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    $11.99 $9.71 list($13.98)
    1. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    $6.99 $6.70 list($9.98)
    2. Planet Sleeps
    $11.99 $4.78 list($12.98)
    3. Hand-Picked: 25 Years Of Bluegrass
    $76.49 $64.95 list($84.98)
    4. Anthology of American Folk Music
    $10.99 $8.38 list($11.98)
    5. Songs of Protest
    $13.98 $10.57
    6. The Best of Folk Era
    $9.98 $6.69
    7. Folkways: A Vision Shared - A
    $16.98 $12.57
    8. Sound & Spirit: Welcoming
    $14.99 $11.69 list($16.98)
    9. Celtic Odyssey
    $13.99 $8.24 list($14.98)
    10. A Child's Celebration of Folk
    $14.99
    11. Ain't No Grave: A Tribute To Traditional
    $17.98 $12.10
    12. Tribute to Woody Guthrie
    $24.98 $16.95
    13. Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement:
    $14.99 $10.35 list($15.98)
    14. Italian Music Odyssey
    $13.98 $10.87
    15. Tribute to Steve Goodman
    $29.98 $4.95
    16. Roots Music: An American Journey
    $16.98 $12.00
    17. Sing For Freedom: The Story Of
    $15.98 $9.97
    18. O Brother Where Art Thou
    $10.99 $8.70 list($11.98)
    19. Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's
    $9.98 list($19.98)
    20. Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village

    1. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00004XQ83
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 166
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com's Best of 2001

    The best soundtracks are like movies for the ears, and O Brother, Where Art Thou? joins the likes of Saturday Night Fever and The Harder They Come as cinematic pinnacles of song. The music from the Coen brothers' Depression-era film taps into the source from which the purest strains of country, blues, bluegrass, folk, and gospel music flow. Producer T Bone Burnett enlists the voices of Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, Ralph Stanley, and kindred spirits for performances of traditional material, in arrangements that are either a cappella or feature bare-bones accompaniment. Highlights range from the aching purity of Krauss's "Down to the River to Pray" to the plainspoken faith of the Whites' "Keep on the Sunny Side" to Stanley's chillingly plaintive "O Death." The album's spiritual centerpiece finds Krauss, Welch, and Harris harmonizing on "Didn't Leave Nobody but the Baby," a gospel lullaby that sounds like a chorus of Appalachian angels. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (440)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest movie soundtrack EVER!
    With the country music airwaves currently being dominated by fresh, new artists like Faith Hill who fit better in the pop circuit, it is refreshing to see an album composed entirely of traditional bluegrass and country do as well as the soundtrack of O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. Even further impressing is the fact that although none of the songs were released to radio, the soundtrack was propelled to the #1 spot on Billboard's country album charts solely from people hearing the music in the movie theater. This soundtrack is a phenomenal album that is proof to country fans everywhere that although traditional country has appeared to have gone out of style, it is still very much alive and well.

    The O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU SOUNDTRACK is composed of nineteen songs recorded by some of the most talented country/bluegrass artists in the business, including Gillian Welch (who also served as musical director for the motion picture), Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and the Cox Family, and and is truly a gathering of musical talent. Also included in the soundtrack is music by musicians who appeared in the film as well as working on the CD, such as the Whites and Tim Blake Nelson.

    The O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU SOUNDTRACK is truly, as the CD ads claim, "The ULTIMATE American roots collection!" So, grab your acoustic guitar, fiddle, and Dapper Dan hair pomade, and let the soundtrack from O BROTHER take you on a journey through one of the greatest periods in country music history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brothers In Arms
    The soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of the biggest surprises in music for 2000. The film starring George Clooney was not much of a success at the box office, but the soundtrack made up of dark bluegrass songs from the early part of the 20th century has become a major seller. In fact the album has set a record for the most weeks at number one for a soundtrack on the Country Album charts. This is a welcomed and warmly cheered surprise as the album celebrates an essential style of music from America's rich musical history. Album producer T-Bone Burnett has assembled a cast of unknowns, save Emmylou Harris & Allison Krauss, like The Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch and J. Carter & The Prisoners who specialize in this forgotten and overlooked genre. The songs have a stark and haunting quality that are accentuated by the sparse musical arrangements. The singing is alternatively raw and rough to lilting and gorgeous. Song after song provides you with an interesting, intriguing and satisfying listening experience especially "Po Lazarus", "You Are My Sunshine", "Down To The River To Pray", "Lonesome Valley" and "Didn't Leave Nobody But My Baby".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Music the way is should be
    This is perhaps the best soundtrack ever made. It is a stunning mix of mostly acoustic tracks by most of the best bluegrass artists ever. There is work on here from Ralph Stanely, Allison Kraus, and Emmelou Harris, to name a few. This CD won a lot of Grammys the year that it came out, and that is because it was the best CD of that year.

    Highlights include the Big Rock Candy Mountains, Man of Constant Sorrow, In the Jailhouse Now and O Death. If you have ever wondered what bluegrass sounded like but have been afraid to try, this is the CD for you. It will show you the magic that this genre of music can provide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great but.....
    This CD is fantastic, with songs that will leave you humming and tapping your feet. I would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that the primary song I wanted featuring the artists from the actual movie was not featured on the album. The version of "I'll FLy Away" from the actual movie is done by the Kossoy Sisters and is featured on their album "Bowling Green". I hope this helps anyone else who will end up trying to hunt down that origianl version.

    5-0 out of 5 stars O Brother
    This is the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film based loosely on Homer's "The Odyssey". This soundtrack takes the movie from good to great. The tracks follow the progression of the movie. Nearly an hour of blue-grass music, even if you haven't seen the movie, this is worth having if you like "Old-Time" Country music and blue-grass.

    The legend, Ralph Stanley, appears a couple of times here, although his "Man of Constant Sorrow" is here too, but covered by Dan Tyminski. Stanley's "O Death" is a haunting tune sung without accompaniment. His voice is sorrowful and full of pain, and will send shivers up your spine. Tyminski's cover is well done and becomes the centerpiece for the movie. The sultry voices of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch provide a rising rendition of "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." Alison Krauss also lends her voice to the spiritual "Down to the River to Pray," and joins up again with Gillian Welch for "I'll Fly Away". The surprise here is Tim Blake Nelson on lead vocals as the dimwitted Delmar on "In the Jailhouse Now."

    Overall, this is a great soundtrack, and well worth owning if you like this type of music. I think the Coen brothers have done a lot with the release of this movie to turn the spotlight onto blue-grass music. This is great music that deserves more than the fifteen minutes of fame it's received. ... Read more


    2. Planet Sleeps
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $6.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000002BOW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2121
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Everything about this CD, from its eye-popping cool packaging to its beautiful booklet, is wonderful, perhaps peerless. It's a study that spans 16 countries, catching paeans to childhood sleep from varied traditions. The set traverses the Cape Breton Gaelic tradition with the Rankin Family, Haiti with pop stars Boukman Eksperyans, and the African continent with music from Tonga, Algeria, and Cameroon. Despite their distances from each other, at times the songs sound quite alike. Voices might begin alone but then gather into choral size, with a reliance on wordless passages to emphasize the flow of time as sleep encroaches. In execution, the surprises are many. Algerian Houria Aïchi sounds East Indian; the Traditional Japanese Music Ensemble of New York sounds poised somewhere between a stately concert of historical court music and a touching homage to childhood; and German singer Michelle sounds pop-music ready even as she toes the line on singing a sleep-triggering song. Beyond being a great collection of international music, this is probably the most interesting mix available of cultural voices approaching the issue of children sleeping. --Andrew Bartlett ... Read more

    Reviews (36)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Uniquely enchanting, lullingly blissful--a worldly baby gift
    Initially, I ordered The Planet Sleeps to add to the multicultural music collection at my daughter's elementary school library; the CD arrived last night, and I became so taken with it that I already plan to order several more as new baby gifts as well as one for my own children. The hauntingly beautiful "Chi Mi Na Morbheanna" (which I listened to nearly 20 times in the first 24 hours) is worth the entire purchase price, but the other songs are marvelous too, and those that don't have immediate appeal will most likely grow on you. I was holding my toddler son in my arms while listening to the CD, and he fell asleep during the sitar lullaby from India. For those of us trying to raise our children with a familiarity and appreciation of other world cultures, this lullaby collection is truly invaluable.

    The extensive liner notes (36 pp.) are often quite moving, offering details about each artist, country, song, and recording experience as well as a song translation. The back of the case says "music meant to bring bliss into a frantic world." This collection certainly achieves its goal--and it's not just for bedtime by any means.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The most beautiful CD ever to grace my home.
    This CD is exactly what I have been looking for. I play it softly as background music while playing with my 2 year old and 6 month old. "Ana Latu" is one of our favorites. I also feel that the write-up on "Oj Talasi" alone is worth buying the album. David Field journals his work at compiling these lullabies, adding to the feeling of connectedness that imbues from this collection. I was especially glad (and surprised) to find a lullaby from my own distant heritage, "Yahnaway Hay Yowna". This disc makes a wonderful baby shower or blessingway gift for expectant parents. The "jewel" case is all-natural, too, better for our Mother Earth!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Perfect for Calming
    I started listening to this CD when I was 7 months pregnant to help myself go to sleep. Since my daughter was born 5 months ago, we put it on whenever she has trouble calming down to go to sleep. As soon as the music starts she begins to relax and takes her nap. We all love hearing the beautiful lullabies play throughout the house.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A relaxingly adventurous album!!!!
    I can't understand most of the songs (I think there's only one in English, if that), but the music speaks a lot just as the words do, so it's good. Each song is enchanting and engrossing, you get lost in the melodies. They are all smooth and calm, peaceful. I suggest this album to anyone who just wants to unwind and let loose all the stress of the day!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dream Time
    I have been listening to this album for the past seven years and never grown tired of it. I bought it to play for the children I taught, but I have come to love it myself. It is the sure cure for nighttime tension, and beautiful to listen to at any time.

