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Songbook, Vol.2 & 3

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Songbook, Vol.2 & 3 album cover
Disc 1 of 2
01
South Australia
Artist: Tangleweed
2:20
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02
Last Thing On My Mind
Artist: Kelly Hogan & Scott Ligon
3:07
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03
(When Things Go Wrong)
Artist: Ted Parrish
2:28
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04
Goin' Down To Cairo
Artist: Steve Rosen & Paul Tyler
3:52
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05
Red River Valley
Artist: Shelley Miller
4:09
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06
Simple Gifts
Artist: The Zincs
3:38
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07
Gypsy Davy
Artist: Jimmy Tomasello
3:12
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08
Wild Rover
Artist: Sunnyside Up
2:38
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09
John Henry
Artist: Foghorn Stringband
3:10
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10
Tell Old Bill
Artist: The Glowworms
5:32
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11
Colours
Artist: Laura Doherty
2:20
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12
Dink's Song
Artist: Chris Farrell
2:50
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13
East Virginia
Artist: Lisa DeRosia
3:01
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14
Sportin' Life
Artist: Mary Peterson
3:16
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15
Oh Mary Don't You Weep
Artist: Mark Dvorak
2:56
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16
Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan
Artist: Marvin Etzioni
3:11
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17
I Am A Pilgrim
Artist: Nathaniel Braddock
4:04
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18
Git Along Little Doggie
Artist: Steve Doyle
4:54
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19
Lonesome Road
Artist: Back Off The Hammer
4:12
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20
Cindy
Artist: The Hump Night Thumpers
3:20
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21
When The Saints Go Marchin' In
Artist: Lost Bayou Ramblers
3:16
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Disc 2 of 2
01
Nine Pound Hammer
Artist: Scott Besaw
1:44
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02
Hard and It's Hard
Artist: Catherine Hall
3:47
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03
Down By The Riverside
Artist: Eric Noden & Joe Filisko
4:16
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04
Corrina Corrina
Artist: James Hand
1:21
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05
Hard Times
Artist: Jacob Sweet
4:18
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06
Good News
Artist: Eric Lugosh
2:43
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07
Trouble In Mind
Artist: Lost Bayou Ramblers
2:42
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08
Shenandoah
Artist: Amy Allison
2:29
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09
Hard Travelin'
Artist: Emily Hurd
3:39
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10
New River Train
Artist: Clack Mountain String Band
3:16
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11
Nine Hundred Miles
Artist: Chris Winters
3:37
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12
Hobo's Lullaby
Artist: Barb Silverman
4:13
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13
Careless Love
Artist: Chris Waltz
4:50
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14
Greensleeves
Artist: Bill Simmons
2:46
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15
Wildwood Flower
Artist: Folk Uke
2:53
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16
Old Paint
Artist: Ted & Marcia Johnson
1:50
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17
Water Is Wide
Artist: Cat Edgerton
3:13
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18
Home On The Range
Artist: Nora O'Connor
4:08
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19
Shine On, Harvest Moon
Artist: Michael Miles
3:29
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20
Old Time Religion
Artist: Jimmy Tomasello
2:44
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21
Rolling In My Sweet Baby's Arms
Artist: Steve Levitt
3:25
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Album Information

Total Tracks: 42   Total Length: 138:49

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Keith Harris

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Keith Harris lives and writes in Minneapolis, MN, the greatest city in the world. He's reviewed music since 1996, writing for numerous magazines, newspapers and...more »

04.22.11
Various Artists - Old Town School Recordings, Songbook, Vol.2 & 3
Label: Old Town School Recordings / Bloodshot

Folk music has never been a fixed entity. It's a process, the means by which individual musicians pass down songs and styles, one to another, throughout the years. Like the music itself, this process has evolved over time, especially after technology enabled performers to learn from recordings rather than specific mentors. And since 1957, the Old Town School of Folk Music has forged some valuable links in that evolutionary chain, not the least… read more »

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They Say All Music Guide

After issuing the first disc in its four-part “songbook” series in 2006, Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music packages the second and third volumes together on this double-CD set, with a final single album to follow. The idea is to have established folk standards, most of them credited to “Traditional” as songwriter, performed by a variety of contemporary artists in their own styles. The scholarly liner notes by Paul Tyler heavily reference song collectors like Francis James Child, John A. Lomax, and Chicago’s own Carl Sandburg, explaining the origins and variations of the selections. But the performers have been left to create their own interpretations, sometimes with surprising results. For example, Tyler’s citation of the various ’20s recordings of “Don’t You Hear Jerusalem Moan” doesn’t prepare the listener for former Lone Justice member Marvin Etzioni’s harrowing piano-and-vocal rendition, in which he adds his own lyrics. Nor does the discussion of “John Henry” (“The song encapsulates the history of African-Americans…”) set up the particular performance here, in which the Foghorn Stringband dispenses with most of the lyrics in favor of an old-timey country take on the song. This is not to say that such re-imaginings don’t enliven the material; more often than not, they do. For example, Mary Peterson’s “Sportin’ Life” recalls Patsy Cline and thus implicitly references Willie Nelson’s similar composition, “Night Life,” and the Lost Bayou Ramblers contribute a wonderful Cajun arrangement of “When the Saints Go Marchin’ In” to conclude volume two. Volume three in general proves less adventurous, with straightforward readings of standards such as “Greensleeves” and “Water Is Wide,” although Katherine Hall’s emotional Emmylou Harris-like version of “Hard and It’s Hard” is notable as a different approach. Among all the traditional tunes, it is odd that there are a few songs of more recent vintage by known writers. These could have been dispensed with, particularly Kelly Hogan and Scott Ligon’s version of Tom Paxton’s “Last Thing on My Mind,” a song that makes no sense as a duet. It is bound to be the case, however, on an album with 42 selections by almost as many performers, that some tracks will be better than others. That doesn’t keep the overall series from being successful in its goal of bringing folk evergreens back to life. – William Ruhlmann

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