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The Alan Lomax Collection: Classic Ballads of Britain and Ireland, Vol. 2

Alan Lomax & Various Artists

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Album Review

This is the second of two volumes updating and expanding folk music releases compiled from various field recordings made by Alan Lomax and many others working for him between 1950 and 1960. The recordings included here follow on from Volume One of this series, covering the Child Ballads from #105 to #299, as compiled by James Francis Child. In many instances, different versions of the same song are included, providing alternate versions, additional or changed verses, and sometimes alternate melodies. Sound quality is variable, of course, due to the changing nature of field recording equipment, condition of the masters, and actual locations. Even as the oral tradition was slowly dying in England and Ireland, it was still possible to find people who knew the old songs, and oftentimes this meant recording a singer in a cramped kitchen or sitting room; having a more open environment, such as a pub's main room, was quite the luxury. This Rounder release is a worthy addition to their Lomax line, with previously unreleased material included on the CD. A highly detailed booklet with lyrics and field notes is also included, with the CD case and booklet housed in a slipcase. If you're looking to experience the roots of English folk music in something other than a lifelessly transcribed edition, then this is a necessity. ~ Steven E. McDonald, Rovi

Biography

Born: 15 January 1915 in Austin, TX

Genre: World

Years Active: '30s, '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Few figures deserve greater credit for the preservation of America's folk music traditions than Alan Lomax. Scouring the backroads, honky tonks, and work camps of the Deep South, he unearthed a treasure trove of songs and singers, documenting the music of the common man for future generations to discover; through Lomax's pioneering efforts, cultural traditions ranging from the Delta blues to Appalachian folk to field hollers continue to live on, with his invaluable recordings offering a compelling...
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