    The material is interesting and eclectic, but above all, lovely. ... Read more


    3. Hand-Picked: 25 Years Of Bluegrass On Rounder Records
    list price: $12.98
    our price: $11.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000004DW
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 1131
    Average Customer Review: 4.78 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Rounder compiled this superb 50-song set to serve as an introduction to bluegrass in general and to their own catalog in particular. Obvious marketing motives aside, the collection has few weaknesses and offers a broad look at the ever-morphing genre. Perhaps more than any other label, Rounder gave exposure to the renegade progressive and "newgrass" musicians who worshipped the style despite the fact that they weren't from the mountains. Folks like David Grisman, Bill Keith, Tony Trischka, and Bela Fleck push the music in new directions while others such as Del McCoury, Don Stover, James King, Jim & Jesse, and Vern Williams represent more-traditional concerns. Still others--Tony Rice, David Grier, J.D. Crowe, Nashville Bluegrass Band among them--adeptly fuse elements of tradition and innovation. This collection also highlights the important contributions of female artists including Hazel and Alice, Laurie Lewis, Claire Lynch, and Alison Krauss. --Marc Greilsamer ... Read more

    Reviews (18)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent bluegrass sampler
    Rounder have priced this very competitively, hoping that people who buy this will think it is so brilliant that they will buy some of the albums from which the tracks are taken. To encourage this, the extensive liner notes give all the relevant information required to track down whichever album contains your favorite tracks. But although you might end up spending more money on Rounder albums, this compilation stands on its own merit.

    What you get here, are 49 tracks recorded for one of the most important - perhaps the most important - bluegrass labels around. (Of course, Rounder do a lot more than bluegrass, but that's not relevant here.) Bluegrass music is generally upbeat, good-time music and that is the overall feel of this collection.

    Among the 49 tracks, every aspect of bluegrass music is represented from traditional to contemporary and including all types of song that you might find on a bluegrass album. With such notable artists as J D Crowe, Ricky Skaggs, Claire Lynch, Alison Krauss, David Grisman, Tony Rice, Jim and Jesse, Del McCoury, Hazel Dickens, the Johnson mountain boys, Lynn Morris and Laurie Lewis represented here, this is a star-studded line-up. And I didn't name all the stars.

    Famous songs are notable by their absence although some songs here are better known than others. Drifting too far from the shore (Boone Creek) is a traditional gospel song. When someone wants to leave (Allen brothers) is a cover of a Dolly Parton album, from her Jolene album. Golden ring (Dry branch fire squad) is a cover of one of the classic duets by George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Sourwood Mountain (Allen Shelton) is a cover of a traditional folk song.

    As an introduction to bluegrass music, this is brilliant - it is one of the best there is for that purpose. Appalachian stomp (two volumes) and the various O sister compilations are other great alternatives.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Not the Complete Story, But a Great Starting Point
    It would wrong to assume that this collection covers the entire bluegrass galaxy - no Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Stanley Brothers, Country Gentlemen, etc. - but the sweep of "Hand Picked" is breathtaking, and will certainly lead the interested listener to explore beyond the tracks included here. Within the context of "Hand Picked," one can witness the evolution of artists such as Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, David Grisman, Tony Trischka and Bela Fleck, and learn how the music evolved regionally through acts like Don Stover, Del McCoury and Joe Val. Women in bluegrass are prominently represented by the likes of Alison Krauss, Claire Lynch, Hazel Dickens, and Laurie Lewis.

    And there are just so many great songs included here! In addition to the efforts of those mentioned above, The Bluegrass Cardinals (a West Coast band that took up residence in Virginia for a few years) weigh in with the Civil War ballad of the "Blue Eyed Boston Boy," while Dry Branch Fire Squad's Ron Thomason delivers a spare, emotional reading of "Golden Ring." A pre-country-megastar Vince Gill also appears on Here Today's "Lonesome River." Finally, the opening cut features one of the greatest bands ever - J.D. Crowe and the New South, featuring Tony Rice, Ricky Skaggs, and a then 17-year-old dobro player by the name of Jerry Douglas.

    What should be obvious from listening to "Hand Picked" is that bluegrass (like rock, jazz, and classical genres) is a muli-facted, diverse music. Thanks to Rounder for releasing this collection - particularly at such an affordable price!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Rounder out your CD collection
    If you only had one bluegrass CD, this one from Rounder Records would be a great choice.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Blade
    Who hand picked these? This is CD is Okay, but I think that there is much better out there. I would buy something from the big three Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, or The Stanley Brothers. There are a couple of good songs here, but most are mediorce or even bad.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Puts the corn in cornucopia
    I purchased this CD a little more than a year ago, and it has cost me a small fortune, happily paid, ever since. Extraordinary range, from inventive newgrass to soulful traditionals, from smooth harmonies to fantastic high-mountain tenors whose voices can strip the paint off an old chair. What you won't find here are the most famous greats--Bill Monroe, the Stanleys, or Flatt and Scruggs (not Rounder artists)--but that's fine; it gives more breathing and playing room to the likes of Vern Williams, Hazel Dickens and many, many other wonders. One thing you should consider before buying, however, is that you can also get this CD as part of a multi-disc Rounder package that includes Blues, Cajun, etc. But think of what THAT's going to cost in the long run! ... Read more


    4. Anthology of American Folk Music (Edited by Harry Smith)
    list price: $84.98
    our price: $76.49
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000001DJU
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2317
    Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    This impressive--and frankly, fun--musical document is still sending out shock waves almost 50 years after its original 1952 vinyl release. The Smithsonian's six-CD reissue is painstakingly researched, annotated, and packaged (even boasting an enhanced disc for the techno-capable). Unlike field recorders, eccentric filmmaker/collector/musicologist Harry Smith assembled the Anthology from commercially released (though obscure) 78 rpm discs issued between 1927 and 1935. Its broad scope--from country blues to Cajun social music to Appalachian murder ballads--was monumentally influential, setting musicians like Bob Dylan down the path to folk fandom. The White House started its own national music library with the Anthology; anyone with more than a passing interest in American roots music should do the same. --Michael Ruby ... Read more

    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential for a well-rounded pop music collection
    You should buy this just to hear where all those folk and blues revivalists of the 60s got a large chunk of their material. Back then, these albums were the only way to hear these recordings unless you were willing to go to great lengths to collect old records (like the compiler of this Anthology, Harry Smith).

    If you enjoy the Anthology music you can hear a lot more of the same style on Yazoo Records' various "rural music" anthologies. Nearly every disc they issue has an Anthology track or two on it, or other work by artists who appear on this Anthology. I actually find Yazoo's "Before The Blues" series more enjoyable, track for track, than this collection. It's likely, though, that there would be no Yazoo records today if the AAFM hadn't come along in the early 1950s. Also, this Anthology includes secular, spiritual and "social" music in a rather comprehensive way, so understandably there don't seem to be many people who like EVERY song. Even Harry Smith didn't like every song in the collection (read the liner notes).

    5-0 out of 5 stars The first great collection of American folk song recordings
    The "Anthology of American Folk Music" put together by Harry Smith was originally issued in 1952 in three volumes of 2 LPs each, with a total of 84 tracks collected from old records. It is said that this collection played a seminal role in the folk music revival of the late 1950s and early 1960s, influencing and inspiring the generation of Bob Dylan and Joan Baez. Once you listen to these songs you will have little doubt that was indeed the case. The three volumes focus on Ballads, Social Music, and Songs respectively. I did not recognize enough of these 84 songs to use all of the fingers on my guitar picking hand and I could not care less. You can look over the playlist above and see if anything looks familiar, but, obviously, that is beside the point here. These songs involve a definition of "folk" that is expansive enough to include blues singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and Richard "Rabbit" Brown. The authenticity of these songs is overpowering, transporting you to a time and place when radio was just starting to make inroads into the backwoods of America.

    The collection includes a 100-page booklet that features harry Smith's original handbook of songs, an essay by critic Greil Marcus, along with other essays, song notes, photos, graphics, and recollections by legendary artists about how this anthology inspired their own careers. The overall effect is like taking a college course on American Folk Music. Whether your interest in this type of music comes from listening to the Weavers, Peter Paul, & Mary, or the soundtrack to "Brother, Where Art Thou?" hopefully your enjoyment of folk music will lead you back to this seminal collection. Additional Note: There is also an excellent website put together by the Smithsonian Folkways that will tell you for not only alternate titles (e.g., "The Wagoner's Lad" is also known as "Loving Nancy" and "My Horses Ain't Hungry"), but other recorded versions organized by styles (e.g., traditional American Folk, Folksong revival, Post revival, Country/String Band, Bluegrass, and British). Like everyone else, I have been greatly impressed by the way the Smithsonian Institute has been protecting our nation's heritage when it comes to folk music. They take their job seriously and they are very, very good at it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Necessary.
    I dont think there is a need to go into to much detail about this *6 CD* set. If you can fork over the cash, just buy it. If you have any interest in roots music, just buy it. If you thought ol' Bobby Dylan and the Band made some great weird music in the basement of big pink in '67 .. for the love of god, BUY THIS! strange, unadorned, raw music , just buy it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Essential
    Much ink & many electrons have been devoted to explaining both Harry Smith (and a lot of explanation is necessary -- very interesting man) and this wonderful collection of recordings from the 1920's and 30's, so I won't go into too much detail here. If you'd like a good treatise on the work itself as a cultural object, and how it relates to other thematically similar items, I would reccomend Griel Marcus' book Invisible Republic.
    This is the greatest mix tape ever made, and an essential cultural artifact, not only of the vernacular music of the hills & highways of pre-electrification America, but also of the folk movement ofthe fifties and sixties (the primer fromwhic all else was derived) and by extension of the hippy movement following closely thereafter.
    SOme of this music is really wild...

    5-0 out of 5 stars Mysterious, Beautiful and a Kick Inside
    I half heard a story about the Anthology on Natl Public Radio a few months ago while I was getting ready for work. The story kept coming back to me, until I had to buy the Anthology to get some peace. Instead of peace, I find that I am now disturbed, intrigued, and haunted.

    Music is ill-suited to being described in words, so I'll use an entirely different experience to try and convey what listening to this Anthology is like.

