It’s been a damn busy weekend of workouts, errands, parenting and whatnot. I’m proud though of what I’ve accomplished and I still feel pretty good physically in spite of it all. Time to relax with some vinyl gold beginning with this new acquisition to the ‘ol collection, ‘Woody Guthrie Sings Folk Songs with Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry and Bess Hawes‘, by Woody Guthrie (and gang). Duh.
If I have to explain to you the concept of the album or who it’s by after reading the album name then, boy, you must be dumb as dirt. What you really need to know is that this is a Smithonian Folkways Records FA release. I found it while browsing the local ‘Nomad’ record and music store ‘Nomad’ on the way home from Toronto on Friday. What can I say? I figured it’s been months since I’ve visited the place and there was a sign that they were having a clearance sale. I’d be an idiot if I didn’t, right?
And thankfully, I did, because this is what I found in the very back of the store in some miscellaneous pile I’m sure he hadn’t even sorted through yet. Joined by other such popular balladeers such as Leadbelly, Sonny Terry, shit, you read the album title right? Lots of folks. It’s a collection then of popular folk ballads of hard times, the Oregon Trail, lonely travel, gospel numbers, heavy toil and just about every other type of hard livin’ you can think of.
It was originally recorded for Moses Asch (a Polish-American recording engineer and record executive who founded Asch Records which would then go on to become Folkways Records when the music changed from 78 RPM recordings to LP records) in the 1940’s and re-released in 1989. What I love about the Folkways records series is that each record is unique in that is has it’s own catalog number, in this case FA 2483 and the Library of Congress card catalog number (#62-13027) which gives the record an entirely special air about it. Like I’ve unearthed a true historical relic or something. And in some ways – I did! This makes me very happy as I’m likely the only one with that specifically numbered album. And the album even came with the original Folkways Records booklet in it designating it as such.
Well, I think so anyway. But, then again, this is the kind of thing that a record nerd tends to get excited about. As if the music wasn’t cool enough.