The Harry Smith Project: The Anthology Of American Folk Music Revisited (2 CD/2 DVD BOX SET) Box set
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Top Customer Reviews
As Hal Willner says, there are pieces you will love and pieces you might not like. But in truth, this is how the artists in this collection interpreted the originals. And even in the ones I was less than enthusiastic about, I saw something, and went back with a greater appreciation of the original. As a result I developed more enthusiasm for the new performance. This is something to be savored over and over.
I had been listening to Folkways LPs and subscribing to Singout! since the early '60s, and aquired the anthology in the early '70s. I had no previous knowledge of many performers in this set. So this was an eye-opener for me. I even read a review of a person, although generally positive, who wondered why "The Folksman" were in this. My answer is, "we perhaps should not take anything too seriously, and what if the gift of life itself is just a joke?"
Some of the performances here are a lot less impressive that my memory of them, while others (David Johansen, Richard Thompson and Elvis Costello, among others) hold up very well. Willner should be commended for showcasing criminally underrated artists like Robin Holcomb and Van Dyke Parks, as well as for pushing some people (like Beck and Beth Orton) out of their comfort zone material-wise, resulting in some very memorable performances. Some of my other favorites here: Sonic Youth (with trombonist Roswell Rudd) burn up the stage on "Dry Bones", David Thomas is an insane genius, Bob Neuwirth, Geoff Muldaur and Steve Earle all individually show they are up to the task.
There were some classic moments from the night I attended that didn't make it to this release, including Garth Hudson's bizarre and amazing "Recessional Music" on the Royce Hall pipe organ, and Daniel Lanois' mini-set of the Anthology's Cajun songs (accompanied by his super-loud electric guitar). The pre-Mighty Wind Folksmen, introducing some much needed perspective, are rightfully represented here.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow my husband was so impressed with this cd box set. He asked me for it for his birthday and when it arrived even I loved the box it came in. Read morePublished on July 8, 2012 by Heather H
Overall worthwhile,although I won't be listening to it often.Published on February 8, 2007 by Von Reedcompany Inc.
No collection will please everyone. That being said, this one left me a little cold in that the coices about what to include and what to leave out were not the choices I would... Read morePublished on January 2, 2007 by D. Reinstein