    I once knew a fellow who had grown up on Bechtel construction project sites around the world. As a kid playing in the dirt at these sites, he'd collected a box full of those stone tools that humans made and used for something like three million years. I found that once I had turned one of these slips of chipped obsidian or shale over for a moment, it settled naturally into my hand. There was a spot for my thumb, another spot for my forefinger, and my hand was making a scraping or digging motion with the thing. The tool and my hand still remembered their ancient partnership, without any volition from me. This sensation was simultaneously disturbing and satisfying and made the hair stand up on my neck.

    This sensation is very close to what I feel listening to this anthology. You will not hear the familiar, highly produced music we're now so comfortable with. You will hear the voice and sound of music as it has been for millions of years -- and you will recognize what you are hearing as being utterly, essentially human.

    These recordings were, of course, made only 75 years ago in the 1920's, surely part of the modern era. Yet this was the last moment in time between the old world and the new world. We still sing and play music for the same reasons we always have, but the way we used our voices and instruments for millions of years has been changed by technology. So if these not very old recordings feel strangely like a link to something ancient and mysterious, that's because they actually are.

    There is a great beauty in the voices on these recordings, many of which are almost shrill, almost off-key -- unfamiliar to our pampered contemporary ears -- but also perfectly right. There is a mystery in the odd and sometimes fragmentary lyrics, whose once important meaning is now lost.

    We can still share the depth of feeling through the music itself, sometimes so strongly that your heart leaps as though you'd been kicked from inside. But, as it says in the booklet of notes, while we can share in the emotions that impelled someone to sing about The Coo Coo Bird in the first place, we'll never know why it was important to live on a mountainside in order to see Willie go by.

    Perhaps the true power of this Anthology is that every recording is genuine in a way that is no longer possible. I recommend it. ... Read more


    5. Songs of Protest
    list price: $11.98
    our price: $10.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0000032M5
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 18679
    Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (11)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Jammed with the politics and poetry of the sixties
    This cd is everything you want in a specialized anthology. "Where Have All The Flowers Gone" is pure art and poetry. It takes you full circle and makes your heart sink. "Eve Of Destruction" is full of rage and insight and truth. It's atomic in its message and presentation. "With God On Our Side" is one of Dylan's best songs (best version is by Baez). Pure poetry again. And the whole cd goes on like that. Great sound. The somber "Society's Child" and the hauntingly barefoot on shards of glass "Abraham, Martin And John" slices you in two. "Ball Of Confusion (That's What The World Is Today)" is Motown exploding. "War" keeps the message movin'. "Signs" was always one of my favorite radio songs. This is a must for anyone who lived through the late sixties and early seventies and felt the rage and fear at the destruction and insanity from sea to sea. This collections serves as both great music and powerful inspiration. Buy it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fun and educational!
    This excellent album combines some of the greatest protest songs of the sixties in one very listenable package. One might quibble about the song selection (what, no Dylan?) but one cannot argue with the excellence of the music presented. It's a wonderful collection, perfect for a sixties enthusiast, even the tracks you don't recognize (and I knew almost all) are excellent. Many are the best tracks by the artist. Standouts include (but are not limited to) 'Sky Pilot', 'Signs' 'War' and 'Eve Of Destruction'. This album is a true relic of the period, and expresses many of the political concerns of the hippie movement. Highly recommended, especially for fans of the era.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A complete waste of time and money
    One star is far too generous. This CD obviously was cobbled together from someone's old tapes, complete with audible hiss. The selections are all downhill after Eve of Destruction and Universal Soldier. Sonny without Cher? Who ever heard of that? Who can listen to that?

    3-0 out of 5 stars Almost Good
    My main complaint about this disk is that Hedgehoppers Anonymous song "It's Good News Week" is an abridged version. I haven't heard the long version since the WVVX (a Chicago-area FM station) dropped its "oldies" format in the early 1980s. Surely Rhino could have tracked down the long version.

    Otherwise, this is a nice period piece

    4-0 out of 5 stars The Sixties Weren't Just About Peace And Love
    As a child of the Sixties, I have a very strong emotional connection to these songs and as such find this a very enjoyable collection. If, however, you were to unearth these songs from a time capsule and listen to them for the first time thirty-plus years after they were first recorded, you might wonder what the fuss is all about. Certainly some of these songs were of the moment. To use an old cliche: You had to be there. After all, at age 30, Sonny Bono was a bit long in the tooth to play the angry young man. And "It's Good News Week" sounds more comical than biting satire.

    But many of these songs retain their potency. Certainly, the carnival sound of "The 'Fish' Cheer/I Feel Like I'm Fixin'-To-Die Rag" is the perfect antithesis of the brutality of the Vietnam War. The Rascal's "People Got To Be Free" evokes John Lennon's sentiment that "All You Need Is Love." The Kingston Trio's version of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone" is a sad reminder of the price to be paid for war. Dion's "Abraham, Martin And John" still gives me chills. The one really glaring omission from this set is Dylan's "Masters of War." Only Edwin Starr's "War" comes close to matching Dylan's outrage.

    If you need to remind yourself that the Sixties weren't all peace and love, this collection does a more than adequate job of showcasing the protest genre. RECOMMENDED ... Read more


    6. The Best of Folk Era
    list price: $13.98
    our price: $13.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B00000J7W4
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 2918
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (5)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An excellent selection of folk's "Greatest Hits"
    This is a very cleverly arranged cd; the biggest hits of the folk decades are all here. If you are interested in the folk phenomenon, look no further. I got a huge kick listening to these dusty favorites again. Only one warning, some of the tunes are "sticky" ("Oh, no don't let the rain come down", for one) and you run the risk of them playing inside your skull on an endless brain-loop until you banish them with some Led Zeppelin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars As Advertised!
    CD was great, and entire order/receipt process was swift and without any hastle. Just what I look for and expect from a quality sight like Amazon.com!

    5-0 out of 5 stars As Advertised!
    Orded from tekateren (I reco this Marketplace seller) via Amazon. Delivered in perfect shape as advertised-quickley! Content/Artists on CD were 100% "as shown" on Amazon & Sellers web pages, so it was exactly as I'd ordered/previewed. Every phase of purchase/order/charge/receipt process went smoothly, without ANY hitches... Thus, I'm 110% satisfied with process and CD from A to Z!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great CD!
    This CD is great! All of the songs are the original recordings and sound wonderful. It also has an equally wonderful selection of hard to find Folk Hits, such as "Washington Square" and "The Unicorn." All in all, this is a wonderful CD!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A nice collection.
    This CD does a good job of sampling many of the best songs of Folk Music. "I'll Never Find Another You" by The Seekers is one that is not anthologized very often. You also get a small dose of Irish Folk with The Rovers. This is not a bad introduction into the Folk Music genre. But, you will want to purchase albums by these artists once you get this. ... Read more


    7. Folkways: A Vision Shared - A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly
    list price: $9.98
    our price: $9.98
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    Asin: B0000026HV
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 17229
    Average Customer Review: 4.88 out of 5 stars
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    One of the more creative, successful tribute albums, A Vision Shared was originally released to coincide with a PBS program that premiered in 1988. Packing some serious heavyweights onto one CD, the record features covers of Guthrie and Leadbelly tunes by, among others, Little Richard, Brian Wilson, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and U2. The 14 tracks consist of mostly well known tunes, and it's fascinating to hear what the artists have done to them. Particularly exciting is a supercharged version of Leadbelly's "Rock Island Line" by Little Richard with Fishbone and U2's take on Guthrie's "Jesus Christ." --Ian Landau ... Read more

    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A vision to the past! Wonderful
    I can't think of many tribute albums that work great, but I thoroughly enjoy this tribute to Woody Gutherie and Leadbelly aka Huddie Ledbetter. If you aren't familiar with their music, just listen, you will feel the presence of these musical greats. They had powerful lyrical ballads. And what they had to say is clearly from different cultural backgrounds. Woody Gutherie's folk ballads told of the depression and the journeys traveling across the country heading west to escape the Dust Bowl, while Leadbelly's music reflected on the work songs of poor farmers and immigrants.

    Musical superstars are featured here, recorded in 1988, and featured are some wonderful music and captivating stories like the a capella rendition of Leadbelly's "Sylvie" by the beautiful harmonies of Sweet Honey in the Rock. Dylan's "Pretty Boy Floyd"; John Mellencamp "Do Re Mi"; Bruce Springsteen sings "I Ain't Got No Home". Equally entertaining are Willie Nelson singing "Philadelphia Lawyers" and Arlo Guterie's "East Texas Red". Emmylou Harris with her perfect sweet voice is mesmerizing in "Hobo's Lullaby" ....can't you hear the steel rails humming?"

    A booklet comes with this CD, and read about Bob Dylan's encounter with Woody Gutherie. Dylan passionately studied who Gutherie was and learned the songs. Dylan said when Gutherie's health was failing he met him and sang Gutherie's own songs to him. Dylan called himself a "Woody Gutherie jukebox."

    This is a tribute album that is very entertaining with informative historic storytelling songs and music you can sing along with. I love it. MzRizz

    4-0 out of 5 stars A rare breed: the quality tribute album.
    Can't stand tribute albums. Hate 'em! But this little beauty really shines. The secret is in the wide-open, folksy nature of Woody Guthrie's and Ledbelly's work--they wrote songs that are *made* to be sung by other folks, made to be reinterpreted and resung by new generations. The other secret is in the line-up here: great talents, from top to bottom.

    When this lp came out in the late 1980s I bought it on a whim. I was in my late teens, and didn't know much about the music. I don't even know why I bought the album. But time and time again, I played it instead of my rock and punk albums. I really endured for a couple of years. I don't play it so often anymore, so I had to give it four stars.

    Not much to criticize here: Little Richard//Fishbone's tune is out of place--it's kind of a sour moment in an otherwise sweet ensemble. Willie and Emmylou shine, as do U2. But the album's true gem is by Bruce: "Vigilante Man." It's one of the best recordings the Boss has ever set to vinyl.

    Fans of folk, folk-rock, country-rock, southern-fried rock, and alt.country should line up for this one, but even a teen like me who was into punk rock can saddle this horse up for a good long ride.

