Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Ian & Sylvia live at the Newport Folk Festival in 1963 and 1
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 09/13/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Like most of the "Live at Newport" series of albums released by Vanguard in the 1990s, the Ian & Sylvia version is not a single concert by the popular folk duo but a mix of tracks from appearances at the famous folk festival in 1963 and 1965 (they must have missed 1964 because that was the year they got married). You should be able to tell the difference between the two just from the way these tracks sound because some of noticeably better than others. But what matters here is that these fourteen tracks (follow a brief introduction by Ed McCurdy) contain live versions of many of their best-known songs. Ian plays guitar and Sylvia the autoharp, while Eric Hord plays lead acoustic guitar on the tracks from 1963 and Rick Turner does the job on the 1965 cuts.
Ian Tyson and Slyvia Fricker had first teamed up in the late 1950s in Toronto and had moved to the New York City folk scene at the start of the next decade where they were signed by Albert Grossman, who was better known as the manager of not only Bob Dyland and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Besides their two-part harmonies, Ian & Sylvia were known for their wide ranging repertoire of songs, which included not only folk and country songs (e.g., "Some Day Soon"), but blues (e.g., "Maude's Blues (Losing Is An Easy Game"), bluegrass, spirituals, gospel, and even French-Canadian songs (e.g., "Un Canadien Errant").
This album is divided in an interesting way, with the first six tracks being those from the public domain, including "Oh Katy Dear" and "C.C. Rider." Then the other eight tracks are all write by Tyson and/or Fricker. In that regard they save the best for the end of the album, which would be her song "You Were on My Mind," which most people will remember as being a #3 hit for We Five, and his elegant "Four Strong Winds," which was covered by the Searchers (although I tend to like the Chad Mitchell Trio's version a bit more). The irony is that each of those songs was their first composition, so it really was all down here from there on. You know those two songs are going to be just fine so it is a question of what else is going to get your attention on this album and I liked the lively "Traveling Drummer" as the best of the rest. "Live at Newport" is a pleasant listening experience and if it would not be your first choice as an Ian & Sylvia album, it is not a bad one to have if you have just one. The question might be whether you prefer live albums to studio albums."