The Tucson Tapes: The First Set

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
For those born any time after the American folk revival, a name like Travis Edmonson probably draws a blank. Edmonson, once part of the duo Bud & Travis, plowed the fertile rows of folk music between 1960-1965. By 1966, however, the team had busted up, and both parties sought their fame and fortune as solo acts. The Tucson Tapes: The First Set captures Edmonson playing a solo set to a polite hometown audience. Unlike a number of folk purists, Edmonson freely mixes popular and traditional material, and seems happy in both modes. In the middle of "Walkin' Down the Line," for instance, he switches to "The Games People Play," sings a stanza or two, and then returns ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
For those born any time after the American folk revival, a name like Travis Edmonson probably draws a blank. Edmonson, once part of the duo Bud & Travis, plowed the fertile rows of folk music between 1960-1965. By 1966, however, the team had busted up, and both parties sought their fame and fortune as solo acts. The Tucson Tapes: The First Set captures Edmonson playing a solo set to a polite hometown audience. Unlike a number of folk purists, Edmonson freely mixes popular and traditional material, and seems happy in both modes. In the middle of "Walkin' Down the Line," for instance, he switches to "The Games People Play," sings a stanza or two, and then returns to the original song. He also performs a number of Mexican-American pieces like "Malaguena Salerosa" and "Sabras Que Te Quiero," adding another dimension to his music. Edmonson's formal vocals work well on pop standards like "It Was a Very Good Year," but seem less inspired on folk-tinged pieces like "The Last Thing on My Mind." Overall, the acoustic format of The Tucson Tapes gives the impression that the folk scare didn't end in 1965. While the recording quality is primitive, the historical importance of the set outweighs fidelity concerns. For fans of Bud & Travis, or for anyone who fondly recalls the folk revival of the early '60s, The Tucson Tapes provides a 60-minute time capsule.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/26/2001
  • Label: Folk Era Records
  • UPC: 045507146028
  • Catalog Number: 1460
  • Sales rank: 245,946

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Travis Edmonson Primary Artist
Technical Credits
Fred Neil Composer
Tom Paxton Composer
Bob Dylan Composer
Travis Edmonson Composer, Liner Notes, Artwork
Agustín Lara Composer
Ervin Drake Composer
Huddie Ledbetter Composer
Alan Jay Lerner Composer
Ritchie Valens Composer
Frederick Loewe Composer
Luis Martínez Serrano Composer
Traditional Composer
Joel Newman Composer
John Thomas Producer
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Travis Edmonson, Tucson's Singing Goodwill Ambassador

    This CD is absolutely a time capsule, and the listener is transported back in time to December 1966, and also in place, to the "Old Ramada Inn" in Tucson. It's easy to imagine onself in Travis' captivated audience. This CD came from a reel-to-reel recording which was rediscovered by Travis more than 30 years later, when an aneurysm and stroke were preventing him from performing at the level he once did. I've probably listened to it at least 100 times (and to certain songs many more times) and am grateful to the radio station owner who made the recording, to Travis for finding it, and to everyone involved in getting it on CD. Travis was a performer who truly connected with his audiences (I know the passion that Tucsonans still have for Travis and his music). That connection was due to a combination of his beautiful and versatile tenor voice, his guitar, his sense of humor, his personality, and his pure love of the music. This CD includes perhaps the best of the many recordings Travis (and Bud & Travis) made of "Malaguena Salerosa," the beautiful Mexican love song that takes full advantage of Travis' incredible vocal range. Travis is a natural for romantic songs like "It Was a Very Good Year," "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," and "Love Is." It is more difficult for someone with such a great voice as Travis' to sing a blues song such as "Crescent City Blues," and yet he does it very well, making his voice sound a little less than perfect (at least in the second half of the song) and enhancing the blues sound with his guitar. About 1/3 of the songs are Mexican, and the sound is pure because Travis grew up on the Mexican border, in Nogales, Arizona, and absorbed the Mexican culture, beginning as a little boy who would sing with the greatest of Mariachi bands in the fanciest of Mexican restaurants in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. His "La Bamba" is faster than the more popular recordings and takes a while to get used to, but it is the traditional sound from Veracruz, where the song originated. (Now I think other versions of "La Bamba" are much too slow.) Two other especially notable songs: "They Call the Wind Mariah" and "I'm a Drifter." The latter is a song that Travis wrote, a deceptively simple song that peeks into the soul of this singer/songwriter.

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