Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Folk n stuff

I promised after the last post that the next one (that's this one, yes?) would be a bumper post. And, since it's been an eternity since I last posted, so it shall be. Three tracks up today, not exactly linked as such, but I'm in a folky mood so here are some folky songs.

First up, is Odetta (pictured) with her sublime reading of "Gallows Pole". It always amazes me that when talk turns to the origins of modern folk, Odetta never makes it into the same paragraphs as the likes of Dylan and Pete Seeger. Her part in the genesis of US folk is undeniable, yet eternally underplayed. Listen to this track, and you'll see exactly what I mean.

Download: Odetta - Gallows Pole

Whilst we're on a folk trip, the second of the three tracks I'm posting today, is perhaps by an unlikely outfit. The name Chumbawamba usually conjures a painful grimace and memories of THAT song but their recent rebirth as Chumbawamba Acoustic has seen them garner critical acclaim as a slimmed-down four piece folk band. I've seen them live twice in the last couple of years, and they are far, far better than you might imagine. Their last studio album, 2006's "A Singsong And A Scrap", is a veritable masterpiece, and our second track today is taken from that. It's best explained by the introduction the band themselves gave it when I saw them in 2006 - "It's a bit like Onward Christian Soldiers, but with irony!".

Download: Chumbawamba - Walking Into Battle With The Lord

Last, but certainly not least, we're carrying on the a capella theme started with the Chumbawamba track. Here's a piece of brilliance from the mighty Billy Bragg, who I'm seeing live next month as well, so it's nicely appropriate. This is "Tender Comrade" from his superlative "Workers Playtime" album. For no real reason other than I think it's ace.

Download: Billy Bragg - Tender Comrade

As always... enjoy.