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Treasures from the Folk Den

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Roger McGuinn’s compilation of traditional music is a treasure indeed. It has the rich feel of a lovingly pieced-together tapestry, weaving together familiar old songs with an all-star cast of folksingers and players. It’s a pure joy to listen to, sing along with, and hum for hours later. The CD combines McGuinn’s classy 12-string guitar, 5-string banjo, and vocals with contributions from Joan Baez, Odetta, Jean Ritchie, Josh White Jr., Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Tommy Makem, and others. "Cane Blues" is a standout, as is "Dink’s Song," "Whiskey in the Jar," "The Virgin Mary," "Pete’s Song," "Finnegan’s Wake," and the haunting "Fair Nottamun Town." And then there is Odetta singing "Sail Away Lady," with an intensity...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
Roger McGuinn’s compilation of traditional music is a treasure indeed. It has the rich feel of a lovingly pieced-together tapestry, weaving together familiar old songs with an all-star cast of folksingers and players. It’s a pure joy to listen to, sing along with, and hum for hours later. The CD combines McGuinn’s classy 12-string guitar, 5-string banjo, and vocals with contributions from Joan Baez, Odetta, Jean Ritchie, Josh White Jr., Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Tommy Makem, and others. "Cane Blues" is a standout, as is "Dink’s Song," "Whiskey in the Jar," "The Virgin Mary," "Pete’s Song," "Finnegan’s Wake," and the haunting "Fair Nottamun Town." And then there is Odetta singing "Sail Away Lady," with an intensity and genuineness that on its own would make this CD worth owning. The recordings are not slick or precious; they are the real thing, recorded with portable equipment by McGuinn as he visited each of his old friends to record a song. Each has an immediacy, intimacy, and sense of presence that gives every song the feel of a live performance, and indeed, some of the musicians' chatter between takes heightens that feel for the listener. There are more elaborate compilations, to be sure, and many that are so overproduced as to strip the songs of their life and soulfulness. This is not one of those. Treasures from the Folk Den gives us music that is accessible to anyone, and it belongs in the collection of everyone who either cares about traditional music, or who just wants to have a sense of what the best of this golden sound is like without pretense. Find out why it is called folk music. This one’s a keeper. --Elena Pinto Simon
All Music Guide - Mark Deming
In late 1995, as part of his official website, Roger McGuinn launched a feature called The Folk Den, in which each month he recorded a traditional folk song in his home studio and posted the results on his web page along with brief essays on the histories of the songs and how he came to learn them. McGuinn used this ongoing experiment as the inspiration for his album, Treasures from the Folk Den, which was recorded in a series of informal sessions mostly in people's homes, none in a traditional recording studio using McGuinn's Apple G4 computer as a mobile recording setup. Unlike the online "Folk Den" recordings, which feature McGuinn solo occasionally overdubbing himself for accompaniment, for these performances he enlisted a number of friends as accompanists and duet partners, including Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Eliza Carthy, and Tommy Makem. The results are a shade more polished than McGuinn's Folk Den sessions several of which have been released on disc by mp3.com and McGuinn is in fine voice, as are his guests though neither McGuinn nor Odetta and Jean Ritchie have quite enough grit to do justice to "John the Revelator". Treasures from the Folk Den, however, is flawed somewhat by the material; while nearly all of these songs are foundation blocks of the folk repertoire, as a consequence they've been recorded dozens of times by a number of major artists including several who appear on this disc, and while these recordings are strong, they aren't that much different than the others that are already available. Treasures from the Folk Den would make a good introduction for someone just dipping their toes into the basic folk repertoire, and it's always a pleasure to hear these artists in strong and committed form, but there isn't much here that longtime folk enthusiasts haven't heard before; it's enjoyable, but hardly essential.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/28/2001
  • Label: Appleseed Records
  • UPC: 611587104625
  • Catalog Number: 1046
  • Sales rank: 93,471

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wagoner's Load (2:38)
  2. 2 Dink's Song - Josh White Jr. (4:17)
  3. 3 Bonnie Ship the Diamond (2:16)
  4. 4 Cane Blues (3:42)
  5. 5 Reel (2:33)
  6. 6 Fair Nottamun Town (3:34)
  7. 7 John the Revelator (2:28)
  8. 8 Alabama Bound (3:24)
  9. 9 Finnegan's Wing (2:25)
  10. 10 In the Evenin' (4:13)
  11. 11 Willie Moore (3:30)
  12. 12 The Brazos River (2:42)
  13. 13 Sail Away Lady (3:01)
  14. 14 John Riley (3:37)
  15. 15 Trouble in Mind - Josh White Jr. (2:42)
  16. 16 Whiskey in the Jar (3:57)
  17. 17 The Virgin Mary (1:59)
  18. 18 Pete's Song (9:38)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Roger McGuinn Primary Artist
Odetta Track Performer
Joan Baez Track Performer
Judy Collins Track Performer
Jean Ritchie Track Performer
Pete Seeger Track Performer
Frank Hamilton Track Performer
Tommy Makem Track Performer
Eliza Carthy Track Performer
Mary Hamilton Track Performer
Technical Credits
Big Bill Broonzy Composer
Joan Baez Composer
Judy Collins Composer
Richard M. Jones Composer
Huddie Ledbetter Composer
Traditional Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Rather Sedate

    McGuinn deserves credit for making this recording of folk icons singing folk classics. It weakness is that it is so respectful that it lacks excitement. I wish Roger had fired up his electric 12 string on at least half the cuts. I saw him play solo about 10 years ago and he was excellent.Some of that live energy would have helped here.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews