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  • Woodyboye: Songs of Woody Guthrie (and Tales Worth Telling) Volume II
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Woodyboye: Songs of Woody Guthrie (and Tales Worth Telling) Volume II


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Audio CD, April 26, 2005
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Woodyboye: Songs of Woody Guthrie (and Tales Worth Telling) Volume II + The Songs of Woody Guthrie, Vol. 1 & 2
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 26, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Appleseed Records
  • ASIN: B0007W7HUM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,757 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

After releasing three CDs of original material since 1994, the nationally acclaimed and award-winning singer-songwriter Joel Rafael felt it was time to honor one of his formative inspirations, the late Woody Guthrie, godfather of topical folk music. On "Woodeye," a 2003 release on Jackson Browne’s Inside Recordings label, the acoustic, San Diego-based Joel Rafael Band recorded 13 Guthrie compositions, most significantly including a previously unpublished Guthrie lyric ("Dance a Little Longer") set to music by Rafael with the blessing of Woody’s daughter Nora Guthrie, director of the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. "He’s one of the true interpreters," Nora said of Rafael, who has played Guthrie material alongside his own songs for decades.

Having made one album "that would bring a Woody Guthrie experience to a new audience," Joel wanted to present more of the unpublished and unrecorded lyrics Guthrie left behind after his 1967 death. "Woodyboye: Songs of Woody Guthrie (and Tales Worth Telling) Volume II" expands "Woodeye’s" scope by shifting the balance of Guthrie originals to include four songs combining Woody’s lyrics and Joel’s melodies amongst its eleven Guthrie-penned tracks, plus a Woody-esque Rafael original. In selecting Guthrie lyrics to complete with music, "I was looking for songs that would show off his tremendous lyric skills and his appetite for diverse subject matter," says Rafael, "For songs that would demonstrate his timeless sense of how things work and the way things are." Rafael’s one original composition, "Sierra Blanca Massacre," recounts a true-life 1987 tragedy involving undocumented Mexican immigrants.

This spectrum of events and ideas is lovingly colored by the authenticity and empathy of Rafael’s trio (Joel on unaffected vocals and guitar; daughter Jamaica on violin and harmony vocals; Carl Johnson on acoustic lead guitar), joined on various tracks by guest vocalists Jackson Browne, Jimmy LaFave (who trades verses with Jackson and Joel on "Stepstone"), Woody’s son Arlo Guthrie, the Burns Sisters, and Jennifer Warnes. Van Dyke Parks, who penned the lyrics for Brian Wilson’s SMiLE CD, provides flavoring on piano and accordion.

Review

"...Eminently satisfying...Possessed of a warm and rich voice, Rafael delivers [these songs] in a charmingly straightforward manner..." -- Rambles, April 30, 2005

"...[A] public service...Don’t miss the moving version of Guthrie’s ‘Stepstone'...(3 stars)" -- Rolling Stone, May 19, 2005

"A tasty set for contemporary folk fans that aren't afraid to have one eye looking back and one looking ahead." -- Midwest Record Recap, April 27, 2005

"Joel really hasn't put a foot wrong in his delightful, affectionate and accurate evocation of the essence of Guthrie..." -- NetRhythms, May 2005

"Tributes to Woody Guthrie are nothing new, but Joel Rafael's is an especially fine one." -- Ottawa Citizen, April 23, 2005

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hellking on November 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Bravo! The Joel Rafael Band and their guest artists (see the list in the Album Description above) have brought us a real gem with this album. They've really retained the feel of Woody Guthrie, showing their appreciation and understanding for the source material. The music that Joel wrote for Woody's lyrics are supremely appropriate and are a joy to the ear. And the original song by Joel Rafael contributes to the overall soundscape of the album rather than detracting from it (as other artists often do with their self-indulgent "tributes"). The band's interpretations of other Guthrie songs are quite masterful as well. And, ever since I first heard it, I have thought that their performance of "Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key" is superior to that of Billy Bragg (who wrote the music for Woody's lyrics). This album is a prize for any music collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Marlene Gray on September 1, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After listening to this cd, I couldn't believe that the seller had given up his copy! I highly recommend this cd. It is filled with wonderfully poignant music. Listen to the words of the songs! Thanks Joel Rafael Band!
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By Kenneth A. Weene on October 22, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joel Rafael performs the music of Woody Guthrie with both authenticity and skill. One hears the great songwriter's voice and instrumentation but it is more harmonic, more pleasing. One of my favorite CDs of all time. (Kenneth Weene, author of "Memoirs From the Asylum" and "Tales From the Dew Drop Inne".)
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