Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads 3

Pete Seeger has been a fixture in American music since the 40's, gaining some hits in the 50's with his folk group, the Weavers (specifically a cover of "Goodnight Irene"), and, in the 60's, he became a mainstay of the folk revival movement as a protest singer and songwriter ("If I Had a Hammer", "Turn, Turn, Turn", "Where Have All the Flowers Gone") and is still active and on the correct side of politics to this day. And he seems to be a damn nice guy!

This appears to be a 5-CD series, but for whatever reason, I ended up with just volume 3. Here he interprets classic Americana songs, staples of many a singer - from Leadbelly to the Carter Family and innumerable more - for decades. Armed with simply his banjo (and occasionally a guitar), Seeger takes us on a musical trip through these stories that spawned generations - some are from the old country - English & Irish numbers - and some are from this country, and many are tunes that evolved into children's songs, although some of the original tales are far from appropriate for kids!

While Pete is not a banjo virtuoso - he's no Earl Scruggs - he is a fine picker and singer and gives a good reading to all of these songs. I will certainly be looking to add to this selection!