Wednesday, November 16, 2022

VA - Troubadours, Folk and The Roots of American Music Vol.01 - Vol. 04 [2014] (12 x CDs)



VA - Troubadours, Folk and The Roots of American Music Vol.01 - Vol. 04 [2014] (12 x CDs)

In the one hundred years that folk music has been recorded in the United States, the tradition has embraced ballads - mostly new, but some transplanted from Europe, political statements, personal introspection, and much more. Now the story is here from the 1920s to the 1970s and beyond in four exclusive 3-CD sets. Through this music, we feel it all from the isolation of early twentieth century Appalachia through the economic and political upheavals of the Depression, War, and Civil Rights eras to contemporary west coast singer-songwriters looking within for inspiration. The story is here: original artists and original versions in stunning sound with detailed notes from folk scholar Dave Samuelson.

Troubadours: Folk and the Roots of American Music, Pt. 1           Bear Family split their 12-disc American folk retrospective into quarters: four sets covering roughly 1936 through 1972, each following a loose chronology but assembled to make big, broader points about the music's evolution. Even though this first volume reaches back as far as 1928 for the Carter Family's "Wildwood Flower," most of the music on the first disc of this edition dates from 1940 and beyond, with much of it dedicated to Woody Guthrie, who was undeniably the pivotal figure of '40s and '50s folk. Think of this as the companion set to Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music. Where that collection curated the songs of the old, weird America, the Troubadours of Folk series traces the evolution of folk from a communal art to a personal one, one where the focus was often on the singer as much as the song. On this first volume, the spotlight is on Guthrie -- who has 11 songs on the first disc, including "Do Re Mi," "I Ain't Got No Home," "Grand Coulee Dam," and "This Land Is Your Land" -- and his immediate followers, most of whom comprised the great folk scare of the '50s. This starts to surface on the second disc, which concentrates on Pete Seeger and the Weavers, but also finds space to slip in some early Terry Gilkyson and Merle Travis' "Sixteen Tons," the latter showing how folk and country sometimes blurred the lines. Singers and songwriters alike comprise the third disc, which is devoted to the '50s: Cisco Houston, Jean Ritchie, and Oscar Brand are the heavy-hitters here, acts that often brought traditional songs into the mainstream, but Bob Gibson and Paul Clayton are the first signs that the spotlight was starting to shift from older songs to self-penned originals. In a sense, this is all a prelude to the explosion that takes place in the '60s in the wake of Bob Dylan, but this is both fascinating -- and entertaining -- history in its own right, history that's essential to the understanding of American song in the 20th century.  (AllMusic review Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Troubadours: Folk and the Roots of American Music, Pt. 2           On the second volume of Bear Family's extensive four-part, 12-disc series, Bob Dylan arrives at the midpoint, his introduction as seismic as an atomic bomb. Prior to his introduction on the second disc -- or CD 5, as the packaging denotes -- a disc has been spent on "The Popular Folk Music Era," i.e. the sweet, freshly-scrubbed crossover folk performed by the Kingston Trio, the Limeliters, the Chad Mitchell Trio, the Rooftop Singers, and the New Christy Minstrels. This was the sound of college campuses between 1958 and 1962, spirited three- or four-part harmonies on traditional tunes and songs from newly emerging writers, sometimes coming from within the group itself. The focus remained on songs designed to be interpreted then delivered to a wide audience but with Dylan, the perspective became distinct, precise, and personal. His six songs are split between protest anthems ("Blowing in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changin'") and personal songs ("Masters of War" and "A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall" blend the two approaches), and while the former had an immediate impact the latter had a greater legacy, something that's evident on the rest of this set's second disc, which runs through Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, and Eric Andersen, and its third. That third disc rounds up singers and songwriters from Greenwich Village -- Dave Van Ronk, Judy Collins, Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, David Blue -- peers of Dylan's who drew from similar influences, but each developed their own distinct style of writing or performing, something this disc makes plain. Further fallout from Dylan is documented on the subsequent sets but this volume of Troubadours of Folk shows how vibrant and exciting his Greenwich scene was and illustrates just how different the Bard and his peers were from the prevailing folk of the '50s. (AllMusic review Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Troubadours: Folk and the Roots of American Music, Pt. 3           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. (AllMusic review Timothy Monger)

