Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Sings Woody Guthrie
Genres: Folk, Pop
Listen to Samples
Woody's best songs done by Woody's best friend...
William E. Adams | Midland, Texas USA | 12/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album first came out in the late l950's, not long before Cisco died and after Woody was incapacitated by Huntington's Chorea. Woody's songs were reaching a mass audience for the first time, thanks to Kingston Trio records and Pete Seeger concerts. This is just wonderful. Cisco is somewhat forgotten now, and one can argue as to who does Guthrie songs best...another forgotten non-commercial performer, Logan English, put out a great Woody album on 20th-Century Fox records around the same time Cisco did this one for Vanguard. Sadly, Mr. English's work has not been transferred to CD. Happily, these Cisco performances for Vanguard are available. It's hard to deny that Arlo Guthrie performs his dad's songbook rather well, but my vote goes to Cisco. He knew Woody better than Arlo did, because of Woody's final decade of illness. Some fans think these versions are a bit overproduced, but I've heard just about every recording Cisco ever made, and I like this collection a great deal. I used to play my vinyl copy nearly every week for 25 years. Any serious fan of Woody's material needs BOTH his own versions, and Cisco's. A more pleasing singer and more skilled guitarist than Woody, Cisco's performances wear well, while Woody singing Woody makes the lyrics come to life with incredible emotional power. The more one knows about both men, the more one can appreciate their differences and enjoy each for his unique strengths."
Great fiddling while cisco sings
Steven Lubet | Chicago | 05/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Everyone agrees that Cisco Houston is one of the great interpreters of Woody Guthrie's work. Almost always overlooked on this album, however, is the phenomenal fiddle and mandolin accompaniment by Eric Weissberg. Weissberg is better known as a banjo soloist -- he was one of the "dueling banjos" in Deliverance -- but on this album his backup riffs alone are worth the price. He accentuates Houston's voice perfectly, especially on the fiddle numbers. It's a shame that there is only one CD of Weissberg's work available -- so buy this one if you want to hear a master folk instrumentalist."
FIVE STAR FOLK MASTERWORK !
RBSProds | Deep in the heart of Texas | 07/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Five Huge Stars. In the 1960's in the midst of being throughly captivated by the "Boy Wonder of Folk Singing", young Bob Dylan, the magazine "Hi-Fi Stereo Review" alerted me to a "Recording of Special Merit" by a recently deceased folk singer associate of Woody Guthrie's. I bought it on their recommendation and was blown away by an overpowering work of beauty, imagery, and honesty. Stark beautiful scenes sprang from the vinyl record that were more powerful than those conjured up by Dylan. After all, they were Guthrie's images seen with his own eyes while riding the rails and traveling the country. And Cisco was a unique interpreter.
This CD is loaded with wall-to-wall Pieces D'Resistance. From "Pastures of Plenty", I was captivated by phrases like "we come with the dust and leave with the wind". WOW! "Buffalo Skinners" is a huge dose of trail-riding reality compared to the glamor of slick western movies seen on TV and in movies. Watch out for those stickers, cowboy! When Houston sings the lyric "Cast your eye upon the greatest thing yet built by human hands", you can literally see the Grand Coulee Dam painted in a urgent word-picture that is almost breathtaking. "Talking Fishing Blues" gives the secret of fishing away in a unique folk song art form: talking the lyric in a 'friendly' way. "Sinking of the Reuben James" was enough to keep me away from any thoughts of joining the Navy. LOL.
The wonder of this recording is that it really is a travel-scape that makes you want to jump in the car and go take a look for yourself. Cisco Houston was A MAN among folk singers. I'm sure Bob Dylan was listening. Five Stars? Nah, I would give it SIX Stars.
(Note: Now when can we expect the excellent Verve Folkways album "Passing Through" on CD? We need to hear "Down in the Valley", "Barbara Allen", "...Worried Man", and "Trouble in Mind" in Cisco's unique voice and approach on CD. If you Please!!)."