The Changing Times of the Folk Scene

11th June 2016

The Changing Times of the Folk Scene

Label: Jasmine

A bit of a musical history lesson, this one. Spread over two CDs, this collection follows the pathway of folk in the USA over the 50s and the early 60s. What Jasmine has done here is to scour its own archives to arrange a narrative. It does so quite successfully too starting with the golden tones of Burl Ives (I remember having one of his 7” singles given to me at a very young age by an auntie of mine). Ives was a noted TV and film actor but his gentle, resonant singing voice allowed a song to be delivered in a soft and comforting manner.

The Weavers also appear here representing the early era of folk with storming classics such as Good Night Irene, a much covered slow and steady ballad that was another comforter.

The Weavers, of course, were a pioneering troupe who had, at the time of the fame, as much of an effect on the public as Bob Dylan would have later. It was The Weavers who would set the stage for the 50s folk revival and, of course, the group featured another pioneer, who would forge a significant folk career of his own. Pete Seeger. Seeger is also featured here as a solo artist, singing songs such as Go Tell Aunt Rhody, Eerie Canal and Camptown Racers. Seeger would soon breach his own entertainment boundaries, advocating civil rights, peace and equality.

There are tracks here from the folk superstars: Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul & Mary and even The Springfields (featuring Dusty Springfield) but there’s also lesser known artists such as the Easy Riders, The Brothers Four and The Highwaymen.

A useful overview with a good blend of artists featuring a few songs per artist to give the listener a handy cross-section of their works.