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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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September 2018

1
The Devil Makes Three
70 pts.
Chains Are Broken
New West
FC,JB,RK,TJ,LK
2
Jimmy LaFave
65 pts.
Peace Town
Music Road Records
PKO
3
Malcolm Holcombe
48 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
FB,JBO
4
Cody Canada & the Departed
47 pts.
3
Blue Rose Records
CVL,DHO
5
Jeffrey Foucault
43 pts.
Blood Brothers
Blueblade Records
MB,SZ
6
The War And Treaty
42 pts.
Healing Tide
Thirty Tigers
FCE,AL,MG
7
Martha Fields
40 pts.
Dancing Shadows
Independent
SP,DH,RST,RW
8
The Weight Band
35 pts.
World Gone Mad
Must Have Music
DD,CRS,BM
9
David Olney
32 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music
LM
 
The Black Sorrows
32 pts.
Citizen John
Blue Rose Records
 
11
Robbie Fulks and Linda Gail Lewis
31 pts.
Wild Wild Wild
Bloodshot Records
GS
12
Hadley McCall Thackston
28 pts.
Hadley McCall Thackston
Wolfe Island Records
 
 
Nathan Bell
28 pts.
Er Gwaetha Pawb a Phopeth
Angry Stick
PK
14
Curse Of Lono
26 pts.
As I Fell
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MM,JF
15
Ryan Martin
25 pts.
Gimme Some Light
High Moon
 
 
Stephen Simmons
25 pts.
Gall
Locke Creek Records
TK,HDB
17
Jason McNiff
23 pts.
Joy And Independence
At The Helm Records
 
 
Jim Lauderdale
23 pts.
Time Flies
Yep Roc
 
 
Kevin Gordon
23 pts.
Tilt and Shine
Crowville Media
MP
20
Eliza Gilkyson
21 pts.
Secularia
Red House Records
KG,JJC
21
Boz Scaggs
20 pts.
Out Of the Blues
Concord Records
BH,JSM
 
Lucero
20 pts.
Among The Ghosts
Thirty Tigers
JJ
 
Melissa Carper & Rebecca Patek
20 pts.
Brand New Old-Time Songs
Independent
MW
24
The Jayhawks
17 pts.
Back Roads and Abandoned Motels
Legacy
 
25
Lori McKenna
16 pts.
Tree
Cn Records

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