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Various Artists: The Only Folk Collection You’ll Ever Need

This two-disc collection more modestly focuses on postwar American folk revival tunes.
The Only Folk Collection You’ll Ever Need
Shout Factory
2014-12-09

With a title like The Only Folk Collection You’ll Ever Need, one might think this would be the something like the great Harry Smith six-disc Anthology of American Folk Music. Nope. This two-disc collection more modestly focuses on postwar American folk revival tunes with a quick nod and a wink to the Carter Family, Huddie Ledbetter, and Woody Guthrie before launching into the more modern sounds of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Doc Watson and the like.

The commercial successes are here, like the Kingston Trio’s “Tom Dooley” and Peter Paul & Mary’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”, as are classics like Gordon Lightfoot’s “Early Morning Rain” and Tim Hardin’s “If I Were a Carpenter”. While some may quibble with the inclusion of songs like John Prine’s “Angel From Montgomery” and the Byrds’ “Mr. Tambourine Man” (isn’t that folk rock?), there is no doubt that this 30-song assembly of folk style music would serve as a good introduction to those too young to remember the great folk scare of the 1960s and a nice nostalgic trip for those who once had the original records that are now filled with too many scratches to play.

RATING 7 / 10
PopMatters