on 30 April 2011
Although I have had an interest in the whole Greenwich Village / Dylan / Baez / Guthrie folk 'thing' for many years, up until now I had always dismissed Tom Paxton as the 'square' of the scene based largely - I have admit - on the poor guy's image. That all changed when I picked this double CD set up secondhand for the princely sum of 49p! "Worth a go" I thought, despite my previous reservations. To say I was pleasantly surprised by what I heard is an understatement!
What we have here is the 'Outward Bound' album from 1966 coupled with the 'Morning Again' opus from 1968. Both albums are supplemented with bonus tracks in the form of single, E.P and out-take material. It is uniformly excellent throughout, and that includes what the other reviewer dismisses as 'children's songs', of which I only noticed one or two anyway ('Jennifer's Rabbit' on 'Morning Again' and the Pete Seeger alike 'Marvellous Toy' which is a bonus track on the same album).
Taking the albums one by one, 'Outward Bound' is a straightforward acoustic & vocal affair, but nonetheless is a highly emotive and evocative album with colourful lyrics and heartfelt vocal performances. I like his very 'clean' guitar picking too - really satisfying. Highlights include 'This World Goes Round and Round' and the bonus E.P cut 'Deep Fork River Blues'.
'Morning Again' on the other hand, sees Tom augmented with some excellent string arrangements which really bring out the colour in the material. I think this is the better of these two outings with the superb 'Victoria Dines Alone' being an immediate standout. It's all mighty fine though, and you get an alternate take of 'Deep Fork River Blues' among the bonuses just to seal the deal.
Great stuff all round and highly recommended, especially to fans of Baez / Cohen / Tom Rush / Al Stewart, etc. The overly Dylan-centric among you should try to avoid comparisons with Mr Zimmy, as this is a different kettle of fish altogether.
on 18 February 2009
I had both these albums on vinyl, I cant think what happened to them! These are fmom Tom Paxtons most moving period, very personal songs highlighted by the strongly anti Vietman war song Jimmy Newman, and going back in history to the dramatic Anti Nazi A Thousand Years. Some of the then fashionable string arrangements are a bit over the top, and I am not sure that his childrens songs fit in with the rest. That means four rather than 5 stars
To hear these songs at their best, Amazon have Tom Paxton Live at the BBC avaolble from Amazon