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Old Friends

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Album Review

McCaslin wrote only one of the ten songs (the title track) on her fourth album. The remainder of the program stressed her abilities as one of folk music's most eclectic interpretive artists, as in addition to folk-country tunes, there were two Lennon-McCartney compositions ("Things We Said Today" and "Blackbird," both among her best-known tracks); the Who's "Pinball Wizard"; the Supremes' "My World Is Empty Without You"; Cole Porter's "Don't Fence Me In"; and the huge 1950s pop hit "The Wayward Wind." At a glance, the breadth of repertoire seems outlandish. But McCaslin's vocals are consistently strong, and she does make all of these work as folk songs (with occasional light rhythm section), without sounding like a dilettante. Perhaps "Pinball Wizard" would have been better, though, with just McCaslin's voice and banjo and without the rhythm section.

Customer Reviews

A Little-Known Gem

I remember when I first bought this on vinyl. The attraction was the cover versions of so many well-known pop and rock songs, but Mary's inventive interpretations just won me over. Her versions of "Things We Said Today" and "My World Is Empty Without You Babe" just take the songs in entirely different, yet incredibly enjoyable directions. Trying pairing up "Oklahoma Hills" with Michael Nesmith's "Texas Morning" -- you'll love the combination. The title track, though, just about outshines all the covers. A song of friends loved and friends lost, it is heartbreakingly lovely. I highly recommend this for any first-time listeners of Mary McCaslin.

Prairie In The Sky

I know 'Prairie In The Sky' isn't in this album, but hearing it a few years ago was my first introduction to Mary McCaslin. It caused me to break down and weep, something unheard of for me. It got me by surprise. I'm a 65-year-old Vietnam vet; even been a cowboy. The song said something to me.

Don't miss this music

Mary's music has enriched my life in more ways than I can remember. Her songs are sung from the heart. Some of the older stuff can be a bit moody, but if you're suffering from a "Broken Promise" those older songs will hit home. I love her songs of the west, her nostalgia for a simpler time. If you've never heard her before, try a snippet from "Old Friends" the last cut on the CD.


Born: December 22, 1946 in Indianapolis, IN

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s

As a singer/songwriter who wrote story-songs combining elements of country, folk, and pop, Mary McCaslin was one of the most appealing contemporary folk performers of the 1970s. As a country-folk singer working totally outside of the Nashville sphere, singing of prairies and Old West images in almost mythic terms, her audience was confined to the folk circuit (though within that boundary, it was very wide). Yet her ability to appeal to rock and pop listeners helped pave the way for country-folk-pop...
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Customer Ratings