    5-0 out of 5 stars You Must Buy This...
    This is one of my all-time favorite recordings. Much of the music is truly timeless, and they're many wonderful performances. Highlights for me include Springsteen (I Ain't Got No Home), U2 (Hallelujah...not the Cohen/Buckley/Cale version either) and best of all, John Mellancamp (Do Re Mi). I could have done without Arlo Guthrie (heck, I can barely stand to listen to Woody either) and most especially the Brian Wilson cut. God is he awful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Compilation
    To my mind, the problem with many 'tribute' albums revolves around the selection of particular musicians to perform particular songs. They often do not match well. In this case, the selections were excellent. The result is a wonderful CD that brings out not only the best of Guthrie and Leadbelly but also of the artists covering their songs. Sweet Honey in the Rock open with a warm, evocative rendition of Sylvie. Bob Dylan's Pretty Boy Floyd is as good as Dylan has ever sounded. It is reminiscent in tone and content to his own Hurricane Carter. Little Richard's Rock Island Line was terrific as was U2's Jesus Christ. Springsteen, Taj Mahal, Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris and Arlo Guthrie round out the CD with other excellent tracks. It evokes the era in which the songs were written. The CD is well worth buying.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Had to have it...
    I borrowed this album from my Father-in-Law for a Folk music show I was preparing. After raving about how much I enjoyed it I shouldn't have been surprised when my own copy showed up at Christmas.

    This album pays tribute to two great pioneers who truly paved the way for Rock and R&B. The blending of Folk and Blues is easy to listen to and the stories are tremendously compelling.

    If you have any interest in Folk or Blues, pick this up. ... Read more


    8. Sound & Spirit: Welcoming Children Into The World
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B00000JRM0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 27113
    Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars
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    Ellen Kushner's award-winning National Public Radio program Sound and Spirit celebrates the contrasts and connections of diverse world cultures, exploring traditions and themes that define the human experience. None transcends the language barriers better than the push and pull of family, especially the birth of a child. This album, a collection of songs from one of Kushner's most requested shows, highlights the rituals of childbirth and the joys and frustrations of baby's first year. From Serbo-Croatian and Nepalese lullabies, to a Navajo chant, to an American song about adoption, and finally a Baka nursery rhyme, these various baby-related meditations are brought to life by such artists as Sweet Honey in the Rock, Sally Rogers, and Woody Guthrie. The artists share the beauty of the miracle of birth, the heroism of women in labor, and the comforting sense of global unity in life's daily struggle. Best of all, they bring succor to that most neglected of nurturers, the exhausted young mother.--Alanna Nash ... Read more

    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, soothing, uplifting, centering music
    We've enjoyed listening to this CD with our 5 year old daughter and our new son, whom we have nicknamed "Little Potato" because of the song of the same name on this wonderful CD. It has become our gift-of-choice to celebrate the births or adoptions of children of friends and colleagues.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Soothing, Inspiring, Life-affirming!
    This is the rare album you listen to and find that you like song after song after song - nothing falls flat! A wonderful compilation of joyous music from around the globe, celebrating children - lullabies, paeans to motherhood, songs of love for your children. I first listened to it yesterday, played it again as soon as it was finished, and have been humming some of the songs all day today. The songs range from exotic (Baka forest people, a nursery chant) to playful [Little Potato, a joyful and fun song written for a baby, highlighting our use of food-based nicknames (sweetie pie, etc.)]. Some songs make you bounce in your chair; some bring tears to your eyes. I will listen to it myself, as well as play it for my nieces and nephews. I even like the liner notes. This album makes me want to have children!

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is the one you want!
    We registered for this CD and received it as a gift and it is really great. It is fun for adult listening as well as for babies and kids. We received several other cds as well, but this is by far the best, if you only get one, this should be it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I love this :)
    I don't have any kids (yet.. not quite the age). You'd laugh, but I got this CD just for me, and I love it. I feel most like myself when I find bits of my childhood that wander back into my character, and what better way to bring back the wonderous, imaginative attitudes than a bit of sweet music. If there's one thing I miss most about being a child, it's to be sung a lullaby to sleep. A song is one of the greatest ways a person can give the gift of love.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Made for adults as much as for kids!
    I have a 5-month-old and we both love this CD. Some of the songs are more instantly accessible than others, but after multiple listens I find myself loving all of them. This album is for those who want to expose their children to the sounds of the music and languages of other cultures, for parents who want to explore the universalities of parenthood, and for both parents and kids who just want to listen to fun music that really sticks in your head! ... Read more


    9. Celtic Odyssey
    list price: $16.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B000005P56
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 11933
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (13)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A very beautiful collection of songs
    From beginning to end, this disk soothes the soul. With songs contributed by some of the greatest names in traditional celtic music, this is celtic beauty at its very best. This is not a new-age interpretation of the celtic sound, but rather an authentic production of true celtic songs.

    This is an excellent introduction to the traditional celtic genre, since it offers many different musicians and singers. Listeners who are new to the genre will find it very useful in helping to decide which artists to pursue to find the brand of celtic music they like best.

    This disc, however, only presents one side of the traditional celtic coin. The music here is very soft and melodic. For an equally great introduction to the more upbeat and energetic side of traditional celtic music, check out "The Celts Rise Again", which is another incredible collection of the greatest celtic artists of the day.

    5-0 out of 5 stars this is a must for celtic music lovers.
    This cd is a must for celtic lovers or people interested in what celtic music is like. It has a wide range in types of celtic music. It is one of my favorite cd's in my collection.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just fantastic- one of my favorite CDs
    This is one of my favorite CDs of all time. The songs and performances are top notch, and the result just grabs your soul. Many "Celtic" CDs available do not impress me, but this one is truly wonderful. My husband and I have had it for years, and we keep coming back- it never dulls. I recommend it to anyone without reservation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing...
    Amazing, too say the least, Celtic Odyssey is one of the finest examples of contemporary Celtic music, in the world. It blends a multitude of traditional styles and rhythms with a refreshing use of modern instrumentals. It is a must have for music lovers, and a must listen for the skeptical. Celtic Odyssey will hook you too the transient art of Celtic music. Give it a listen, you will not be disappointed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Lush and lovely
    A very nice compilation album with a pleasant blend of styles and techniques. Though a few of the numbers are rousingly lively, the emphasis here is on intense yet gently wistful pieces with a contemporary mixture of both accoustic and electronic sounds. The featured artists are Northern Lights, Orison, Altan, Alasdair Fraser, Paul Machlis, Scartaglen, John Whelan, Eileen Ivers, Moving Hearts, Relativity, Capercaillie, Sileas, Gerald Trimble, Laurie Riley, Bob McNally and Simon Wynberg. Several of these groups were new to me, and I especially appreciated the opportunity to become acquainted with the intriguing work of Northern Lights ("Carolan's Ramble to Cashel"), Orison ("The Butterfly") and the vocal quartet Scartaglen ("Chuaigh Me 'Na Rosann"). In all, "Celtic Odyssey" belies its name--not a difficult journey at all, but instead, a beautiful and relaxing listening experience. Similar music can be enjoyed in another Narada compilation, "Celtic Legacy". ... Read more


    10. A Child's Celebration of Folk Music
    list price: $14.98
    our price: $13.99
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    Asin: B000002M7Z
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 6143
    Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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    Children of all ages will delight in the simple melodies featured in A Child's Collection of Folk Music. These story-songs are repetitive and eminently singable. Material ranges from traditional twangy banjo numbers like "She'll Be Comin' Round the Mountain" from Folk granddaddy Pete Seeger to the soulful song-in-the-round "Run Molly Run" by contemporary gospel group Sweet Honey in the Rock. Moms and dads will have the opportunity to share some of their favorite folk artists with the next generation: Michelle Shocked, who does a lovely traditional Irish-minstral-type ballad; Taj Mahal, who performs a bluesy "Little Brown Dog"; and Woody Guthrie on "Riding in My Car (Car Song)." And for all the Deadhead mommies, there's Jerry Garcia and David Grisman performing "There Ain't No Bugs on Me." Kids will particularly enjoy the Cajun boogie of Buckwheat Zydeco and the trip-over-the-tongue island music of Cedella Marley Booker. --Paige La Grone ... Read more

    Reviews (9)

    5-0 out of 5 stars you'll love it too
    My 3 y.o. loved it. The music is upbeat and fun, and you'll crack your kid up when you sing your own version of Ridin' in My Car. And Their Ain't No Bugs on Me is a great song. I don't know about your kid, but mine can handle a lyric like "How in the hell can the old folks tell ..." especially when sung so cheerfully and, um, innocuously. Mostly, it's a cd that you yourself will enjoy listening to ... even (believe it or not) the supplied version of Skip to My Lou.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A Child's Celebration of Folk Music/Various Artists
    Loved it except for the "Ain't no bugs on me" song. It uses the phrase "how in the (hell) can the old folks tell" In my opinion, that is not appropriate for young children.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Concerned mother actually listened to lyrics
    Most of the songs are enjoyable and of the caliber I expected after reading the reviews posted. However, on Garcia's version of "Ain't No Flies On Me", there is a mild obscenity, which is fine for an adult compilation, but unacceptable for a compilation directed to children. As the rules for this forum prohibit obscenities, I cannot be more explicit about the exact lyrics. I am extremely disappointed in the editors and will be returning my CD.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just wish they had the lyrics printed in the jacket
    Love this cd -- it's lots of fun to listen to, the music is enjoyable for both children and adults. It touches on a variety of cultures and styles, and the rhythms and lyrics are fun. My only complaint is that the words can be hard to understand, and the lyrics aren't in the cd book/jacket thing. I'd like to sing along with it, and teach my son, but I can't understand the words sometime!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very well done compilation
    All of the songs on the CD are excellent. I especially like Doc Watson's rendition of the 1864-song "Grandfather's Clock". Buckwheat Zydeco's "Crawfish Song" is also refreshingly good. The kids enjoy the CD immensely and adore Pete Seeger's "She'll be coming around the mountain," but you should be prepared to listen to the first few songs over and over and over as your kids' attention spans wane. We usually just leave the CD playing in the background.

