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Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie Soundtrack


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Audio CD, Soundtrack, May 7, 2002
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Songcatcher II: The Tradition That Inspired the Movie + Songcatcher: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture + Songcatcher
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 7, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Vanguard Records
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • ASIN: B000066701
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,865 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Babes In The Woods - Almeda Riddle
2. Georgie - Doc Watson
3. The Coo Coo Bird - Hobart Smith
4. The Two Lovers - Almeda Riddle
5. Matty Groves - Doc Watson
6. Oh Death - Dock Boggs
7. Girl Of Constant Sorrow - Sarah Ogan Gunning
8. Winter's Night - Doc Watson
9. Black Jack Davey - Almeda Riddle
10. Wish I Was A Single Girl Again - Cousin Emmy
11. Leather Britches - Fiddlin' Arthur Smith
12. Will The Weaver - Almeda Riddle
13. Little Birdie - Roscoe Holcomb
14. Pretty Saro - Doc Watson
15. House Carpenter - Clarence Ashley
16. Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies - Maybelle Carter

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Medium 1
  1. Babes In The Woods - RIDDLE, Almeda
  2. Georgie - WATSON, Doc
  3. The Coo Coo Bird - SMITH, Hobart
  4. The Two Lovers - RIDDLE, Almeda
  5. Matty Groves - WATSON, Doc
  6. Oh Death - BOGGS, Dock
  7. Girl Of Constant Sorrow - GUNNING, Sarah Ogan
  8. Winter's Night - WATSON, Doc
  9. Black Jack Davey - RIDDLE, Almeda
  10. Sugar Baby - BOGGS, Dock
  11. Wish I Was A Single Girl Again - COUSIN EMMY
  12. Leather Britches - SMITH, Fiddlin' Arthur
  13. Will The Weaver - RIDDLE, Almeda
  14. Little Birdie - HOLCOMB, Roscoe
  15. Pretty Saro - WATSON, Doc
  16. House Carpenter - ASHLEY, Clarence
  17. Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies - CARTER, Maybelle

Amazon.com

The first Songcatcher album contained both traditional Appalachian folk ballads and modern songs inspired by the movie of the same name and performed by contemporary female singers, including Iris DeMent, Julie Miller, and Emmylou Harris. The engaging Songcatcher II, however, is a step back in time. The album's 17 recordings date back to the early 1960s folk-music boom, when long-forgotten singers like Dock Boggs, Clarence Ashley, and Almeda Riddle were rediscovered by a new generation of music lovers. They sang ancient English and Scottish ballads that had been brought over to America and passed down through the ages, bleak songs about love, infidelity, God, and murder. Boggs, recorded live at the Newport Folk Festival, offers his bone-chilling version of "Oh Death"; Riddle, who lived her entire life in Greer's Ferry, Arkansas, sings the creepy "Babes in the Woods," in which two children get lost outdoors and die; Roscoe Holcomb, for whom the phrase "high, lonesome sound" was invented, is downright otherworldly as he accompanies himself on banjo on "Little Birdie." The four tracks by Doc Watson, including the lovely "Pretty Saro," come from his early Vanguard albums, which have long been accessible on compact disc, but most of these recordings haven't been available in years, if ever. Culled from Vanguard's extensive archives, they offer a tantalizing glimpse of the label's rich heritage. --David Hill

Customer Reviews

A beautiful journey through song.
Amazon Customer
When I watched the movie that inspired this cd I just had to have it.
Mary Propes
Folk music, like this, is purely American.
Valerie L. Rader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

