PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

www.wbshop.com

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > TV on DVD Reviews > Washington Square Memoirs

wpe30943.gif (20806 bytes)

 

Various Artists

Washington Square Memoirs - The Great Urban Folk Boom 1950-1970 (Rhino R2 74264 ) 2001

Return to Box Sets Report Card

Sharper Image

Copyright 2001   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved. Posted: June 5, 2001.

Description
The urban folk boom of the fifties and sixties took the music world by storm, and yet there is too little out there to remind us of the power and purity of their artistic vision.  As Pete Seeger, one of the founders of the movement, modestly put it in the liner notes, "...a very interesting phenomenon occurred where city people picked up what had been done in the countryside for centuries and called it a folk-song revival."  Starting, naturally, with Woody Guthrie, this set also covers most of the big names of the Village folk boom including The Weavers, the Kingston Trio, Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Fred Neil, Bob Dylan and many more.  But even more interesting, you get to see forgotten or overlooked artists like Dave Van Ronk, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Judy Roderick.
What's Good About It?
First of all, Washington Square Memoirs has some of the biggest hits and classics of the era, like The Weavers' "Wasn't That A Time," Peter Paul & Mary's "Blowing In the Wind" and the Rooftop Singers "Walk Right In."  The collection doesn't usually pick the most obvious choices though.  For example, Jesse Colin Young is best known to the world at large for his hit version of "Get Together" from his band the Youngbloods.  Instead, the set has Young's song "Four In the Morning" while using singer/actor/comedian Hamilton Camp's earlier acoustic version of "Get Together."  And while it is a given that Bob Dylan would be on here, it's adventurous to include the lesser known "Boots of Spanish Leather" than his more obvious hit singles.  Even more interesting are some more obscure choices, like the Holy Modal Rounders' delightfully twisted "Euphoria," Judy Henske's smoky "High Flying Bird" and Taj Mahal's traditional-sounding "Candy Man."   Then you get to reevaluate some artists that you might not think of as folk like John Denver's "Bells of Rhymney" and country singer Hoyt Axton's "Greenback Dollar."
What's Bad About It?
Not too much.  This collection is scholarly in its info, reprises forgotten musical treasures and is pretty close to comprehensive on its overview of this musical genre.
What's Missing?
Well, Rhino acknowledges this right in the liner notes.  "Joni Mitchell, Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel and James Taylor do not appear on this compilation due to licensing restrictions."  Those are significant absences, but obviously they tried to get them for the collection, so you can't really blame the compilers.  There are probably a few other artists that also might be included.  For example, Leonard Cohen is only represented with Judy Collin's version of his song "Suzanne," I think his own recordings should probably be included too.  But for the most part, this is as varied and complete a folk collection as you are likely to ever get.
PopEntertainment.com final grade: A
It's a great history lesson but it doesn't play like one.  It just plays like good music.   You also come to respect how diverse the musical scene that sprouted out of Bleecker and MacDougal really was.  All in all, this is a terrific collection.

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright 2001   PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved. Posted: June 5, 2001.

herpanacine.gif (6503 bytes)