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Texas Campfire Tapes

Michelle ShockedAudio CD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

Price: $16.65 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Audio CD, 2003 --  
Audio CD, 1990 $16.65  
Audio Cassette, 1988 --  

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Michelle Shocked - traveller, troubadour, a “picker-poet,”as they say in Texas. As a young feminist, she left Texas to travel, Kerouac-style, and was caught up in Reagan-era grassroots politics. Her musical career was ignited by a bootleg recording made around a Kerrville Folk Festival campfire on a Sony Walkman. Released in England as ‘The Texas Campfire Tapes’ without ... Read more in Amazon's Michelle Shocked Store

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for 15 albums, 5 photos, discussions, and more.

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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 (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,239 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars low level July 24, 2003
By A Customer
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific songs by a talented songwriter October 22, 2002
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).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Folk July 16, 2001
By Zach
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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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What a disappointment June 13, 2003
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a gem! July 29, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This collection of story telling songs, sung and told so engagingly, invites the listener to join Michelle at her campfire and enjoy the glow. Irony, sense of humor, characters painted with the brushstrokes of humanity bring the music alive in a way that production can't touch. My favorites are Secret Admirer and Necktie. Drive across the country with this CD and sing along with her, again and again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captures the spirit of the artist and folk music. May 15, 1998
Format:Audio CD
This album, all recorded on a Sony Walkman at a folk festival in Texas, is an amazing and candid portrait of a wonderful artist. Accompanying the music are the sounds of crickets and passing trucks, along with a running monologue that makes the album a living piece of art. I recommend this as a wonderful album for anyone looking for music with heart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I was there
At one time in my life for more than 20 years I was a sponsor of the Kerrville folks festival yearly and one my fondest memories is of Michelle. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Michael R. Wilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Recording level is much too low
There is some great song writing on this CD. In my opinion the writing is much better than her latest CDs. More organic and rootsy and very clever phrasing. Read more
Published on April 24, 2012 by Dizzie
5.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality doesn't detract from great songs
I'm sorry to see so many people grousing about the technical quality of this production. The damn thing *was* recorded on a walkman, peeps, give it a break! Read more
Published on June 16, 2010 by Alan Paterson
1.0 out of 5 stars HORRIBLE QUALITY
The quality of this CD is horrible. One of the songs (#14) "When I Grow Up" wasn't even on the C D. Read more
Published on January 25, 2009 by David A. Levine
2.0 out of 5 stars very poor recording quality
I own several cd's by MS and find her work interesting if somewhat uneven. The sound quality on this cd is very poor I am surprised she allowed it to be released. Read more
Published on July 1, 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars A great look at her early years
Alt-folkie Michelle Shocked was right there when the current "Americana" boom was just getting underway, and I've always thought of her as having a strong, positive... Read more
Published on May 13, 2003 by DJ Joe Sixpack
5.0 out of 5 stars Unpretentious and great fun
I would have loved to be sitting around that campfire. This isthe best album that Michelle Shocked has done. Indeed it is the ONLYalbum she had done that deserves three listens. Read more
Published on March 4, 1999 by John Hempton
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