Troubadours: Folk and the Roots Of American Music, Pt. 4          MongerIn another fine box set series from reissue specialists Bear Family Records, the history of the American folk ballad tradition is chronicled on 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 '70s, the traditions of storytelling, political statements, and personal introspection have remained a common thread throughout folk music's history. The fourth and final collection of this series stretches into the '70s and encompasses artists who crossed into the pop world and beyond. Rod McKuen, John Denver, Joni Mitchell, Harry Nilsson, and Gordon Lightfoot are all represented on this eclectic volume. It also explores the changing face of troubadours in country music with artists like Townes Van Zandt, Mickey Newbury, and Kris Kristofferson. (AllMusic review by Timothy Monger)


Pt.1     Pt.2      Pt.3     Pt.4 


Track list

Vol. 01 CD1

01 Goebel Reeves The Hobo's Lullaby 3:17

02 Carter Family I Never Will Marry 2:34

03 Carter Family Little Darling, Pal Of Mine 3:05

04 Carter Family Wildwood Flower 3:16

05 Leadbelly The Midnight Special 3:05

06 Leadbelly Western Plain (When I Was A Cowboy) 2:46

07 Leadbelly Rock Island Line 2:55

08 Carl Sandburg The Horse Named Bill 2:15

09 Dixon Brothers Weave Room Blues 2:33

10 Earl Robinson Joe Hill 2:34

11 Earl Robinson The House I Live In 3:06

12 Earl Robinson The Frozen Logger 2:30

13 Josh White One Meat Ball 3:12

14 Burl Ives The Wayfaring Stranger 1:15

15 Woody Guthrie Do Re Mi 2:37

16 Woody Guthrie I Ain't Got No Home 2:47

17 Woody Guthrie Pretty Boy Floyd 3:10

18 Woody Guthrie Dusty Old Dust (So Long, It's Been Good To Know You) 3:08

19 Woody Guthrie Babe O' Mine 2:53

20 Woody Guthrie Grand Coulee Dam 2:14

21 Woody Guthrie Ramblin' Round 2:19

22 Woody Guthrie Hard Travelin' 2:42

23 Woody Guthrie This Land Is Your Land 2:42

24 Woody Guthrie Philadelphia Lawyer 2:34

25 Woody Guthrie I've Got To Know 5:32

Vol. 01 CD2

01 Almanac Singers Hard, Ain't It Hard 2:36

02 Almanac Singers Which Side Are You On 2:07

03 Almanac Singers Union Maid 2:14

04 Almanac Singers Union Train 2:15

05 Almanac Singers Sinking Of The Reuben James 3:09

06 Union Boys U.A.W. - C.I.O. 2:08

07 Union Boys A Dollar Ain't A Dollar Anymore 2:52

08 Union Boys Solidarity Forever 2:55

09 Sam Hinton Old Man Atom (Talking Atomic Blues) 3:14

10 Dick Blakeslee Passing Through 1:59

11 Vern Partlow Newspapermen Meet Such Interesting People 3:44

12 Pete Seeger Winnsboro Cotton Mill Blues 1:16

13 Pete Seeger The Death Of Harry Simms 1:46

14 Pete Seeger No Irish Need Apply 2:18

15 Pete Seeger Darling Corey 2:45

16 Terry Gilkyson The Cry Of The Wild Goose 2:44

17 Merle Travis Sixteen Tons 2:54

18 Merle Travis Dark As A Dungeon 2:49

19 Weavers Wasn't That A Time 2:58

20 Weavers Banks Of Marble 2:59

21 Weavers The Hammer Song 2:01

22 Weavers Good-Night Irene 3:17

23 Weavers So Long, It's Been Good To Know You 3:09

24 Duncan, Lieberman, Sanders & Smith Die Gedanken Sind Frei 1:22

Vol. 01 CD3

01 Cisco Houston Nine Hundred Miles 3:34

02 Cisco Houston Diamond Joe 2:32

03 Cisco Houston Great American Bum 1:45

04 Jean Ritchie Jubilee 2:14

05 Jean Ritchie Dear Companion 2:05

06 Oscar Brand Bootlegger's Song 2:37

07 Oscar Brand Around Her Neck 2:11

08 Oscar Brand & Jean Ritchie Paper Of Pins 2:22

09 Cynthia Gooding Go 'way From My Window 2:32

10 Ed Mccurdy John Brown's Body 1:59

11 Will Holt Raspberries, Strawberries (Ah! Les Fraises Et Les Framboises) 3:14

