Folk music runs a giant gamut. This CD compilation from Shout covers all of the major bases while taking a few trips into deep cuts. Lead Belly gets his due with Rock Island Line, while the Carter Family and Woody Guthrie get to touch upon the Great American songs. If you’re a kid just learning about folk music, then I can’t imagine a better first primer. The true music snobs will feel that they’re better than this. They’re aren’t, but I’m growing amazingly tired of those people.

During the Holiday seasons, I’d recommend picking it up and giving a chance to material that feels like it belongs to unappreciated Coen Brothers movies. I had great fun spending the Thanksgiving Shopping Weekend trying to get people to listen to Doc Watson and Dave Von Ronk. But, I know it’s a lost cause. This is music for a time when people cared about the world around them. But, they didn’t have multiple cable channels and the Internet. So, their lives sucked.




1. The Carter Family – Can The Circle Be Unbroken (Bye and Bye)

2. Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter – Rock Island Line

3. Woody Guthrie – This Land Is Your Land

4. The Stanley Brothers – I’m A Man Of Constant Sorrow

5. Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra featuring The Weavers – Goodnight, Irene (Single Version)

6. Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry – John Henry

7. The Kingston Trio – Tom Dooley

8. The Springfields – Silver Threads and Golden Needles

9. Dave Van Ronk – He Was A Friend Of Mine

10. Peter, Paul & Mary – Blowin’ In The Wind

11. Ian & Sylvia – Four Strong Winds

12. Tom Paxton – The Last Thing On My Mind

13. Bob Dylan – The Times They Are A-Changin’

14. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott – Roving Gambler

15. Doc Watson – Sitting On Top Of The World


1. Phil Ochs – I Ain’t Marching Anymore

2. The Byrds – Mr. Tambourine Man

3. Pete Seeger – If I Had A Hammer

4. Fred Neil – Little Bit of Rain

5. Donovan – Catch The Wind

6. Joan Baez – There But For Fortune

7. Gordon Lightfoot – Early Mornin’ Rain

8. Mississippi John Hurt – I Shall Not Be Moved

9. Eric Andersen – Thirsty Boots

10. Tim Hardin – If I Were A Carpenter

11. Tom Rush – No Regrets

12. Judy Collins – Turn, Turn, Turn! / To Everything There Is A Season

13. Fairport Convention – Who Knows Where The Time Goes?

14. John Prine – Angel From Montgomery

15. Odetta – Ain’t No Grave Gonna Hold My Body Down

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