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Antje Duvekot #1 Folk Release in 2006- Boston Globe
Monday, December 18, 2006
- Antje Duvekot, "Big Dream Boulevard." The fastest-rising Boston songwriter since Dar Williams shares Williams's fearlessness about probing life's darkest corners. Duvekot is also an eloquent and inventive melodicist.
- Bruce Springsteen, "We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions." A rollicking, muscular homage to Pete Seeger and the American folk songs he's championed. Hopeful, brash, arms wide and welcoming, this is the American spirit the world wants to love.
- Various, "Friends of Old Time Music: The Folk Arrival, 1961-65." These archival concert tracks of masters such as Mississippi John Hurt, the Stanley Brothers, and Bill Monroe form a precious, wildly beautiful document.
- Kris Delmhorst, "Strange Conversation ." Delmhorst creates song settings of poems by Byron, Rumi, e.e. cummings, and others. Given its epic ambition, it's a wonder what a snug, lovely album it is.
- Muireann Nic Amhlaoibh, "Daybreak: Fáinne An Lae." Danu's singer establishes herself among the finest vocalists in Ireland. Her dusky mezzo is so comfortable, it's easy to miss that she's a superb technician.
- Paul Simon, "Surprise." When he's got things he really wants to say, Simon can work the machinery of the song as well as anyone. Powerful yet lilting ruminations about family and mortality, holy war and private peace.
- Various, "The Harry Smith Project." Smith's seminal folk collection is reinvented by Beck, Wilco, Beth Orton, Lou Reed, and others. Rawboned and sexy, playful and primal.
- Mark Erelli, "Hope & Other Casualties." The local songwriter's most politically explosive album is also his most personal. And that's exactly why it's so persuasive.
- Gordon Bok, "In Concert." The Maine folk treasure's glorious bass-baritone is frayed and weathered now, like a favorite old winter coat. But he wears it wonderfully and may be folkdom's best ballad guitarist .
- The Kennedys, "Songs of the Open Road." The modern folk-rockers pay jingle-jangle homage to their roots, covering Bob Dylan, Stephen Stills, and others. Their "Eight Miles High" is so lucid, you'd think the Byrds weren't stoned when they wrote it.