    This is a wonderful collection. ... Read more


    11. Ain't No Grave: A Tribute To Traditional & Public Domain Songs
    list price: $14.99
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B0000AN42P
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 10343
    Average Customer Review: 4.25 out of 5 stars
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    Album Description

    It is the nature of traditional and public domain songs to shift with time.Words, melodies, even titles can change as musicians make these songs their own.This album is a collection of these songs, and each song reflects a distinct artistic personality.But even while the performances carry these songs firmly into the present, the respect each track carries for the past binds this album together.This long-playing disc is a tribute to these songs and the spirit they bring to our musical landscape today. ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
    I could never have imagined in a million years that a compilation of old traditional and Public Domain songs could be so entertaining and catchy and modern sounding. This cd has fast become one of my all-time favourites. These songs have come alive once more for a new generation. It just goes to show that good songs never die. This is a cd that should be in everyone's collection.

    3-0 out of 5 stars "Moldie Oldies": ALIVE and KICKING!
    I grew up listening to The Limeliters, so Folk Music is something I can relate to. One person I know did inform me that their brand of "Folk" was too "classied up for popular consumption" for his tastes. I SUSPECT (tho' no way to be sure), that AIN'T NO GRAVE might be more --ahem-- "authentic" for his sensibilities. Here, a group of modern "alternate country" (and other) bands carry on the tradition of breathing NEW LIFE into songs that, as Hal Levy once put it, "Nobody wrote it, nobody remembers it, and everybody sings it."

    Good example: I first heard "John The Revelator" in the movie BLUES BROTHERS 2000 ! I first heard "Corine, Corinna" done by Lawrence Welk on his classic 1960 album CALCUTTA! --and have been wondering what the lyrics might be ever since. I believe "Rose Connelly" by Ware River Club was recently mentioned on a CMT documentary that focused on "songs about murder" in country music. I first heard it done by, of all people, Art Garfunkel, on his 1973 album ANGEL CLARE, as "Down In The Willow Garden" (and it's even MORE disturbing here). I think my favorite song on the disc is Mark Erelli's "The Drinking Gourd". (The word "gourd" always makes me think of the movie LIFE OF BRIAN-- how far back in history do some of these things go?)

    Trying to think of something appropriate to reccomend with this, the one album that comes to my mind is John Fogerty's BLUE RIDGE RANGERS, which is a lot more country than folk, but also does its best delving into "the old classics".

    5-0 out of 5 stars as good as the hype
    I first heard about this album because it is rated as one of the best albums of 2003 by a critic at RollingStone.com. Then I heard that the title track, "Ain't No Grave," by Kris Delmhorst is rated as one of the best songs of 2003 by a critic at NPR's All Songs Considered. Well that was enough praise for me, so I bought the disc. It was definitely worth it. For an album containing songs by various artists it is very consistent. I enjoy the album from start to finish. The songs vary in style, some of the styles on the record are folk-rock, americana, folk, blues, country, roots-rock and bluegrass. Despite the variety of styles, the album flows together beautifully. The singing is earnest and warm. These artists certainly respect the power these songs hold. My favourite track is "Southern Girl's Reply" by Tim Eriksen, who plays on the Cold Mountain Soundtrack and used to play in the band Cordelia's Dad.

    4-0 out of 5 stars carry it on
    The great English traditional singer Martin Carthy once remarked that the only harm you can do to the old ballads is not to sing them. In other words, don't worry about whether the presentation answers to some misguided -- and largely meaningless -- notion of "authenticity"; just do the song in a way that makes sense to you and works as musical art. The cover of this fine CD has an electric guitar propped up against a weathered gravestone, perfectly symbolizing what you're going to find here: except for the Scottish "McPherson's Lament," venerable American folk songs rocked up or otherwise modernized. Well, not entirely -- Tim Eriksen's aching "Southern Girl's Reply," a statement of Confederate defiance caught between hopeless anger and life-deadening sorrow, practically defines musical time travel.

    Otherwise, these are richly reimagined adaptations, the worst of which are merely enjoyable and the best of which grab you by the throat and shake you. Among the latter, there is the wrenching Civil War-era "Is the Battle Over?" (Sixty Acres), almost like an outtake from the Byrds' classic country-folk album Sweethearts of the Rodeo. There's also the Plaster Saints' electrified spiritual "John the Revelator," which opens the proceedings. And then there's Timothy the Revelator, who does a nice "Box the Fox" in an updated old-timey arrangement. Listen to "Riding in the Buggy, Mary Jane," done here by the Lisa Marr Experiment, and then hunt up Bob Dylan's "Tryin' to Get to Heaven" (on his Time Out of Mind CD), and you'll find out where some of those lyrics come from. What is the tradition good for, after all, if not for looting?

    Ain't No Grave proves that you can't bury these wonderful old songs. There's just too much life in them. It's a joy to hear young musicians carrying on the tradition with such intelligence, sensitivity, and imagination. By the way, this really ought to be four and a half stars, except that Amazon.com doesn't let you do that. ... Read more


    12. Tribute to Woody Guthrie
    list price: $17.98
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    Asin: B000002LJG
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 47460
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    The passing of folk-music pillar Woody Guthrie was fresh on the minds of the participants in the first of the two concerts that make up this live tribute recording. Guthrie had died of Huntington's disease in the fall of 1967; the following January, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, and several other Woody apostles gathered to perform the folk legend's songs at Carnegie Hall. In September of 1970, a second gathering convened in the Hollywood Bowl, this one headlined by Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, and others. Originally released separately on two records, this CD brings both concert recordings together on one brimming CD. Highlights include Dylan and the Band's rowdy reinterpretations of "I Ain't Got No Home," "Dear Mrs. Roosevelt," and "The Grand Coulee Damn" as well as Jack Elliott's "1913 Massacre," Odetta's "Ramblin' Round," and Tom Paxton's "Pastures of Plenty." Readings by actors Will Geer, Robert Ryan, and Peter Fonda from Guthrie's prose link the two concerts into a cohesive whole that Guthrie aficionados will find irresistible. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars In 20th Century America, folk singing meant Woody Guthrie
    Woody Guthrie was America's troubadour, plain and simple, the man whose picture goes with the encyclopedia entry on "Folk Singer." Like the poets who recited Homer in ancient Greece, Guthrie recreated his songs as he performed then, changing then as occasion demanded and memory allowed. As performed by those who came in his formidable wake, such as Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton, Odetta and Joan Baez, the songs of Woody Guthrie probably sound better than they ever did before, but their authenticity still rings through and that is what makes them powerful. The concerts from which these performances were taken were intended as celebrations of Guthrie's work. The program was developed by Millard Lampell, who had been a member of the Almanac Singers with Guthrie, and who created a script from Guthrie's songs and writings (narration is provided by Will Geer, Robert Ryan and Peter Fonda). Lampell also wrote the liner notes about Guthrie, "A little guy sloping down a dusty road, looking for something he couldn't name."

    Guthrie wrote so many songs that I have no doubt there will be many tracks on this album you have never heard before. My favorite is Tom Paxton's version of "Pastures of Plenty," although I also like the section on the Pacific Northwest, where Bob Dylan sings about "The Grand Coulee Dam" and Judy Collins leads the audience in "Roll on Columbia," while Robert Ryan's narration fills in the gaps. Plus, of course, there is something fundamentally enjoyable about hearing Arlo Guthrie sings his father's songs. This 2-record set on highlights from concerts at Carnegie Hall in 1968 and the Hollywood Bowl in 1970 was condensed to a single CD by eliminating three songs, all of which were written by the artists who performed them rather than Guthrie. All this means is that nothing important was lost in the transition. "A Tribute to Woody Guthrie" is a necessary part of any serious collection of American folk music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars incredible superstar gathering
    Amazing! Baez, Collins, Dylan, Paxton and so many more folk rock icons, all in one fabulous concert recording. The singing and playing are uniformly impassioned and excellent, with some of the greatest performances of Woody Guthrie songs ever, in particular Judy Collins singing Deportee so movingly, Tom Paxton brilliantly performing the mock epic Biggest Thing Man Has Ever Done, a great Grand Coulee Dam by Dylan himself, and the list goes on and on. The sound quality is pretty good, but the performances are in a class by themselves. Strongly recommended for all lovers of folk music.

    5-0 out of 5 stars must-own cd!
    This cd is excellent and makes a wonderful gift for any music lover. I have played and bought this cd for many friends and all who heard it loved it. The cd contains songs and narrative written by Woody Guthrie but performed at two tribute concerts after his death by artists including Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Country Joe McDonald, and more. The background music is provided by The Band. Woody Guthrie's songs on this album, while not all happy by any means, bring out a sense of pride in the listener for our country, for the workingman, for injustices and tragedies suffered and survived. He sings and speaks of many sorrowful things such as the sufferings of migrant workers, miners, hoboes, and the "poor and downtrodden" but the overall message is one of pride and hard work, and love and compassion for your fellow man. I can put on this album when I'm sad or frustrated, or sense myself letting the petty every-day problems of life get me down, and the soul-wrenching folk music of Woody Guthrie never fails to put things back in perspective and a smile back on my face. This is one of my all-time favorite albums that I believe everyone should own!

