Old Town School of Folk Music Song Book, Vols. 2 & 3

Old Town School of Folk Music Song Book, Vols. 2 & 3

by Old Town School of Folk MusicOld Town School of Folk Music


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After issuing the first disc in its four-part "songbook" series in 2006, Chicago's Old Town School of Folk Music packages the second and third volumes together on this double-CD set, with a final single album to follow. The idea is to have established folk standards, most of them credited to "Traditional" as songwriter, performed by a variety of contemporary artists in their own styles. The scholarly liner notes by Paul Tyler heavily reference song collectors like Francis James Child, John A. Lomax, and Chicago's own Carl Sandburg, explaining the origins and variations of the selections. But the performers have been left to create their own interpretations, sometimes with surprising results. For example, Tyler's citation of the various '20s recordings of "Don't You Hear Jerusalem Moan" doesn't prepare the listener for former Lone Justice member Marvin Etzioni's harrowing piano-and-vocal rendition, in which he adds his own lyrics. Nor does the discussion of "John Henry" ("The song encapsulates the history of African-Americans...") set up the particular performance here, in which the Foghorn Stringband dispenses with most of the lyrics in favor of an old-timey country take on the song. This is not to say that such re-imaginings don't enliven the material; more often than not, they do. For example, Mary Peterson's "Sportin' Life" recalls Patsy Cline and thus implicitly references Willie Nelson's similar composition, "Night Life," and the Lost Bayou Ramblers contribute a wonderful Cajun arrangement of "When the Saints Go Marchin' In" to conclude volume two. Volume three in general proves less adventurous, with straightforward readings of standards such as "Greensleeves" and "Water Is Wide," although Katherine Hall's emotional Emmylou Harris-like version of "Hard and It's Hard" is notable as a different approach. Among all the traditional tunes, it is odd that there are a few songs of more recent vintage by known writers. These could have been dispensed with, particularly Kelly Hogan and Scott Ligon's version of Tom Paxton's "Last Thing on My Mind," a song that makes no sense as a duet. It is bound to be the case, however, on an album with 42 selections by almost as many performers, that some tracks will be better than others. That doesn't keep the overall series from being successful in its goal of bringing folk evergreens back to life.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/31/2007
Label: Old Town School
UPC: 0744302050225
catalogNumber: 3
Rank: 66900

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Old Town School of Folk Music   Primary Artist
Marvin Etzioni   Piano,Vocals
John E. Abbey   Banjo,Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Accordion,Guitarron,Mellotron
Amy Allison   Guitar,Vocals
Kelly Hogan   Vocals
Colby Maddox   Guitar,Mandolin,Background Vocals
Lenny Marsh   Percussion,Drums
Robert Reid   Percussion,Vocals
Steve Rosen   Banjo,Vocals
Harlan Terson   Bass
Marcia Johnson   Vocals
Howie Kantoff   Percussion,Drums
Nick Macri   Bass,Harmonium
Bill Simmons   Guitar
John Spiegel   Pedal Steel Guitar
Eric Lugosch   Guitar,Vocals
Cathy Guthrie   Ukulele,Vocals
Mike Church   Guitar
Sue Demel   Background Vocals
Jimmy Tomasello   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Chris Walz   Guitar,Mandolin,Vocals,Background Vocals
Mark Wagner   Jug
Brian Bagdonas   Bass
James Hand   Guitar,Vocals
Caleb Klauder   Mandolin
Michael Miles   Guitar,Vocals
Ryan Fisher   Banjo,Background Vocals
Christopher Farrell   Dulcimer,Vocals
Amy Nelson   Guitar,Background Vocals
Nora O'Connor   Guitar,Vocals
Arlo Leach   Guitar
Keith Baumann   Mandolin
Tony Dale   Drums
Nathaniel Braddock   Guitar,Vocals
James Elkington   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Rick "Cookin'" Sherry   Harmonica
Kevin Sandri   Guitar
Stephen "Sammy" Lind   Fiddle,Vocals
André Michot   Dobro
Anton Hatwich   Bass
Scott Ligon   Guitar,Autoharp,Background Vocals
Chris Winters   Guitar,Vocals
Jason Toth   Drums
Shelley Miller   Vocals
Mark Dvorak   Guitar,Vocals
Tisa Batchelder   Vocals
Scott Besaw   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Lisa DeRosia   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Laura Doherty   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Elaine Moore   Background Vocals
Kerry Sheehan   Piano
Barb Silverman   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Eric Noden   Guitar,Vocals
Erin Flynn   Vocals
Emily Hurd   Piano,Vocals
Rob Anderlik   Dobro,Background Vocals
Eric Delli Bovi   Percussion,Bodhran
Bill Brickey   Background Vocals
Chris Courville   Percussion
J.T. Cure   Bass
Eugenia Elliot   Background Vocals
Erich   Bass
Joe Filisko   Harmonica
Neil Gadlin   Banjo,Vocals
Melinda Ginsberg   Vocals,Washtub Bass
Bob Goins   Guitar
Nathan Hosner   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Scott Judd   Guitar,Background Vocals
Steve Keefe   Ukulele
Sallie Michot   Fiddle,Vocals
Cathy Norden   Piano
Billy Oh   Fiddle,Background Vocals
Gregg Ostrom   Guitar
Mary Peterson   Guitar,Vocals
Kenneth Rainey   Mandolin,Vocals,Background Vocals
Brett Ratliff   Banjo,Background Vocals
Jenny Rundle   Washboard
Michael Schenkelberg   Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Ellen Shriver   Tambourine,Vocals
Heather Steingruebl   Harmonica
Sue Strom   Background Vocals
Jacob Sweet   Guitar,Vocals
Gail Tyler   Background Vocals
Paul Wargaski   Bass,Background Vocals
Paul Tyler   Fiddle,Vocals
Hump Night Thumpers   Track Performer
Clack Mountain String Band   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Marvin Etzioni   Lyricist
John E. Abbey   Producer,Engineer
Bob Medich   Executive Producer
Krista Ortgiesen   Notes Editing
Paul Tyler   Liner Notes
Eric Robinson   Engineer

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