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AMERICAN FOLK (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) American Folk Records / Thirty Tigers

www.thirtytigers.com

Made up of no less than 16 songs, most of which are performed by Joe Purdy and Amber Rubarth with additional entries from John Prine (“Some Humans Ain’t Human”)and Jerry Garcia & David Grisman (Elizabeth Cotton’s “Freight Train”) the material is a delicious selection of traditional songs complemented by one each from A.P Carter, Stephen Foster, Blaze Foley and Wallace Willis plus, a handful from Purdy and Rubarth (combined). 

Simple and sympathetic to the origin too the material they serve up music of another time, the 1960s and prior. One of the oldest, and most impressive is actually from Purdy (“Someone Singing For Me”); the dust-bowl era sounding track shuffles in an ever graceful, and pure fashion. Their voices blend as good if not better than at any time on the record. Excellent use of non-intrusive piano ensures the song flies like it were on angel’s wings. While Purdy tends to provide the bulk of lead vocals, Rubarth plays a splendid lead role on “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, and with it followed in quick succession by Garcia and Grisman’s beautiful version of “Freight Train”, plus her own “New York” and the Carter Family’s “Hello Stranger”. In the two coming in succession there'a a purple is to be sample and savoured for those who enjoy understated, good uncomplicated beautiful melodies). Rubarth kicks up her heels on the song as a little mandolin and rhythm guitar plus Purdy’s calling out escort the perennial home. 

Following the above, the duo ease through Foley’s “Moonlight”, a sombre version of “Shenandoah” and a caring version of Purdy’s “This Old Guitar” before the set closes with Rubarth’s song “Townes” (a beautiful tribute to the gone but never to be forgotten, genial singer-songwriter). Others of note include Purdy’s gentle easing through of “Red River Valley”, a shared, and jaunty version of “Black Jack Davey”, and there's Purdy’s delicious Dobro solo instrumental take of “Pretty Saro”. Such the beauty of his version I could dwell on it more; more would have been graciously accepted since it is desperately short. 

Footnote by sure to checkout the solo albums, and otherwise as is the case with Rubarth and Purdy. While most soundtracks hardly earn the right to be played on the rarest occasion American Folk is something to check out at any opportunity as those of least initial interest creep into one's senses (and in some cases get to shine like a jewel). 

      Maurice Hope 

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May 2018

1
John Prine
67 pts.
The Tree of Forgiveness
Oh Boy Records
JJC,MB,SP,RM
2
Levi Parham
58 pts.
It's All Good
Continental Records
CRS,JB,TK
3
Jeb Barry and the Pawn Shop Saints
55 pts.
Texas, etc...
DollyRocker
HDB,CVL,DHO
4
Michael McDermott
54 pts.
Out From Under
Continental Song City
JDO,LK,BK
5
Sam Morrow
48 pts.
Concrete and Mud
Forty Below Records
MA,JBO,HB
6
Caleb Caudle
39 pts.
Crushed Coins
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
7
Western Centuries
36 pts.
Songs From The Deluge
Free Dirt Records
MF
8
Carter Sampson
34 pts.
Lucky
Continental Song City
 
9
Charley Crockett
30 pts.
Lonesome as a Shadow
Son of Davy/30 Tigers
 
10
Courtney Marie Andrews
28 pts.
May Your Kindness Remain
Loose Music
JV
11
Ed Romanoff
27 pts.
The Orphan King
Pinerock Records
 
 
Joan Baez
27 pts.
Whistle Down The Wind
Proper Records
HD
 
Pharis and Jason Romero
27 pts.
Sweet Old Religion
Lula Records
SZ,LM
14
Gretchen Peters
24 pts.
Dancing With The Beast
Proper Records
KG
 
Old Crow Medicine Show
24 pts.
Volunteer
Columbia Records
GF
 
Will Stewart
24 pts.
County Seat
Cornelius Chapel Records
 
17
Ben Reel
22 pts.
Land Of Escape
B REEL Records
GC,FC
 
Birds Of Chicago
22 pts.
Love In Wartime
Signature Sounds
 
 
Emily Herring
22 pts.
Gliding
Eight 30 Records
RST,RH
20
Jenny van West
21 pts.
Happiness To Burn
Independent
PJ,FS,JJ
 
Mary Gauthier
21 pts.
Rifles And Rosary Beads
In the Black Records
 
22
Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
20 pts.
Years
Bloodshot Records
FCE
23
David Starr
19 pts.
South And East
Independent
HM
24
Cold Tone Harvest
18 pts.
After You
Independent
 
25
Grant Peeples
17 pts.
Settling Scores vol. 2
Continental

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