140 of 142 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2002
Format: Audio CD
As tireless a defender as I am of the first Songcatcer album against those who dismiss it as little more than slick, overproduced Nashville product (interesting country radio has shunned it, if such is the case) or who gripe that it isn't the music from the film (most of the songs in the film were only sung in short snippets, and the exceptions, such as Iris DeMents stunning version of "Pretty Saro," WERE included) I must admit that the second volume is even better.
Whereas the first volume was mostly of songs that were inspired by the movie, this second consists of songs that, in their own way, inspired the movie. All the songs here are traditional songs, hundreds of years old with origins from the British Isles that were preserved well into the 20th century by residents of rural parts of the southern Appalachians. Not quite field recordings, but hardly pop versions of these songs, the tracks here are all taken from Vangaurd's remarkable archive of folk recordings.
The Doc Watson tracks as so exemplary that they alone are worth the price of admission, his take on the old British ballad "Georgie" (aka "Geordie," in some versions) creating such an evocative tale that the song almost sounds like it could have been recorded anytime over the past 450 years. Other songs here follow suit and the whole package (which comes with good liner notes) makes one yearn for even more.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Jim Bagley on May 15, 2003
Format: Audio CD
In Appalachian lingo, a songcatcher is someone who "catches" (learns) ballads, preserving them with a recording device. The surprise success of O Brother, Where Art Thou? naturally encouraged projects such as the film Songcatcher and its spinoff Songcatcher: Music From And Inspired By The Motion Picture. Songcatcher II moves backward from Vanguard's earlier Songcatcher cd. Here are 17 tracks from the 1960s by 10 true songcatchers (most in their autumn years), with four ballads each from Almeda Riddle and the disc's sole surviving singer, the blind guitar wiz Doc Watson.
Some tracks come from 1960s Newport Folk Festivals. Others, such as Watson's and Riddle's, enjoy the studio sound that justified Vanguard's old motto "recordings for the connoisseur." Variants of two O Brother classics appear: Doc Boggs' fearful "O Death" and Sarah Ogan Gunning's a cappella "Maid Of Constant Sorrow." The latter reflects Gunning's life in an impoverished Kentucky mining town where, to paraphrase Merle Travis, folks owed their souls to the company store. My favorite is Watson's six-minute tale of deadly infidelity, "Matty Groves," - one of the songs brought to America by Scottish and English settlers.
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90 of 104 people found the following review helpful By Jerome Clark on June 2, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Songcatcher was a flawed and peculiarly unlikable film, but if nothing else, it brought two worthy CDs into the world. The first, released last year, featured contemporary artists, mostly Nashville-based acts, who reinterpreted the Southern-mountain tradition in innovative modern settings. Entertaining as its predecessor was, Songcatcher II has the virtue of being the real deal. Its artists grew up in that tradition without ever thinking of it as "folk music." Their performances are unadorned, sometimes even unaccompanied, as in the stark singing of Arkansas's Almeda Riddle and Kentucky's Sarah Ogan Gunning (whose "Girl of Constant Sorrow" is a radical -- in both senses of the adjective -- rewrite, not simply a gender-altered version, of the by now well-known ballad).
A number of the performances are live, taken from Newport Folk Festival appearances in the 1960s. All four Doc Watson pieces, however, come from his classic Home Again! disc of the same period. This is not a complaint, just an observation; it's one of Doc's finest albums, and the most purely traditional of his Vanguard period. His unforgettable reading of the lyrical "Winter's Night" is mountain music at its most chillingly, achingly lovely.
Whether you're hearing Watson, Cousin Emmy, Roscoe Holcomb, Dock Boggs, Maybelle Carter, and the rest, for the first time or catching their songs yet again, you're going to be moved and thrilled. How fortunate, in an age that needs its beauty and truth more than ever, that this deep and honest music is finding a broad audience once more.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By TMD on April 10, 2005
Format: Audio CD
For those who say they were disappointed in the original "Songcatcher" collection this second edition might help. No, it doesn't contain music that was in the film (something that would be pretty pointless given that music of the music in the film was short snippets) but is a collection of traditional folk recording from the archives of Vanguard records. Worth getting if you didn't like the original. Worth getting even if you did.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Colleen Morris on January 1, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Don't get the official movie soundtrack... waste of money. Here you will find songs you can't get out of your head... in a good way.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jawanna Streibig on February 14, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I had seen the original movie of The Songcatcher and enjoyed the history and sound of the music. Then I began to look for a copy of it and couldn't find one, so when I saw that the music was available I ordered it from Amazon. It's a wonderful history of how music began in this country. I love it. Hollywood decided to do a remake of the movie, but it isn't as authentic a story as the first, too bad they have to mess with stuff they don't understand. As for dealing with Amazon, I am always satisfied with the efficiency and ease of purchase. Thank you.
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