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Texas Campfire Tapes

3.7 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 1990
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. 5 A.M. In Amsterdam
  2. The Secret Admirer
  3. The Incomplete Image
  4. Who Cares?
  5. Down On Thomas St.
  6. Fogtown
  7. Steppin Out
  8. The Hep Cat
  9. Neck Tie
  10. (Don't You Mess Around With) My Little Sister
  11. The Ballad Of Patch Eye And Meg
  12. The Secret To A Long Life (Is Knowing When It's Time To Go)


Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B000001FO2
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #308,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on July 24, 2003
Format: Audio CD
this album is really some of the folkiest, piniest music you can find outside of folkways. i highly recommend it, but i will warn that the recording levels on this album are so low, that even with stereo at full blast, some guitar-strumming is hard to hear. if you want really down-home at its best, though, you're gonna have to deal with the drawback.
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Format: Audio CD
Michelle Shocked was recorded in 1986 around a campfire in Kerrville, Texas. The occasion was the Kerrville Folk Festival, and the recording device was a Sony Walkman. Despite the lackluster equipment, Shocked's spiky, playful personality comes through in spades here, as does the astonishing assuredness of her singing. Though she sounds girlish here--and looks about fifteen years old on the cover--there is a maturity and depth to the songs and the phrasing that announce the presence of a mature musician.
Pete Lawrence, the man who recorded the songs, gets Shocked to explain some of the inspiration for the songs in between tunes, but for the most part you hear only Shocked, her guitar, and the crickets in the background. The effect is both immediate and intimate. "5:00 AM in Amsterdam" opens with Shocked sounding like an incredibly youthful Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell, but with a wry and boyish twist. On "Who Cares," there are little flashes of Billie Holiday, believe it or not, and a jut-jawed attitude of defiance that comes across loud and clear despite the primitive recording. "Down on Thomas St." is a brisk and frisky tune and "Fogtown" (about San Francisco, of course!) has a melancholy longing to it. Shocked is a master at conveying unspoken longing and mood without spelling everything out for her listeners. She's also got a great gift for getting your attention right off the bat, as she does with the opening lyrics to "Necktie":
There was a naked man standing in an alley
And he weren't wearing no clothes . . .
Fans of Shocked's later albums will recognize the Elvis-flavored tune "(Don't You Mess Around with) My Little Sister" and "The Secret to a Long Life (is Knowing When It's Time to Go).
Read more ›
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By A Customer on June 13, 2003
Format: Audio CD
This CD is a major disappointment for a huge fan. One often hears the phrase "for fans only"; in this case, I would say, "fans stay away". "Takes" contains the original CD, which Michelle much lamented and which seems to have started the rift between her and Mercury Records, and the so-called "real McCoy", apparently taken from the actual tapes but with more material.
The problem with the second CD is the sound quality. I have heard many bootlegs that sound pristine compared to this. I literally had to turn my (100-watt) car CD player all the way up to even barely hear most of it. Many of the lyrics and the between-song dialog are practically unintelligible. This is extremely frustrating, especially knowing all the technology that's available now to fix these sorts of problems. This is 2003. Even if she couldn't get a decent copy of the tapes, they could have been cleaned up much better.
This is a very weak first release for Mighty Sound. Hope the rest are better.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is Michelle Shocked's debut album, recorded outside on the fringes of the Kerrville Folk Festival on a Sony Walkman. Just Michelle accompanying herself on her acoustic guitar with no other accompaniment except the non-stop chirping of crickets and an occasional passing car. With no glossy production, this is a very honest way to make a record. The songs are charming in their folky quirkiness, and "The Ballad of Patcheye and Meg" is a gem.
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Format: Audio CD
I just adored this record when it came out, and I'm thrilled to be adding it back to my collection. If you are a fan of the craft of songwriting, the bare bones songs which got an artist that big recording contract in the first place, then this is the record for you. It's sort of like VH-1 storytellers only at the beginning of a career and not once they're a hasbeen. This record shows unbelievable promise which, unfortunately, I have never seen Michelle Shocked deliever with the exception of her breakthrough hit, "Old Woman". I was transfixed by her storytelling the first time I heard these songs, and I never want to leave. Give it a shot.
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Format: Audio CD
This record is simply a great folk album. It is Michelle Shocked at her most basic, with only a guitar, her voice, and a handful of songs. Despite being captured on a Sony Walkman, this recording captures the sheer power and talent that Shocked possessed even at this early point in her career. The performance is reminiscient of the the 1960s and the folk revival of the time. A listen to this album will give you a great collection of songs. All original and all good, I can say that this has been one of my favorite albums since I first listened to it. If you're a fan of folk or acoustic pop, do whatever you can to find a copy of this recording.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm all for live performances, but not this one. The sound quality wasn't there, and neither was the level of performance I'd expect from her. It sounded as if someone other than she were covering the songs while sleep deprived. I'm severely disappointed.
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