12 Will Holt The M.T.A. 2:42

13 Bob Gibson Delia 3:38

14 Bob Gibson Abilene 2:26

15 Paul Clayton Gotta Travel On 3:57

16 Paul Clayton Who's Gonna Buy You Ribbons When I'm Gone 2:59

17 Paul Clayton Pay Day At Coal Creek 3:54

18 Gateway Singers The Ballad Of Sigmund Freud 2:40

19 Gateway Singers Come To The Dance 2:28

20 Easy Riders Marianne 2:24

21 Easy Riders Strolling Blues 2:12

22 Easy Riders Green Fields 2:56

23 Easy Riders Kari Waits For Me 2:14

24 Vince Martin & The Tarriers Cindy Oh Cindy 2:52

25 Tarriers The Banana Boat Song 2:57

26 Tarriers Those Brown Eyes 2:48

Vol. 02 CD1

01 Kingston Trio Tom Dooley 3:06

02 Kingston Trio Scotch And Soda 2:35

03 Kingston Trio The M.T.A. 3:17

04 Kingston Trio A Worried Man 2:54

05 Kingston Trio The New Frontier 2:24

06 Kingston Trio Run The Ridges 2:43

07 Kingston Trio If You Don't Look Around 2:52

08 Journeymen Soft Blow The Summer Winds 2:33

09 Journeymen Hush Now Sally 2:48

10 Journeymen Ride, Ride, Ride 2:43

11 Journeymen Someone To Talk My Troubles To 2:50

12 Limeliters A Dollar Down 2:39

13 Limeliters Those Were The Days 3:13

14 Limeliters Adios Mi Corazon (Spanish Is The Loving Tongue) 2:50

15 Chad Mitchell Trio Dubarry Done Gone Again 2:27

16 Chad Mitchell Trio The Marvelous Toy 2:49

17 Chad Mitchell Trio One Man's Hands 2:41

18 Chad Mitchell Trio That's The Way It's Gonna Be 2:20

19 Chad Mitchell Trio Leaving On A Jet Plane 3:18

20 Bud & Travis South Wind 2:18

21 Bud & Travis Cloudy Summer Afternoon 1:51

22 Highwaymen Michael 2:47

23 Highwaymen Cotton Fields 2:15

24 Rooftop Singers Walk Right In 2:38

25 Rooftop Singers Tom Cat 2:09

26 New Christy Minstrels Green Green 2:10

27 New Christy Minstrels Today 2:45

Vol. 02 CD2

01 Bob Dylan Blowing In The Wind 2:49

02 Bob Dylan Don't Think Twice, It's All Right 3:42

03 Bob Dylan Hard Rain's Gonna Fall 6:53

04 Bob Dylan Masters Of War 4:34

05 Bob Dylan The Times They Are A-Changin' 3:15

06 Bob Dylan Mr. Tambourine Man 5:29

07 Phil Ochs There But For Fortune 2:14

08 Phil Ochs Power And The Glory 2:19

09 Phil Ochs I Ain't Marching Anymore 2:36

10 Phil Ochs Draft Dodger Rag 2:11

11 Phil Ochs Changes 4:35

12 Phil Ochs When I'm Gone 4:05

13 Tom Paxton Ramblin' Boy 4:03

14 Tom Paxton I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound 3:45

15 Tom Paxton The Last Thing On My Mind 3:08

16 Tom Paxton What Did You Learn In School Today 1:47

17 Tom Paxton Ain't That News 1:36

18 Tom Paxton Bottle Of Wine 2:26

19 Eric Andersen Dusty Box Car Wall 2:29

20 Eric Andersen Violets Of Dawn 3:50

21 Eric Andersen Thirsty Boots 5:55

22 Eric Andersen Close The Door Lightly When You Go 3:26

Vol. 02 CD3

01 Tarriers Seven Daffodils 3:46

02 Dave Van Ronk Cocaine Blues 4:20

03 Dave Van Ronk Come Back Baby 3:53

04 Dave Van Ronk Bad Dream Blues 5:07

05 Judy Collins Anathea 4:05

06 Judy Collins Hey Nelly Nelly 2:51

07 Judy Collins Carry It On 2:51

08 Peter Lafarge The Ballad Of Ira Hayes 3:43

09 Peter Lafarge As Long As The Grass Shall Grow 5:57

10 Greenbriar Boys Stewball 2:34

11 Greenbriar Boys Different Drum 3:05

12 Patrick Sky Many A Mile 3:18

13 Tim Hardin Reason To Believe 2:01

14 Tim Hardin If I Were A Carpenter 2:44

15 Tim Hardin The Lady Came From Baltimore 1:52

16 Fred Neil The Other Side Of Life 2:58

17 Fred Neil Blues On The Ceiling 2:27

18 Fred Neil Little Bit Of Rain 2:25

19 Fred Neil The Dolphins 4:05

20 Fred Neil Everybody's Talking 2:45

