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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A trip to another world, 12 Oct 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music Vol.4 (Audio CD)
In 1952 Harry Smith released the hugely influential "Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music Volumes 1-3". This album catalogued a huge variety of folk music from the 1920s and 30s, some from well known artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson and The Carter Family and others from ultra-obscure artists, such as Hoyt Ming & His Pep-Steppers. This is currently available as a 6-CD box set.
In 2000, the Revenant label released for the first time the fourth volume of this epic set as a double CD. The formula is still the same, a mix of the well known (eg The Carter Family who appear three times on this setlist) to more esoteric artists like Al Hopkins and his Buckle Busters. The result is a wonderfully entertaining, eclectic mixture of songs covering contemporary politics (Governor Al Smith), the Depression (How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live), murder (Down on the Banks of the Ohio) as well as a number of instrumentals, scat singing and gospel numbers.
Listening to this double CD is like being transported into another world, a world which is long gone and quite alien to contemporary ears, yet the humanity and relevance of the songs is just as powerful as when they were first recorded.
In such a varied album as this, not every track will appeal to every listener and many people will skip a lot of the tracks to their favourites, although most listeners will find some wonderful songs among the set.
Personally I've always found the second disk more satisfying with some great musicianship on sings such as Milk Cow Blues, a highly unusual blues number, I'll Be Rested When the Roll Is Called (dig that washboard), and West Virginia Gals where the singer reminds me strongly of Captain Beefheart.
The CD also comes with extensive liner notes on the life of Harry Smith and a detailed analysis of each song.
Overall a great entertaining mix of songs and a brilliant window on the history of American music in the 20th century.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Anthology of American Folk Music, 3 Aug 2009
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This review is from: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music Vol.4 (Audio CD)
Wonderful raw music of early recorded American folk with all the old "98" scratches and blemishes removed. A must for the enthusiast,
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars headline, 19 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music Vol.4 (Audio CD)
it is brilliant with good liner notes it was a present and the recipient is delighted with it in fact
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