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Live from Mountain Stage: Tom Paxton

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Album Review

An icon from the '50s and '60s folk revival, Tom Paxton remains a living embodiment of the ideas and music of that era. In the best sense, he's an idealist, using his music to take a closer look at the world around him. His songs range from directly political ("Who Will Feed the People") to broadly social ("It Ain't Easy") to deeply personal ("Getting Up Early"). Recorded between 1994 and 2000, Live From Mountain Stage works like a greatest-hits package, with good versions of Paxton's signature songs from "Bottle of Wine" through "Yuppies in the Sky." Like Pete Seeger, another revivalist, Paxton thrives in a live setting, providing humorous introductions to songs and inviting the audience to sing along. Simple, tasteful arrangements perfectly support classics like "My Ramblin' Boy" and "The Marvelous Toy." Eliza Gilkyson adds fitting harmony on "(I Can't Help but Wonder) Where I'm Bound," while Julie Adams and Deni Bonet add lovely background vocals to "Last Thing on My Mind." It will perhaps seem odd to more cynical listeners, hooked on world-weary singer/songwriters, that performers like Paxton have continued to endure for 40 years with their idealism intact. Perhaps this endurance, like the meaningful music he continues to make, offers a reason to believe. Live From Mountain Stage is a fine recording, perfectly suited for Paxton fans old and new. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford Jr., Rovi


Born: 31 October 1937 in Chicago, IL

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Tom Paxton proved to be one of the most durable of the singer/songwriters to emerge from the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the early '60s. In some ways, he had more in common with the late-'50s generation of folksingers such as Dave Van Ronk (who was 16 months his senior) and even older performers than with the new crop of singer/songwriters with whom he tended to be associated, such as Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs (both of whom were several years his junior). But like Dylan and Ochs, and unlike...
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Live from Mountain Stage: Tom Paxton, Tom Paxton
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