21 David Blue Grand Hotel 4:04

Vol. 03 CD1

01 Pete Seeger Oh, Had I A Golden Thread 3:30

02 Pete Seeger Where Have All The Flowers Gone 2:14

03 Pete Seeger Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream 2:29

04 Pete Seeger The Bells Of Rhymney 4:58

05 Pete Seeger Turn! Turn! Turn! 3:12

06 Pete Seeger Song Of The Punch Press Operator 2:32

07 Pete Seeger Waist Deep In The Big Muddy 2:57

08 Pete Seeger From Way Up Here 3:02

09 Pete Seeger The Clearwater 5:00

10 Pete Seeger Last Train To Nuremberg 2:44

11 Pete Seeger Hobo's Lullaby 3:24

12 Joan Baez What Have They Done To The Rain 2:40

13 Joan Baez We Shall Overcome 3:36

14 Joan Baez Farewell, Angelina 3:17

15 Joan Baez Daddy, You've Been On My Mind 2:19

16 Joan Baez Legend Of A Girl Child Linda 4:24

17 Joan Baez The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down 3:24

18 Joan Baez Diamonds And Rust 4:35

19 Buffy Sainte-marie Now That The Buffalo's Gone 2:51

20 Buffy Sainte-marie Cod'ine 5:06

21 Buffy Sainte-marie The Universal Soldier 2:20

22 Buffy Sainte-marie Until It's Time For You To Go 2:29

23 Buffy Sainte-marie The Piney Wood Hills 3:43

24 Buffy Sainte-marie My Country 'tis Of Thy People You're Dying 6:45

Vol. 03 CD2

01 Tom Rush On The Road Again 3:34

02 Tom Rush No Regrets 3:55

03 Tom Rush Merrimack County 2:54

04 Eric Von Schmidt Joshua Gone Barbados 3:45

05 Eric Von Schmidt Light Rain 5:07

06 Mitch Greenhill Won't You Tell Me 2:47

07 Mitch Greenhill Highway 301 Blues 3:00

08 Bill Keith & Jim Rooney One Morning In May 3:13

09 Bill Keith & Jim Rooney Kentucky Moonshiner 3:22

10 Jim Kewskin & The Jug Band Three Songs - A Look At The Ragtime Era (Sister Kate's Night Out) 3:22

11 Geoff Muldaur Ginger Man 2:10

12 Jim Kweskin Jug Band Minglewood 2:53

13 Jim Kweskin Jug Band Garden Of Joy 2:21

14 Maria Muldaur Midnight At The Oasis 3:45

15 Jack Elliott South Coast 4:06

16 Jack Elliott San Francisco Bay Blues 2:00

17 Arlo Guthrie Coming In To Los Angeles 3:07

18 Arlo Guthrie Percy's Song 5:00

19 Arlo Guthrie Alice's Restaurant 18:36

Vol. 03 CD3

01 Lovin' Spoonful Daydream 2:22

02 Lovin' Spoonful Younger Girl 2:19

03 Lovin' Spoonful Darlin' Companion 2:23

04 Tim Rose Hey Joe 4:54

05 Paul Siebel Louise 3:43

06 Paul Siebel Any Day Woman 3:04

07 Jonathan Edwards Sunshine 2:21

08 Jonathan Edwards Shanty 2:37

09 Jim Croce You Don't Mess Around With Jim 3:04

10 Jim Croce Time In A Bottle 2:28

11 Jim Croce Bad, Bad Leroy Brown 3:02

12 Jim Croce Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) 3:49

13 Jim Croce I Got A Name 3:13

14 David Bromberg The Holdup 3:01

15 David Bromberg Danger Man 3:08

16 Melanie Lay Down 7:42

17 Melanie What They've Done To My Song, Ma 4:05

18 Melanie Brand New Key 2:27

19 Harry Chapin Taxi 6:44

20 Harry Chapin Cat's In The Cradle 3:46

Vol. 04 CD1

01 Rod Mckuen Love's Been Good To Me 3:05

02 Rod Mckuen Seasons In The Sun 2:49

03 Mason Williams Long Time Gone 2:27

04 Mark Spoelstra The Times I've Had 2:30

05 Mark Spoelstra She's Gone 2:08

06 Mark Spoelstra Five And Twenty Questions 4:53

07 Dian James If I Were Free 3:16

08 Dian James He Was A Friend Of Mine 3:04

09 Malvina Reynolds Little Boxes 1:38

10 Richard & Mimi Farina Pack Up Your Sorrows 3:02

11 Richard & Mimi Farina The Falcon 3:42

12 Richard & Mimi Farina Birmingham Sunday 4:01

13 Richard & Mimi Farina Bold Marauder 4:08

14 Richard & Mimi Farina A Swallow Song 2:54

15 Byrds Hickory Wind 3:32

