In another fine box set series from reissue specialists Bear Family Records, the history of the American folk ballad tradition is chronicled with Troubadours: Folk and the Roots of American Music
. From the dawn of the recording era and the rural Appalachian singers of the 1920s through the pop crossover singer/songwriters of the 1970s, the traditions of storytelling, political statement, and personal introspection have remained common threads throughout folk music's history. This third volume covers a critical era when the folk revival of the early '60s introduced important artists like Pete Seeger
and Joan Baez
, who paid equal tribute to both ancient traditions and contemporary politics in a decade that would serve as a lightning rod for social change. This three-disc set carries over into the early '70s, featuring artists like Jim Croce
and Harry Chapin
, who brought their folk narratives to the pop charts with more progressive styles and modern instrumentation.