Old Town School of Folk Music Song Book, Vols. 2 & 3

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
After issuing the first disc in its four-part "songbook" series in 2006, Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music packages the second and third volumes together on this double-CD set, with a final single album to follow. The idea is to have established folk standards, most of them credited to "Traditional" as songwriter, performed by a variety of contemporary artists in their own styles. The scholarly liner notes by Paul Tyler heavily reference song collectors like Francis James Child, John A. Lomax, and Chicago's own Carl Sandburg, explaining the origins and variations of the selections. But the performers have been left to create their own interpretations, sometimes ...
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Editorial Reviews

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

  • Release Date: 7/31/2007
  • Label: Old Town School
  • UPC: 744302050225
  • Catalog Number: 3
  • Sales rank: 147,236

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Old Town School of Folk Music Primary Artist
Marvin Etzioni Piano, Vocals
John E. Abbey Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Accordion, Guitarron, Mellotron
Amy Allison Guitar, Vocals
Kelly Hogan Vocals
Colby Maddox Guitar, Mandolin, Background Vocals
Lenny Marsh Percussion, Drums
Robert Reid Percussion, Vocals
Steve Rosen Banjo, Vocals
Harlan Terson Bass
Marcia Johnson Vocals
Howie Kantoff Percussion, Drums
Nick Macri Bass, Harmonium
Bill Simmons Guitar
John Spiegel Pedal Steel Guitar
Eric Lugosch Guitar, Vocals
Cathy Guthrie Ukulele, Vocals
Mike Church Guitar
Sue Demel Background Vocals
Jimmy Tomasello Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Chris Walz Guitar, Mandolin, Vocals, Background Vocals
Mark Wagner Jug
Brian Bagdonas Bass
James Hand Guitar, Vocals
Caleb Klauder Mandolin
Michael Miles Guitar, Vocals
Ryan Fisher Banjo, Background Vocals
Christopher Farrell Dulcimer, Vocals
Amy Nelson Guitar, Background Vocals
Nora O'Connor Guitar, Vocals
Arlo Leach Guitar
Keith Baumann Mandolin
Tony Dale Drums
Nathaniel Braddock Guitar, Vocals
James Elkington Guitar, Percussion, Vocals
Rick "Cookin'" Sherry Harmonica
Kevin Sandri Guitar
Stephen "Sammy" Lind Fiddle, Vocals
André Michot Dobro
Anton Hatwich Bass
Scott Ligon Guitar, Autoharp, Background Vocals
Chris Winters Guitar, Vocals
Jason Toth Drums
Shelley Miller Vocals
Mark Dvorak Guitar, Vocals
Tisa Batchelder Vocals
Scott Besaw Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Lisa DeRosia Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Laura Doherty Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Elaine Moore Background Vocals
Kerry Sheehan Piano
Barb Silverman Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Eric Noden Guitar, Vocals
Erin Flynn Vocals
Emily Hurd Piano, Vocals
Rob Anderlik Dobro, Background Vocals
Eric Delli Bovi Percussion, Bodhran
Bill Brickey Background Vocals
Chris Courville Percussion
J.T. Cure Bass
Eugenia Elliot Background Vocals
Al Erich Bass
Joe Filisko Harmonica
Neil Gadlin Banjo, Vocals
Melinda Ginsberg Vocals, Washtub Bass
Bob Goins Guitar
Nathan Hosner Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Scott Judd Guitar, Background Vocals
Steve Keefe Ukulele
Sallie Michot Fiddle, Vocals
Cathy Norden Piano
Billy Oh Fiddle, Background Vocals
Gregg Ostrom Guitar
Mary Peterson Guitar, Vocals
Kenneth Rainey Mandolin, Vocals, Background Vocals
Brett Ratliff Banjo, Background Vocals
Jenny Rundle Washboard
Michael Schenkelberg Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ellen Shriver Tambourine, Vocals
Heather Steingruebl Harmonica
Sue Strom Background Vocals
Jacob Sweet Guitar, Vocals
Gail Tyler Background Vocals
Paul Wargaski Bass, Background Vocals
Paul Tyler Fiddle, Vocals
Hump Night Thumpers Track Performer
Clack Mountain String Band Track Performer
Technical Credits
Marvin Etzioni Lyricist
John E. Abbey Producer, Engineer
Dan Stout Mastering
Eric Robinson Engineer
Bob Medich Executive Producer
Krista Ortgiesen Notes Editing
Paul Tyler Liner Notes
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