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MERLE TRAVIS 'Folk Songs Of the Hills (Import)' BCD-15636-CD

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This new 24 song CD combines two of the more interesting recording projects of the late Merle Travis. Although 17 years separated his "Folk Songs of the Hills" cuts (originally recorded in 1947 as a 4-disc 78rpm album) and his 1963 "Songs of The Coal Miners" LP, they are similar enough in nature to make a sensible and appropiate re-issue pairing. Travis uses informal spoken introductions to many of the songs and all feature just his own distinctive guitar accompaniment. While the 63 session was an interesting and unusual project for a commercial label at the time and has a few neat songs, none of it stands out the way the earlier material does. Travis is at his best on older pieces like I AM A PILGRIM, THAT'S ALL, NINE POUND HAMMER, MUSKRAT and his own classics DARK AS A DUNGEON and SIXTEEN TONS. Fine country music with a nice booklet of notes by Archie Green and some neat old mining photos. BLACK GOLD, LOST JOHN, THE MINER'S WIFE, BARBARA ALLEN, BLOODY BRETHITT COUNTY, JOHN BOLIN