Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Great Hudson River Revival (1980)

Flying Fish 214

I just picked this LP up a few minutes ago because it contained a live version of "Steamboat Whistle Blues" by John Hartford. It is not on CD.

John Hartford: Steamboat Whistle Blues

Monday, May 23, 2011

John Hartford: Headin' Down Into the Mystery Below (1978)

Flying Fish FF-063
(image from wikipedia)

For my money, the two greatest John Hartford records are Aereo-Plain and this LP, which is not on CD. Aereo-Plain got a nice CD reissue a few years back, as did 1976's Mark Twang, which is similar to this record in style and theme.

Two songs from this LP, On Christmas Eve and Natchez Whistle appear on the anthology CD Me Oh My, How the Time Does Fly.

I sold all my John Hartford LPs when I liquidated my LP collection in 2005, but not before I burned a CD of all my favorite tracks. These samples are from that CD.

Headin' Down Into the Mystery Below

Kentucky Pool

Mama Plays the Calliope

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Songs from the Carpathians (1965)

Fiesta FLPS 1430

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good shape. I generally don't buy records that are "electronically re-recorded to simulate stereo" unless they are unique, which I presumed this one was.

From the LP:
"Carpathian Folk Choir and Orchestra
Director: Mikhailo Krechko
Uzhorod, Carpathian Region of Soviet Ukraine"

Hey, In the High Mountain Valley (Hey, Na Visokee Poloniniy)


My Darling Bought Me a Silken Shawl

Monday, May 16, 2011

These Charming People (1978)

RCA ARL1-2491

I first heard William Bolcom and Joan Morris on the ubiquitous After the Ball, a great record which turns up at the thrift store a lot. I really enjoy Bolcom's piano playing, so I pick up their records whenever I see them. Joan Morris's "theatrical" singing style is an acquired taste, one that I have acquired for the most part.

This copy of These Charming People was a thrift shop find (99¢). Side 2 is pretty crackly, but who knows if I'll ever see another copy. It is not on CD.

William Bolcom is also a composer of note. His "Graceful Ghost" is a personal favorite.

from the LP:
"Vocal duets by Gershwin, Kern, and Rogers & Hart
Joan Morris
Max Morath
William Bolcom"

Till the Clouds Roll By

The Half of it, Dearie Blues

There's a Small Hotel

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sing Children Sing: Songs of the United States of America (1977)

Caedmon TC-1558, UNICEF 5045

I picked up four LPs from the Sing Children Sing series at the thrift shop: USA, British Isles, France and Austria. They were either new and sealed, or open and near new. You never know with this kind of record whether it will be tastefully done or not. But I noticed the performers were "The New York Opera Children's Chorus," so I figured it couldn't be too bad.

I was right. Though I would have preferred most of these songs performed by just the chorus, the instrumental arrangements are good, and the banjo and guitar playing are by Eric Weissberg. The singing is just right - it sounds accomplished but not excessively polished. A couple of soloists come from what I call The Annie School of Singing, but most of the tunes get everything just right. One of the singers, Vanessa Williams, went on to be a successful actress.

From the LP:
"The New York Opera Children's Chorus
Mildred Hohner, Director
Arranged and Conducted by Robert DeCormier
Produced by arrangement with the United States Committee for UNICEF
Eric Weissberg (guitar, banjo)"

Wayfaring Stranger

The Farmer is the Man (written circa 1877)

Gentle Annie

The Erie Canal

Stars Shining By and By

Simple Gifts

Additional tracks (by request)
Ol' Dan Tucker

The Singing School

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Dave Holland (1988)

Rounder 0207

John Hartford is a personal favorite. He is one of the most musical people I've ever heard. Hartford is ostensibly a bluegrass musician, but he does something unique with the genre, and this LP is unique in his oeuvre. It is not on CD.

Vassar Clements: violin
John Hartford: banjo, guitar, voice
Dave Holland: bass
Mark Howard: guitar, mandolin

Memories of Home

Till Something Better Comes Along

Bonus Track, from Hartford's not-on-CD You and Me at Home (Flying Fish 228, 1980):
Imagination Fired by Books