    5-0 out of 5 stars diverse voices bring alive Woody Guthrie's dustbowl songs
    One of my favorite albums. Woodie Guthrie wrote true folk songs. The diverse voices of currently-celebrated folk singers honor his impact on American music. You get a folk sampler of these many talented voices, plus a whirlwind tour of depression-era history, workingman sentiment, politics, etc. The songs are emotionally powerful, spanning a full range from joyous celebration or playful humor to righteous anger or heartbreaking pathos. ... Read more


    13. Voices Of The Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966
    list price: $24.98
    our price: $24.98
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    Asin: B000001DJT
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 48855
    Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (2)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Freedom Songs that were the life blood of the Movement
    This double-CD reissue of "The Voices of the Civil Rights Movement: Black American Freedom Songs 1960-1966" documents the importance of songs in the Civil Rights Movement. Teachers covering this tumultuous time in American History in their class can certainly give students a better sense for the time by not only showing videos of the peaceful demonstrations and police brutality, but by playing them some of the songs from this album. Many of these freedom songs were recorded live in mass meetings held in churches. These are not just spirituals and gospel songs, but draw upon rhythm and blues, football chants, blues, and calypso for their beauty and energy. The first disc features songs from mass meetings, where a singer or core of singers leads the people in the singing of the songs, while the second focuses on ensemble works by the SNCC Freedom Singers and other groups. The accompanying booklet written by Bernice Johnson Reagon combines historic photographs with insights into each song, providing an excellent education in the meaning of the music. Reagon not only explains how these songs were song, but also which songs were prominent for the Selma-to-Montgomery March ("Governor Wallace"), "Freedom Train" for the vigil for the Mississippi Democratic Party elections, and so on.

    Chances are that unless you were involved in the Civil Rights Movement you will not especially recognize many of these songs, with "This Little Light of Mine," "Go Tell It On the Mountain," and "We Shall Overcome" being the obvious exceptions. But you will be surprised at some of the popular songs that were appropriate for the cause, such as "Calypso Freedom," based on Harry Belafonte's "The Banana Boat Song," and "Get Your Rights, Jack," based on the Ray Charles hit "Hit the Road, Jack." For me the song that stood out was "In the Mississippi River," written by Marshall Jones after the disappearance of three Civil Rights workers in Mississippi during the summer of 1964. As local rivers were dragged in search of the men, many other bodies were discovered, a chilling fact that certainly needs to be more than a historic footnote to that tragic event. There is also a lengthy segment from a sermon by Rev. Lawrence Campbell, which illustrates the song-sermons that were an integral part of the movement and its traditions. The result is a historical document of immense value to teachers and their students.

    Folkways Records was founded by Moses Asch and Marian Distler in 1948 to document music and spoken word from around the world. The Smithsonian Institution acquired Folkways from the Asch estate and has succeeded in preserving the best of the label's 2,200 albums. Smithsonian Folkways Recordings has continued this grand tradition. I have checked out a half-dozen of their offerings and their are uniformly superb, especially in terms of providing the historical context by which we can best appreciate these songs from another place and another time.

    5-0 out of 5 stars emmotionally charged and historically valuable document
    For any one interested in the freedom struggle in the sixties this is essential listening. The first disc of recordings made in the South during the mid sixties captures the importance of music at the mass meetings.

    The second disc with ensemble recordings shows the skill of the SNCC singing groups.

    The cd is accompanied by extensive liner notes by Bernice Johnson Reagan, herself a member of a SNCC ssinging group and founder of "Sweet Honey in the Rock". She draws out not only the historical references in the songs, but also the different African American musical influences at play. ... Read more


    14. Italian Music Odyssey
    list price: $15.98
    our price: $14.99
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    Asin: B00004YLBS
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 11576
    Average Customer Review: 4.83 out of 5 stars
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    There is more to Italian music than the Three Tenors, "O Sole Mio," and "Volare." A burgeoning folk revival has fostered a diverse crop of ensembles and singer-songwriters hailing from throughout the country, including Naples. Their styles range from contemporary neo-trad to the earthiest rural troubadours. Clichés quickly fall by the wayside before such a startling wealth of cultural outpourings. Among the most surprising revelations are Agricantus and La Ciapa Rusa, both of whom would be perfectly at home sitting in with Celtic acts, and Lucilla Galeazzi, a noted musicologist whose mournful, flexible mezzo evokes the shadows of Portuguese fado. The Fratelli Mancuso are a Sicilian duo who sound as though they are channeling the spirit of Gordon Lightfoot. Calic does a kind of Sardinian toasting, while Riccardo Tesi, Tuscany's melodeon virtuoso, exhibits his mastery. This is a stimulating introduction to an extraordinary family of performers and traditions. --Christina Roden ... Read more

    Reviews (6)

    5-0 out of 5 stars AN ABSOLUTE DELIGHT!
    My mom was born in Sicily and I was browsing through the CD samples looking for Italian music from her place of birth. How lucky to have stumbled upon this CD! It only has a couple of pieces from Sicily, but it "grabbed" me from the very first note...and it got better and better. Then, "Quante stelle nel cielo con la luna" is, in my opinion, one of the best songs in the CD. The singer has a strong, crystal clear, and, in spite of the strength, very sweet voice...wonderful interpretation. I must confess that I was not familiar with this type of music. This is a contemporary approach to traditional music. Folk music with a wonderful touch. There are various interpreters, so you get the full taste of different styles. The blend of instruments, styles and voices is just beautiful. Some pieces are sweet, some so lively that you feel like dancing, and all are wonderful. I will have to get extra copies for my son and my sister.

    4-0 out of 5 stars OK, I'll give it a 4.5
    I love this CD. If for not other reason, buy it for Lucilla Galeazzi's sublime "Quante stelle nel cielo con la luna". Her voice is strong yet smooth. Her delivery is moving. Unfortunately, her music is hard to find, so I get it where I can. Luckily, this CD also has many other gems touching on several major styles of contemporary Italian folk music. This music polished and by true musicians singing in Italian an in dialect. It is well produced and played. Kick back and enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great selection - A must have
    What a pleasure to listen to this CD. The songs are enchanting, and as always, very well chosen by Putumayo.

    I was not familiar with this style of Italian music - very different from Italian pop - but it is very easy to appreciate and get addicted to. You could really tell the influence of traditional values on the songs: the music, the singers' voices, etc.

    Authentic Italian, strongly recommend it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Italian Music Odyssey - Speaks for itself
    Excellent composition and sound quality. If you want an Italian alternative to 'Volare' etc. then this is definitely worth a listen. We bought it to play in our Italian restaurant and it was ideal for this giving our regulars a refreshing alternative to the usual rat pack sounds. It is quite unusual in some places but very enjoyable with catchy songs. Excellent music to kick back and read to or have playing whilst having guests for dinner.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great collection of Italian folk music
    This is truly an amazing album. Wonderful music throughout. Italy sure does have more music going for it, than classical and opera. And this album showcases 11 great songs from traditional folk to more modern compositions, although even those are in the traditional style. The 23 page booklet is great, with a 2 page essay on Italy and its music, and a photo and information on each artist and song featured. Another good thing about these songs, is that a lot of the old traditional instruments are used. It is so good to know that their are artists who keep alive the old songs, instruments and tradition. ... Read more


    15. Tribute to Steve Goodman
    list price: $13.98
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    Asin: B000000DLZ
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 61205
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars I Can't Sleep
    Steve Goodman was a special performer and songwriter. His unassuming manner, sterling musicianship, sense of humor and exquisite songwriting made him a standout both in concert and in the studio. This concert is a fine tribute from artists who loved him. From his bosom buddy John Prine comes John's "Souvenirs," Steve's great "My Old Man," and a marvelous teaming with Bonnie Raitt on John's "Angel From Montgomery." Ed Holstein who was one of Steve's good friends does "Blues That Steve Taught Me" that's hilarious. One of my favorite Chicago singers is Bonnie Koloc who does a great bluesy rendition of Steve's "I Can't Sleep" with her crystal clear voice gracing each note. Other notables are John Hartford doing his "Gentle On My Mind" and Arlo Guthrie on "All Over the World" and his great hit that Steve wrote, "City of New Orleans" with its sunny "Good morning, America, how are you?" chorus. The number of musicians here like Richie Havens, David Bromberg, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and the exquisite Jethro Burns attests to the high regard so many had for Steve. This is a great little walk down memory lane from one of our music's dearest hearts, Steve Goodman. Enjoy!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great Ol' Stuff
    Steve Bromberg's cut ("...Fool") is the greatest. I, too, wore out a 33 of this. Now the CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars there was never a more class act than steve goodman
    I played the old 33 until I wore it out. so many artists come together to make this catalogue complete. John Prine's liner notes say it all! ... Read more


    16. Roots Music: An American Journey
    list price: $29.98
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    Asin: B00005PJBR
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 19084
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    No independent label has surveyed a wider, deeper expanse of the American musical grain than Rounder Records has done since 1971. In celebrating the label's 30th anniversary, this budget-priced anthology presents 68 gems from the archives without duplicating a single artist. Rather than a linear progression through time or genre, the four-disc set hopscotches all over the musical map, from the blues of Mississippi Fred McDowell to the bluegrass of Alison Krauss, from the Texas country of Jimmie Dale Gilmore to the Celtic fiddle of Natalie MacMaster. Some of the juxtapositions are a little jarring: the Mardi Gras chants of Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias give way to the Hawaiian guitars of the Tau Moe Family, while the soulful groove of Walter "Wolfman" Washington leads into the Klezmer Conservatory Band. But listeners whose tastes are as eclectic as Rounder's will find the set a treasure trove of discovery. --Don McLeese ... Read more

    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Well Done Compilation - with a Caveat
    This is a typically well organized Rounder compilation, with some impressive artists included. However, it should be noted that these are interpretations of older "roots" tunes done by Rounder label artists, rather than the originals. As such, Scott Billington, who wrote the liner notes, does himself (and us) a bit of a disservice by referring dismissively to the original versions of these tunes as a "scratchy collection of old recordings". Were it not for that very "scratchy collection", this four-disc set would not be here for us to enjoy.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Introduction to American Music
    Rounder Records has always done an incredible job of putting together compilations and making the music sound alive. This collection celebrates 30 years of Rounder, and is a great overview of the label, as well as a taster for anyone looking to check out some truly alternative music. The mixture is very eclectic; much like American culture, blending and weaving through musical styles. The set features Blues, Folk, Cajun, Bluegrass, Celtic and much more.

