Guitarist, singer, songwriter, and native New Yorker Dave Van Ronk has inspired, aided, and promoted the careers of numerous singer/songwriters who came up in the blues tradition. Most notable of the many musicians he's helped over the years is Bob Dylan, whom Van Ronk got to know shortly after Dylan moved to New York in 1961 to pursue a life as a folk/blues singer.

Van Ronk's recorded output over the years is healthy, but he's never been as prolific a songwriter as some of his friends from that era, like Dylan or Tom Paxton. Instead, the genius of what Van Ronk does lies in his flawless execution and rearranging of classic acoustic blues tunes.

This collection is comprised of solo guitar and vocal interpretations of blues and traditional standards. Van Ronk's understated guitar style is perfect for these intimate performances. His naturally rough voice allows him to sing these songs believably without any ethnic affectation or false energy.

(192 kbps, front cover included)