Search - Johnstons :: Give a Damn: the Transatlantic Years

Give a Damn: the Transatlantic Years
Johnstons
Give a Damn: the Transatlantic Years
Genres: Folk, World Music
 
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1

This release concentrates on American folk/rock influence, including covers of tracks such as Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now", Leonard Cohen's "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye" and Gordon Lightfoot's "The Gypsy".

      
?

Larger Image
Listen to Samples

CD Details

All Artists: Johnstons
Title: Give a Damn: the Transatlantic Years
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Castle
Original Release Date: 1/1/2003
Re-Release Date: 4/14/2003
Album Type: Import
Genres: Folk, World Music
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Celtic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1

Synopsis

Album Description
This release concentrates on American folk/rock influence, including covers of tracks such as Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now", Leonard Cohen's "Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye" and Gordon Lightfoot's "The Gypsy".
 

CD Reviews

Pure Gold from Paul Brady
J. Barbee | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is a fantastic compilation for those who love folk-pop but don't care for traditional folk. Many of the Johnstons' albums are heavily centered on interpretations of traditional Irish Folk songs, while this collection sticks strictly to their "California Sound" influenced works. They do some servicable covers of both Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, but where the disc really shines is in its last few tracks, all penned and sang by Paul Brady. "December Windows" has a beautiful sparse vocal layered over lush string orchestration. "I'll Be Gone in the Morning" highlights the strength of the group's female/male harmonies. "Brightness She Came" is a heartbreaking folk-pop ballad. And "Continental Trailways Bus" is quite simply a masterpiece of the California sound.

The CD sells for a reasonable price, and is well worth taking a chance on, if only for the four songs mentioned above."
Stick to your roots
Paul Magnussen | Campbell, CA USA | 04/24/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)

"The packaging of this Johnstons compilation album is somewhat misleading.

Firstly, although it has the same title as the Johnstons LP of the same name, it only includes 9 of the 12 tracks from "Give a Damn", being missing "Port of Amsterdam", "Sweet Thames Flow Softly" and "I Loved".

Secondly, since the Johnstons were schizophrenic almost from day one about the type of music they wanted to perform, a subtitle of "The Folk Rock Years" conveys nothing -- that was ALL the years. A better subtitle would have been "The Folk Rock Material".

Apart from the 9 tracks mentioned above, this album includes:

2 from "The Johnstons"
5 from "Bitter Green"
4 from "Colours of the Dawn"
3 from later album(s) that I don't have to hand

"Give a Damn" comes off better than Colours of the Dawn, but most of the performances remain unconvincing, despite the skilled arrangements and beautiful harmony. They also -- by contrast with The Johnstons/The Barleycorn -- sound extremely dated. The songs that come off best are probably Gordon Lightfoot's. "Jesus Was a Carpenter" works well also, despite McColl's customary disregard for accuracy*.

Mick Moloney told me a few years ago that if it were up to him, all the Johnstons recordings would be buried forever, like nuclear waste. I don't know if he was thinking of any in particular, and if he was including the traditional albums then I totally disagree; but when it comes to the modern songs, I sympathise.

The original "Give a Damn" has also been issued in its entirety on CD with most of "Bitter Green", and in my view that album is superior to this one. Your mileage may of course vary.

*for instance, I think the Pope would be quite startled to learn that Jesus tried to get the workers to organise."