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Ballads and Songs from the Appalachians [CD]

Hedy West Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
Price: 13.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Ballads and Songs from the Appalachians + Hedy West accompanying herself on the 5-string banjo, Hedy West, Vol. 2
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Product details

  • Audio CD (1 Aug 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Fellside Recordings
  • ASIN: B0058IA7Y8
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,806 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Gambling Man
2. Fair Rosamund
3. Barbara Allen
4. Old Joe Clark
5. The Coal Miner's Child
6. The Wife Wrapt In Wether's Skin
7. Brother Ephus
8. Polly
9. The Davison-Wilder Blues
10. Lament For Barney Graham
See all 21 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Rake And Rambling Boy
2. Joe Bowers
3. Whistle Daughter Whistle
4. I'm An Old Bachelor
5. Johnny Sands
6. My Good Old Man
7. Frankie Silvers
8. Lee Tharin's Bar Room
9. The Foggy Dew
10. The Girl I Left In Danville
See all 20 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Product Description

Cult American folk singer from the 1960's with a double CD of her three UK albums for the price of one. Hedy West was among the best women singers of the American folksong revival. She came to prominence in the middle 1960's. Writers of the time hailed her as "among the most talented and accomplished of our young folk singers" and also commented "there are very few female singers in the English-speaking world who can equal Hedy West for general level of performance". Although college educated she was in many ways the 'real thing' - she came from Georgia and much of her repertoire came from her family. For many she has never been equalled. She stayed in England for a few years, established herself of the European scene and recorded three LPs. All three are contained here. She sings accompanied by her 5-string banjo. From classic 'big' ballads like 'Little Matty Groves' to lightweight ditties she displays consummate skill. Although she remained active until her death in 2005 (aged 67) she made her last album in 1980. Her albums have become much sought after and she has developed a cult following.

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hedy West - Simply the Best! 8 Aug 2011
Verified Purchase
I first bought Hedy West's 12" Topic LP 'Old Times and Hard Times' way back in the sixties, when I was still at school. I worked on Sundays and that LP cost me a whole day's pay! Actually I'd never heard of - let alone heard - Hedy West at that time but I was looking for 'real' folksinger (whatever they are)after the 'Skiffle Craze' and this LP looked right: the cover, the titles, the liner notes and Hedy West herself were, I suppose, just right. And so was I: that was a superb record. She was simply the best by far of the female folksingers who appeared in the sixties: she came from a family of ballad singers and union organisers, not from a cozy middle class background, so she could genuinely sing about Barney Graham and Matty Groves. Everything is simple and direct with no gimmicks or unnecessary intrusions of strings and choirs. It's good to to hear the banjo rather than the usual guitar.
I later bought the other two Hedy West Topic LP's and I'm delighted to find that Fellside have now released the three LP's in double CD format at a very reasonable price. There's a good booklet too with all the notes from the original releases.
Sadly Hedy West is no longer with us and I regret very much never having seen her live or having met her.
If you have never heard of Hedy West and you like Woody Guthrie, Cisco Houston, Pete Seeger, Jean Ritchie etc, you'll certainly like this.
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Her recordings have been well sought after for years, but were never available on CD. They're gems. She was one of the best female banjo players the world ever had.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The finest revival old time singer and musician 25 Jan 2013
Like the previous reviewer, I originally purchased the three Hedy West Topic albums in the Sixties, whilst a teenager, and they remain some of my favourite albums in the old time music genre and from the folk revival of that period. I was also lucky enough to see her performing 'live' at the Folk Union One, Bluebell Inn, Hull (The Watersons old folk club) in the mid-1960s and she was every bit as breathtaking a performer on stage too. I reviewed this CD reissue set for R2 (Rock N Reel) magazine, back in 2011, and that review is here:

Ballads And Songs From The Appalachians
(FELLSIDE) [...]

There's a savagery to such ancient ballads as `Beaulampkin' (Child 93) that's quite disturbing to modern sensibilities. Beaulampkin, a mason, builds a castle, is not paid, in revenge murders the wife and baby of the man who cheats him, and is subsequently hanged. Almost as shocking is his wife trying to save her life by proffering her elder daughter's hand in marriage. That such songs survived relocation to the New World is unsurprising given our human fascination with these dark tales and the lawless nature of America in the 18th and 19th century.

The late Hedy West had a voice eminently suited to this kind of material, a harsh tonality (not unlike Hazel Dickens or Rosalie Sorrels) that spoke of hard times and struggle. Her banjo and guitar provided exemplary accompaniment to her vocals (occasionally, as on `The Cruel Mother', she sang acapella). This new 2-CD collection assembles all three of her Topic Records albums, made between 1965-67: `Old Times & Hard Times', `Pretty Saro' and `Ballads'.

Ultimately, it's invidious to choose one song over another as everything here is of a very high standard indeed but `Love Henry', `Fair Rosamund' and `The Wife Of Usher's Well' are particularly outstanding.
John Crosby
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Folk Singer's British Recordings 29 April 2013
By NRL - Published on Amazon.com
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Hedy West was one of the more interesting singers from the sixties' folk music revival. Born in Georgia, she was the daughter of poet and labor organizer Don West, and she brought to her performances an authentic sense of the region and its music as well as a high level of professional musicianship. To the older Child ballads, she added her own repertoire of songs from the industrial south, particularly the cotton mills and their female workers. She eventually settled in and recorded in Great Britain, and this two-disc compilation encompasses these performances. It's an excellent companion to her American recordings for Vanguard, out of print in this country but also available from Amazon on a CD from Vanguard's British label. Highly recommended.
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