    A highly recommended listening experience.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Roots Music State of the Union.
    Think of this as an update on Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Showing up on the heels of the wide success of the "O Brother..." soundtrack and just before the PBS American Roots Music series, this is a worthy collection of samples of the work of contemporary artists working in the earthy music forms from whence it all sprang. From acapella gospel to zydeco with old-time, bluegrass, blues, New Orleans brass and Hawaiian tunes sandwiched in between. What can you say? It's Rounder, for Pete's sake! ... Read more


    17. Sing For Freedom: The Story Of The Civil Rights Movement Through Its Songs
    list price: $16.98
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    Asin: B000001DHL
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 55277
    Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (3)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very nice...
    If you're interested in Black History, then you'll love this CD.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Songs and Speeches of hope and Inspiration
    If you ever need an emotional and spiritual pick-up, then this CD is for you. So much unknownn talent here. The Birmingham Freedom Choir would certainly give Kirk Franklin and Walter Hawkins a run for the money and the Montgomery Movement Singers have a singing style that's haunting in its simplicity. Like Brother Stack (BTW, I'm also a native of Spartanburg, SC, let's hang out and chat about this CD when I'm in town again), I've used this CD in my classes and my students have been moved by MLK's brief address ("If you can't run-WALK, and if you can't run-CRAWL, just KEEP MOVING ON!"). Raplh Abernathy's address is also surprisingly good and while the martyred legend Medgar Evers was not a spellbinding speaker, his sincerity comes through. The beauty of this CD is the courage the speakers and singers had in the danger of what they faced. This will inspire listeners to similar courage in the problems they may face today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sing For Freedom
    I simple love this CD and all of the 26 songs. There is not one throw away song or segment on the CD recording. The CD chronicles the modern day civil rights movement through song from 1955 Montgomery bus boycott, to 1960 and the student lead demonstrations in Nashville, Tenn. to the 1963 Birmingham Mass Meetings. The artist are regional and have a wonderful quality to the singing. A must have...... I play this CD to my high school students every year and they are mesmerized. I play the CD in the teacher's lounge and they all want copies. I used some of the songs on the CD in a talk at my local Unitarian Universalist Church and got a standing ovation. I never tire of listening to the richness of the songs. ... Read more


    18. O Brother Where Art Thou
    list price: $15.98
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    Asin: B00007MB4I
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 46308
    Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars
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    Reviews (440)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest movie soundtrack EVER!
    With the country music airwaves currently being dominated by fresh, new artists like Faith Hill who fit better in the pop circuit, it is refreshing to see an album composed entirely of traditional bluegrass and country do as well as the soundtrack of O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU. Even further impressing is the fact that although none of the songs were released to radio, the soundtrack was propelled to the #1 spot on Billboard's country album charts solely from people hearing the music in the movie theater. This soundtrack is a phenomenal album that is proof to country fans everywhere that although traditional country has appeared to have gone out of style, it is still very much alive and well.

    The O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU SOUNDTRACK is composed of nineteen songs recorded by some of the most talented country/bluegrass artists in the business, including Gillian Welch (who also served as musical director for the motion picture), Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, and the Cox Family, and and is truly a gathering of musical talent. Also included in the soundtrack is music by musicians who appeared in the film as well as working on the CD, such as the Whites and Tim Blake Nelson.

    The O BROTHER WHERE ART THOU SOUNDTRACK is truly, as the CD ads claim, "The ULTIMATE American roots collection!" So, grab your acoustic guitar, fiddle, and Dapper Dan hair pomade, and let the soundtrack from O BROTHER take you on a journey through one of the greatest periods in country music history.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Brothers In Arms
    The soundtrack to the Coen Brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? is one of the biggest surprises in music for 2000. The film starring George Clooney was not much of a success at the box office, but the soundtrack made up of dark bluegrass songs from the early part of the 20th century has become a major seller. In fact the album has set a record for the most weeks at number one for a soundtrack on the Country Album charts. This is a welcomed and warmly cheered surprise as the album celebrates an essential style of music from America's rich musical history. Album producer T-Bone Burnett has assembled a cast of unknowns, save Emmylou Harris & Allison Krauss, like The Fairfield Four, Gillian Welch and J. Carter & The Prisoners who specialize in this forgotten and overlooked genre. The songs have a stark and haunting quality that are accentuated by the sparse musical arrangements. The singing is alternatively raw and rough to lilting and gorgeous. Song after song provides you with an interesting, intriguing and satisfying listening experience especially "Po Lazarus", "You Are My Sunshine", "Down To The River To Pray", "Lonesome Valley" and "Didn't Leave Nobody But My Baby".

    5-0 out of 5 stars Music the way is should be
    This is perhaps the best soundtrack ever made. It is a stunning mix of mostly acoustic tracks by most of the best bluegrass artists ever. There is work on here from Ralph Stanely, Allison Kraus, and Emmelou Harris, to name a few. This CD won a lot of Grammys the year that it came out, and that is because it was the best CD of that year.

    Highlights include the Big Rock Candy Mountains, Man of Constant Sorrow, In the Jailhouse Now and O Death. If you have ever wondered what bluegrass sounded like but have been afraid to try, this is the CD for you. It will show you the magic that this genre of music can provide.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great but.....
    This CD is fantastic, with songs that will leave you humming and tapping your feet. I would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that the primary song I wanted featuring the artists from the actual movie was not featured on the album. The version of "I'll FLy Away" from the actual movie is done by the Kossoy Sisters and is featured on their album "Bowling Green". I hope this helps anyone else who will end up trying to hunt down that origianl version.

    5-0 out of 5 stars O Brother
    This is the soundtrack to the Coen brothers' film based loosely on Homer's "The Odyssey". This soundtrack takes the movie from good to great. The tracks follow the progression of the movie. Nearly an hour of blue-grass music, even if you haven't seen the movie, this is worth having if you like "Old-Time" Country music and blue-grass.

    The legend, Ralph Stanley, appears a couple of times here, although his "Man of Constant Sorrow" is here too, but covered by Dan Tyminski. Stanley's "O Death" is a haunting tune sung without accompaniment. His voice is sorrowful and full of pain, and will send shivers up your spine. Tyminski's cover is well done and becomes the centerpiece for the movie. The sultry voices of Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch provide a rising rendition of "Didn't Leave Nobody But the Baby." Alison Krauss also lends her voice to the spiritual "Down to the River to Pray," and joins up again with Gillian Welch for "I'll Fly Away". The surprise here is Tim Blake Nelson on lead vocals as the dimwitted Delmar on "In the Jailhouse Now."

    Overall, this is a great soundtrack, and well worth owning if you like this type of music. I think the Coen brothers have done a lot with the release of this movie to turn the spotlight onto blue-grass music. This is great music that deserves more than the fifteen minutes of fame it's received. ... Read more


    19. Badlands: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen's Nebraska
    list price: $11.98
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    Asin: B00004Z0M0
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 9204
    Average Customer Review: 3.29 out of 5 stars
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    There was a time when nobody besides Manfred Mann really bothered to cover Bruce Springsteen songs. All that changed once Born to Run turned the New Jersey singer-songwriter into a pop icon. Still, it was in the bleak character studies of 1982's Nebraska that he reaffirmed himself as a literate everyman steeped in the tradition of John Steinbeck and Flannery O'Connor, Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan. And that's the side of Springsteen that clearly appeals to Johnny Cash, Los Lobos, Hank Williams III, and the dozen other artists who participate in this remake of Nebraska. Chrissie Hynde, Ani DiFranco, and Deana Carter all deliver haunting performances, but as far as the men folk go, the album's most striking covers are "bonus" tracks that were recorded for but not released on Nebraska: "I'm on Fire" sounds even creepier with Cash's craggy vocal; Raul Malo brings out the pop sheen of "Downbound Train"; and "Wages of Sin," in the hands of Damien Jurado and Rose Thomas, shows Springsteen can be just as depressing as your favorite emo idol. All of which makes this a fine companion to the original recording.--Bill Forman ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Can't Beat the Original
    One of the most moving, outspoken and bold albums of Bruce Springsteen's is Nebraska.

    Cover songs to skip: Hank Williams III singing Atlantic City, the twang does not belong in that song. Son Volt singing Open All Night, did he forget the words?!

    Songs to play over and over: Chrissie Hynde and Adam Seymour on Nebraska, Los Lobus singing Johnny - love the beat, Dar Williams - like the female voice on Highway Patrolman, Ani Defranco singing Used Cars, and Lastly Johnny Cash performs I'm on Fire - And he certainly is burning on this tune.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good finish after embarrassing start
    It takes quite a talent when a tribute album can be made of just one piece of work. Such is the awesome body of work that is Bruce Springsteen's. And to have the songs so strong that, except in a few cases, they come across well shows how good this material is.

    Doing covers can be tough for several reasons. First, you have to be at least somewhat musically adept, which is the case for everyone on "Badlands". Second, it would help if you at least had a vague idea of what the original was trying to communicate, which is not the case for everyone here.

    One time in my life I actually listened to a Jim Nabors album. Yep, ol' Gomer Pyle himself can sing. In this listening, the voice was certainly there. But song after song, you got the idea that ol' Gomer hadn't the slightest idea what they were about, and the whole thing came out as an awkward embarrassment.

    When I heard the first two numbers of "Badlands", this is what went through my mind, and thought this was going to be a train wreck. It starts off with Chrissie Hynde, normally a great singer, attempting the title. In it, she's basically just wording out the song, with very little emotion. Even worse was "Atlantic City", as done by Hank Williams III. The stark original is turned so much into a hillbilly hoe-down song I actually wonder if the artist wasn't making fun of the song. My heart was sinking at this point.

    But then, it takes a big upswing. To the producers' credit, they do take the stark, minimal musical background on most of the original numbers, and keep the same spirit here. One could argue that the Los Lobos version of "Johnny 99" was a bit TOO rocking, but it sounds great, and on the original album, it was one of the more fast-paced numbers.

    So while no number here matches up to the original, just about all of the rest are very good performances. They are done sincerely, are often very moving, and do approach the quality of the originals. Of the extra tracks thrown in, Johnny Cash's "I'm On Fire" takes a little getting used to, but he cuts this song down to the bone. And Raul Malo's "Downbown Train" gives the original a run for it's money.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Just for Fans
    This one is for Springsteen fans. It's for those
    who think that Nebraska is the best album that Bruce ever made. It's for those who make that claim but, in reality, find it too stark and brooding to actually listen to, so they opt for Born to Run or, if they are daring, Tunnel of Love instead. It's for those who think that Nebraska is bad and only like Bruce when he is performing his anthems...well, no, maybe this is not for them. This tribute to Nebraska(and a few bonus cuts) by a diverse and simpatico group of artists(including Johnny Cash, Los Lobos, and Chrissie Hynde) does contain several outstanding tracks and provides a more colorful pallette for Bruce's austere hymns of struggle and dread. On the other hand, most of these performances do not match the raw power and passion, barebones as as they may be, of the original versions.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Pretenders but for one true heart
    Nebraska is as important an artistic effort as THE GRAPES OF WRATH and the original Carter family, so I was really excited about this recording. I really tried to like it. I listened to it on the couch with head phones. I listened to it in the car and while I was working in the office or the garage. But it always seemed like a cheap imitation. Only one singer on this recording made the song his own, and that (you guessed it) was Johnny Cash. In the end, I realized the rest of them were just trying to imitate the Boss and they could get no where near him. I give it two stars because Mr. Cash's cut deserves ten and is worth the price of the CD. But the others drag him down.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Long overdue tribute
    This album highlights why Springsteen chose to keep his demo tracks in the first place - there's something that must be said for the starkness and steely beauty of the original Nebraska, something that just struck like a genius bolt of lightning. That's not to say this album isn't good, it is quite revealing into the earthiness and life-inspired themes Springsteen wrote about. There are some misses, surely; Hank III's "Atlantic City" robs the song of its day-to-day fatigued dejection and desperation, and adds little to the intended meaning. Crooked Fingers delivers quite an unexpected take of "Mansion on a Hill" and I think it works to a good effect. If nothing else, a good cover should at least make you think twice about the original, and "Mansion" achieves that and more. I thought the women-sung songs on the album were particularly striking. Dar Williams' near-whispered "Highway Patrolman" hits the small-town familial atmosphere right on the nail, plus her voice is so lovely. Deana Carter surprised me big time on "State Trooper" - I've never heard her sound this way, makes me wish she'd leave off the happy stuff at least for a bit and do stuff like this. Her voice provides such a contrast it adds a new kind of bleakness to the song, an angry rumbling searching motif. I didn't really care for Ani Difranco's "Used Cars"; the song sounds very thoughtful and introspective at this pace, but the version doesn't carry through on this or any other direction. Son Volt's "Open All Night" is one of those covers where you know it was well done, but you long for the original anyway. Really this was a makeover of the song, and I admit I'm biased towards Bruce's original but this one does have good points (I miss the Chuck Berry feel!). Ben Harper doesn't do anything to really add to or take away from "My Father's House"; in a way it doesn't matter because the songwriting, like for all of these songs, is an asset in itself. "Reason To Believe" - I really enjoy the beat put to this song, plus the country back road feel allows the lyrics to come through. Mann's and Penn's voices work very well together and reinforce the anti-isolation Bruce prized. There are three bonus tracks originally recored by Spingsteen during the Nebraska sessions: "I'm on Fire" and "Downboumd Train" would appear on Born in the USA later and "Wages of Sin" would turn up on the boxed set Tracks. Most people who like this album love Johnny Cash's "I'm on Fire" ; I really don't but probably because I'm too hung up on the original. This one however is more plain and if you can imagine, arguably more eerie and still well done. Raul Malo's "Downbound Train" is wonderful if only because of the great stream-of-conscious-fueled thunder power of the original; plus the flavor, a tinge of latin-pop, really work to Malo's strengths and enforce how versatile Springsteen really is. I LOVE this song, its amazing. The last track, "Wages of Sin" really floored me. I went out and listened to the original on Tracks again and wondered why I didn't love it before. The duet here, Damien Jurado and Rose Thomas, is soooo well done! It's beautiful, it's haunting, pained, and honest. Thomas' vocals are splendidly panged and arched. If anything, this album makes you want to listen to the original again, which of course isn't a bad result at all. It does obtain more in my opinion, almost approaching the brilliancy of it's subject. And besides - its a Springsteen tribute! A Nebraska tribute! Never too many of those :-) ... Read more


    20. Bleecker Street: Greenwich Village In The 60's
    list price: $19.98
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    Asin: B00000IQMK
    Catlog: Music
    Sales Rank: 33602
    Average Customer Review: 4.03 out of 5 stars
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    Amazon.com

    Tribute albums come in all shapes and sizes. Most, however, simply come and go. The ones that stick around are backed by a vision that extends beyond "Let's get a bunch of people together to do a bunch of Clash songs" (to cite one ignoble example). Bleecker Street's raison d'être is to shine a light on a fleeting and relatively uncelebrated period in the '60s folk boom--the nascent singer/songwriter era that came in the wake of Bob Dylan's move from protest songs to personal ones. The songwriters celebrated here--Eric Andersen, Fred Neil, Tim Buckley, Phil Ochs, and Dylan among them--penned songs that have become part of the fabric of American folk. Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe" (splendidly revived by Ron Sexsmith) is as straightforward a lament as has ever been put to tape; John Sebastian's "Darling Be Home Soon" is longing set to music. With Bleecker Street, the deities and apostles share a piece of heaven, which, of course, is as it should be. --Steven Stolder ... Read more

    Reviews (31)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Faithful but refreshing rendering of some genuine classics
    I've never been especially fond of tribute albums, which always seem to be either ill-conceived, misguided, or both. Happy to say, "Bleecker Street" is neither. The selection of songs is in itself a history in microcosm of sixties folk-rock, and the matching of artist to title is almost always on target. Of particular interest are Jonatha Brooke's wistful version of the title tune, John Cale's channelling of Cohen's "So Long Marianne" (with Suzanne Vega the perfect choice for harmony vocal on the chorus), and Ron Sexsmith's plaintive "Reason to Believe". It's also nice to see long-forgotten chestnuts like "Thirsty Boots" and "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore" covered. Well crafted and produced, this CD (along with "Return of the Greivous Angel", the Emmylou Harris-helmed tribute to Gram Parsons) has restored my belief that tributes can actually function well (and artistically) as albums.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic tribute of 60's folk
    Bleecker Street is a more than satisfactory collection of folk songs from the 1960's is a nice relaxing antidote for the weary soul. Looking at the photos of Bleecker Street with its cafes, apartments, and even the arch in the park, I felt myself transported back to all those years ago.

    All the artists, be they folk, alternative, or other, do admirable covers of the songs. I must admit I even liked the songs I'd never heard of before. Hey, after all, the album's released by Astor Place so there's a high standard by virtue of that fact.

    Of familiar tunes, I was taken with Jonatha Brooke's cover of Simon and Garfunkel's title track and Marshall Crenshaw's rendition of Dylan's "My Back Pages." Patty Larkin's cover of "Everybody's Talkin'" has a tasteful understatedness, which makes a contrast to Harry Nilsson's version. The oft-covered "Reason To Believe" is a familiar friend here, done gently by Ron Sexsmith. And who can forget the timeliness of "Let's Get Together": "C'mon people now/Smile on your brother/Everybody get together/Try to love another right now." Kudos to Paul Brady there!

    Of unfamiliar tunes, highlights included Cry Cry Cry's version of "The Last Thing On My Mind," "Pack Up Your Sorrows" by Loudon Wainwright III and Iris Dement, and "The Love's Still Growing" by Suzzy & Maggie Roche. Beth Nielsen Chapman's lovely crystal clear voice enhances her cover of Judy Collins' "Since You Asked."

    The most upbeat song is Larry Kirwan & Black 47's cover of the angry anti-war anthem "I Ain't Marchin' Anymore." This song was originally done in 1964, and it lists military engagements involving White America fought in, such as the Mexican War, World War II, and Little Big Horn. Given the current state between the U.S. and Iraq, it's still relevant today.

    The rear of the CD booklet listing the artists and songs also lists the original performers. I'll list the song and original artists:

    No Regrets, Tom Rush
    Pack Up Your Sorrows, Mimi & Rich Farina
    The Love's Still Growing, Buzzy Linhart
    Reason To Believe, Tim Hardin
    Darling Be Home Soon, John Sebastian
    Since You've Asked, Judy Collins
    Morning Glory, Tim Buckley
    Turn Turn Turn, Traditional
    Thirsty Boots, Eric Andersen
    Last Thing On My Mind, Tom Paxton
    My Back Pages, Bob Dylan
    Let's Get Together, Dino Valenti
    Bleecker Street, Simon & Garfunkel
    Everybody's Talkin', Neil, Fred
    So Long Marianne, Leonard Cohen
    I Ain't Marchin' Anymore, Phil Ochs

    Overall, a superior and introspective cover album, which reinforces the standard of how cover songs collections should be.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A pleasant reminscence.
    The various artists really capture the ethos and spirit of the times. The innocence, hope, joy, and optimism of those now long ago times. Play this album to forget about the greed and fear and despair and hopelessness of our new millenium.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Step back in time ...run back in time
    If you're reading reviews about it, trust me BUY it! You won't go wrong. The hard to please music lover will even wonder where you got this. I bought this CD, and am so glad I did. Everyone on my block has borrowed it, since I've blared it sooooo many times. Each track is unique. The artists that performed on this CD, gave more than their time, but their ability to recreate, I believe, the songwriter's emotion at the time...I could easily ramble about the talent that is packed on this disc, but I have to at least mention...Hats off to John Cale and Suzanne Vega for their take on Leonard Cohen's "So Long, Marianne," beautiful...absolutely!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Personal Memories
    I couldn't possibly review this CD as a critic or an expert; and I never had vinyl recordings of the originals, though I heard all of them constantly on Detroit radio, as well as in the local folk clubs in the 60's. No, my response is purely emotional, as un-hip as that may seem. I can't say I'm in love with every song on the CD - since I wasn't in love with the original, hence the 4 instead of 5 star rating, but I do think the choice of songs captures the essence of the time period. People near and dear to me were folk and folk/rock musicians in the 60's so this CD is truly a trip down memory lane - to a place that held many ideals and hopes for a better life for all. So, I praise it for that with thanks to the producers. ... Read more


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