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Album Review

Anne Hills and Cindy Mangsen have made perfectly fine albums on their own, but together they tend to magnify their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. When they united for this effort in the mid-'90s the result was rather special. Part of this album's appeal lies in the songs they selected, which include such whimsically humorous fare as "Bill Morgan and His Gal" and "The Housewife's Lament," sweetly melancholy songs like the Civil War lament "Richmond on the James" and "Master Kilby," and a sprinkling of old-fashioned devotional songs thrown in for good measure ("Where We'll Never Grow Old," "Evening Shade"). But a large part of its appeal is in the collaborators they invited to participate in the sessions — these include such fairly obvious choices as Tom Paxton (on the very fine "Mary Anne") and John Hartford (on the even better "Wolves a-Howlin'), as well as more obscure artists. Of the last, the best performances come courtesy of the Volo Bogtrotters ("Bill Morgan and His Gal"), Gordon Bok (the gorgeous "Master Kilby"), and John Roberts and Tony Barrand, who sing along on a stunning second version of the title track. One or two songs are less than compelling, but, taken overall, this is one of the most satisfying folk albums of the 1990s.


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

A stunning soprano tone has made Anne Hills one of contemporary folk music's premier vocalists. But her affinity for choosing unforgettable material and her knack for writing heartfelt original songs have brought her to the upper echelons of her craft. In addition to her memorable solo albums, Hills has recorded duo albums with Tom Paxton, Cindy Mangsen, and Chicago-based songwriter Michael Smith, and trio albums with Mangsen and Priscilla Herdman. A veteran of the Chicago folk scene of the 1980s,...
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Never Grow Old, Anne Hills
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