Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Little Wheel Spin & Spin
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
Buffy Sainte-Marie's Wheel Spins And Spins...
Mark D. Prouse | Riverdale (Bronx), NY | 03/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have never understood why Buffy Sainte-Marie never managed to permanently lodge herself in the American listening public's imagination the way, say, Bob Dylan or Joni Mitchell, or The Beatles did. There's no good reason she should not have been a HUGE star. No, scratch that; there is one very obvious reason: too much truth. Buffy never minced words, choosing, rather, to serve them up raw, the good with the bad, the painful with the beautiful. Just listen to "My Country `Tis Of Thy People You're Dying," which (agreeing with other reviewers here), should be offered up in high school history classes as an illustration of how distorted and biased most commonly used textbooks are. Many years after first hearing this album, the song "Little Wheel Spin & Spin" undulates with electrifying power, and sends shivers up and down my spine as Buffy sings, in her distinctive, trembling voice "...add your straw to the camel's load -- pray like hell when the world explodes..." given the state of the planet right now, these words ring with more resonance than ever. And hear how this great woman plays that acoustic guitar of hers; as good or better than most men in the field; certainly as muscular and energetic. There is a pulse and a rhythm to these songs, whether they are gently rocking country-blues tunes, such as "Rolling Log Blues," or haunting story songs like "Sir Patrick Spens" or "House Carpenter." Where the early Joan Baez would prettily sing a folk ballad without being particularly adventurous, musically, Buffy Sainte-Marie plays with her phrasings and with rhythms so that even the most commonly interpreted folk songs acquire new dimensions. You've never heard a "Waly Waly" or a "Lady Margaret" quite like the versions offered here. Buffy infuses everything with her own, highly individual style and creative flare, letting anger and passion and alarm show their edges in her voice. (Just so you know, this is no dissing of Ms. Baez; I'm a devoted, lifelong fan of hers; the differences between these two singers, however, are like night and day).
Seven of the twelve songs here are Sainte-Marie originals, and two others are traditional tunes with original, new and/or added lyrics. The remaining three are old folk melodies given the Buffy treatment. Throughout the album, added instrumentation is sparse and yet essential. Bruce Langhorn's smooth, expressive electric guitar and Russ Savakus' bass add depth to the title song and a few others, but do not distract from the true attractions of this music, which are Buffy's voice and her own guitar. An instrumental ensemble creates an interesting change of pace and mood in "Timeless Love," Patrick Sky and Eric Weissberg play guitar here and there, too, but the overall effect is one of perfect control over production values; nothing overproduced or commercial about this album, which, getting back to the point of this review, may be one reason more people haven't heard Buffy Saint-Marie. She is not interested in providing a manufactured image of chic or cool, or a safe escape from the real world. A true artist in every sense of the word. I like all of Buffy Sainte-Marie's albums. Like Joni Mitchell, she constantly experiments and each record is different from another. If asked to pick just one Buffy Sainte-Marie album as my choice as the most important and powerful, "Little Wheel Spin And Spin," would probably be at the top of the list. If you are a listener with a sense of adventure, and you are just now falling in love with Buffy, check out "Illuminations," a ground-breaking, ahead-of-its-time electronic album from 1969, and "Moonshot," a straight ahead rock and roll album from the early `70's. Buffy constantly surprises and never disappoints...
Mark D. Prouse | 09/10/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My Country Tis of Thy People You're Dying should be played in American History classes. Men of the Fields is a simple, heart felt song of an age that is slipping away on us. Buffy is an awesome folk singer and writer. Her range of style, voice, and material makes her great."
One of Buffy's Best Albums
Randy LeJeune | 07/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album contains nothing but hits. An excellent collection of folk songs for anyone who loves music. Highly recommended."