Wednesday, March 26, 2008


At the end of each year we ---my co-host Ron Olesko and I---pick 10 recordings that were most meaningful to us. Here we are in March and I have one that I have to tell you about. OK --I already mentioned Tom Paxton's "Comedians and Angels". Another one from a whole different take has arrived.
With beautiful artwork on the cover of this CD to introduce you to the African American experience through the music of the Sea Islands (Gullah), Gospel, Work, and Prison ballads as performed and presented by an amazing group of talented artists starting with Andrew Calhoun. Mr. Calhoun is the guiding genius behind this work and has included so many truly creative and talented artists to join him in this venture. Tony Dale, Runako Robinson, Richard Shindell to name just a very few.

With this CD comes a most informative booklet. Every song is explained historically and its origin. In addition there is a wonderful essay by Mr. Calhoun to start the booklet talking of his background, his mother's influence in his life, and how all these forces led to this piece of work after so many other truly wonderful pieces of work---poetry, music, and general creativity.

The basic thing is the music and the arrangements that should be the thing of most interest to a listener. The originals--if they were recorded--would be wonderful, surely. But here we have these songs captured in the great old tradition in the most technically advanced way to bring all this wonderful history to us as if it were just yesterday.

Many of you who listen to me on TRADITIONS know how much I appreciate Gospel music. While this is not pure Gospel it surely captures it and so much more. You may want to know more. It will be be featured on my next time on TRADITIONS. In the meantime you might want to visit Mr. Calhoun's website. You might also try the website of WATERBUG RECORDINGS.

Yes--It is the same address. Hey --you have to save a buck somewhere when you are in folk music---you know the joke---how do you make 100,000 dollars in folk music? Start with 200,000 dollars.

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