Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop
Listen to Samples
Best female folk album of the 70s
Tom Tuerff | That there Phoenix place | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was a folkie back in college about 25 years ago; still am, and "Old Friends" is still one of my favorite albums. Released in 1977, this album got constant airplay in Flagstaff, AZ where I was going to school at the time; McCaslin's fantastic takes on mostly familiar material was fresh, different and surprising.I finally found this disc on CD last year. Of course, I bought it right away to see if the magic was still there. I wasn't disappointed. McCaslin starts off with a Beatles cover; bold territory, since most Beatles covers are terrible. But "Things We Said Today" here is on a par with the Fabs' original, simply because it's DIFFERENT. Other highlights include her bouncy version of "My World Is Empty Without You, Babe," and the Beatles' "Blackbird" and the Who's "Pinball Wizard" played on the banjo. That's right, the banjo. Trust me. It's great.The album finishes off with the only McCaslin-penned tune on the album, which also happens to be the title cut. It's a lovely, tear-jerking song about old friends and "those we will no longer see." Hopefully you'll see space to put this one on your CD shelf."
An exquisite collection of cover songs by Mary McCaslin.
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 08/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"My pet project in my copious spare time this summer has been to put together playlists of cover versions of each Beatles album. It was while putting together such a playlist for "A Hard Day's Night," that after finding Otis Redding doing the title song and Julio Iglesias doing "And I Love Her," than I came across Mary McCaslin doing "Things We Said Today." In a word this is an exquisite cover of the original, done as a simple accoustic song, more in the folk tradition than pop. One of the best that you have ever heard, especially when it comes to the singing. To prove it is no fluke McCaslin also does a cover of "Blackbird" on this 1977 album, although that track is a bit more blues grass than "Things We Said Today."
Mary McCaslin was a country-folk singer whose topics were usually those of the Old West rather than Nashville. In addition to the covers of those two Beatles songs, not to mention a banjo-picking cover of "Pinball Wizard" that is almost as compelling, she does the western standard "Don't Fence Me In" (written by Cole Porter) and the Woody Guthrie tune "Oklahoma Hills." Actually, of the albums she did for Philo in the 1970s "Old Friends" is rather a typical because the only song she wrote on this one was the title song, which, rather surprisingly given the rest of the album, is not the Simon & Garfunkle tune. But when she comes up with such engaging covers as the Supremes' "My World Is Empty Without You Babe" it is hard to complain. There is a certain joy in hearing old songs done in new ways and these ten tracks score a number of bullseyes.
Basically then, McCaslin was covering the same sort of ground in the 1970s as we would think of with Mary-Chapin Carpenter, Nanci Griffith and Lucy Kaplansky today. There is a 1992 collection, "The Best of Mary McCaslin: Things We Said Today" (which reaffirms the place of that particular song in her career), but you can also find all of her albums from that early period on CD: "Way Out West" (1974), "Prairie in the Sky" (1975), and "The Bramble and the Rose" (1978). There is also a "come back" album in 1994, "Broken Promises." Chances are that if you like what you hear on "Old Friends" you are going to want to check out the individual albums ("Way Out West" is probably the best of the bunch) rather than restricting yourself to the hits collection."
Robert E. Doran | Brooklyn, NY | 10/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This wonderful album is one that slipped the attention of most of the music loving public, and it has a simple charm and very sharp arrangements, but it is McCaslins true clear voice,and dead right phrasing that anchors the heart and soul of this lost classic."