Folk Song Tradition / Various (Mod)


aec.esmm942311132.2 10/24/11 New

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    Folk Song Tradition / Various (Mod)

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Review Text Tradition Records was started in the 1950s by folk song collector Diane Hamilton and Patrick Clancy of the Clancy Brothers, initially as an outlet for Clancy's group, but the label eventually recorded all manner of traditional artists and folk revival musicians, and even issued a few LPs of field recordings gathered by Alan Lomax. When the Clancy Brothers signed to CBS, the label was sold, and Tradition's catalog has surfaced ever since under countless imprints, including Ember, Everest, Transatlantic, Ossian, and most recently, Rykodisc. This Tradition sampler, released by V.I. Music, suggests the wide range of folk material the original label featured, all of it recorded simply and with few or no embellishments, giving most tracks the feel of field recordings. Highlights include the great Etta Baker's slide guitar instrumental version of "John Henry," Paul Clayton's moody and nuanced "Johnny's Gone to Hilo," the odd John Jacob Niles' thin, fragile, and deeply affected tenor on "Lulle Lullaby," Odetta's striking, slowed-down take on "Sail Away Ladies," and the shaky, halting, and over-dramatic vocal approach by Alan Lomax to "Ain't No More Cane on This Brazis." There are also sea shanties, flamenco guitarists, and brass bands on this diverse, scattershot, and intriguing collection. ~ Steve Leggett

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