16 Gene Clark Tried So Hard 2:23

17 Dillard & Clark Expedition Train Leaves Here This Morning 3:53

18 Tim Buckley Once I Was 3:24

19 John Stewart July, You're A Woman 3:16

20 John Stewart California Bloodlines 3:11

21 Harry Nilsson One (Is A Lonely Number) 2:56

22 Harry Nilsson Rainmaker 2:49

23 Michael Nesmith Joanne 3:13

24 Michael Nesmith Calico Girl Friend 2:38

25 John Denver Take Me Home, Country Roads 3:14

26 John Denver Rocky Mountain High 4:49

27 John Denver Back Home Again 4:47

Vol. 04 CD2

01 Jimmie Driftwood The Battle Of New Orleans 3:55

02 Jimmie Driftwood Tennessee Stud 3:23

03 Jimmie Driftwood What Color Is The Soul Of A Man 2:57

04 Obray Ramsey Rain And Snow 3:30

05 Hedy West 500 Miles 2:56

06 Hedy West Cotton Mill Girls 2:24

07 Jean Ritchie The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore 3:15

08 Jean Ritchie Blue Diamond Mines 4:18

09 Jean Ritchie Black Waters 4:09

10 Billy Edd Wheeler Coal Tattoo 2:37

11 Billy Edd Wheeler Blistered 2:40

12 Billy Edd Wheeler Jackson 3:06

13 Billy Edd Wheeler High Flying Bird 2:34

14 John Hartford Gentle On My Mind 3:06

15 John Hartford Natural To Be Gone 1:48

16 John Hartford California Earthquake 3:04

17 John Hartford Steamboat Whistle Blues 3:23

18 Mickey Newbury How I Love Them Old Songs 3:45

19 Mickey Newbury Sweet Memories 3:31

20 Jerry Jeff Walker Mr. Bojangles 3:58

21 Townes Van Zandt Pancho And Lefty 3:42

22 Steve Young Seven Bridges Road 3:40

23 Jesse Winchester Brand New Tennessee Waltz 3:10

24 Jesse Winchester Yankee Lady 4:04

25 Kris Kristofferson Me And Bobby Mcgee 4:22

26 Kris Kristofferson Help Me Make It Through The Night 2:23

27 Kris Kristofferson Casey's Last Ride 3:36

Vol. 04 CD3

01 Mike Settle Settle Down 2:33

02 Mike Settle Sing Hallelujah 2:21

03 Hoyt Axton Greenback Dollar 3:18

04 Hoyt Axton Thunder 'n' Lightnin' 2:46

05 Bob Gibson Blues Around My Head 2:07

06 Bob Gibson Where I'm Bound 2:05

07 Bob Gibson Daddy Roll 'em 2:21

08 Spider John Koerner Good Time Charlie 1:43

09 Shel Silverstein The Unicorn 3:32

10 Shel Silverstein Bury Me In My Shades 3:21

11 John Prine Sam Stone 4:17

12 John Prine Angel From Montgomery 3:45

13 John Prine Paradise 3:14

14 John Prine Souvenirs 3:40

15 Steve Goodman City Of New Orleans 3:54

16 Ian & Sylvia Four Strong Winds 3:30

17 Ian & Sylvia You Were On My Mind 2:48

18 Ian & Sylvia Some Day Soon 2:19

19 Ian & Sylvia Summer Wages 3:30

20 Gordon Lightfoot For Loving Me 2:29

21 Gordon Lightfoot Early Morning Rain 3:08

22 Gordon Lightfoot Did She Mention My Name 2:31

23 Bonnie Dobson Morning Dew 4:27

24 Gene Maclellan Snowbird 2:29

25 Gene Maclellan Put Your Hand In The Hand 3:08

26 Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now 4:34




  1. Thanks for these Butterboy, I had some but not the whole set, so nice to have it now.

    1. There is a lot here Bob Mac, but a joy to listen to.

  2. Not sure how I feel about some of the later selections (Rod McKuen???) but the early stuff, at least, looks wonderful - thanks!

    1. Hi Gummo.
      The last volumes are certainly different to the first volumes. Thats progress, I guess.

  3. Hi Butterboy, you keep being awesome! Now this is a huge compilation with lots of wonderful tracks I had no idea they existed. Fantastic find, thank you very much!

    1. Thanks Wolfgang.
      I hope you enjoy this very much.

  4. Thanks Butter for the Complete set. Stay well.

    1. Great to hear, Professor.
      You also stay well.