perjantai 11. helmikuuta 2011

Smithsonian Folkways

Warning! This article is pure advertisement.

I recommend everyone of you to listen to the great albums of the great label of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings! It is a nonprofit label of the national museum of the United States. If nonprofit record labels is what it takes to make good music, we shall have communism all over the world!

Smithsonian Folkways catalog of albums contains mostly albums of what many a man would call folk music nowadays. And there are some forgotten treasures indeed. The Smithsonian Folkways Recordings label was founded when The Smithsonian acquired Folkways Records in 1987 from the the Asch estate, with the condition to keep virtually all of Folkways 2,168 titles in print forever. All of the titles are still available for purchase and many of them are also on Spotify. I've been lately listening to many of them trough Spotify. I have made a playlist of 428 different albums of Smithsonian Folkways. So far I've listened to 42 of them. They were all great and 22 of them I considered to be so great that they are a must to listen again.

I started the listen with albums of sea songs, mostly sea shanties and foc'sle songs. The sea shanties were worksongs that were sung when working on sailing ships. The foc'sle songs were also sung aboard the sailing ships, but they were not worksongs. They were sung for pleasure in the forecastle where the sailors slept or in fine weather gathered near the fore bitts. The singing of sea shanties was led by the shanteyman that started off by singing alone and was in the chorus joined by the crew. I'll probably write a longer, more detailed article on sea shanties later. However, I will mention one shanteyman that should be known by all that are interested in sea shanties. He is Stan Hugill, the last working shanteyman.

One great album I can recommend is Classic Appalachian Blues from Smithsonian Folkways. But there are many more. Anyway, now I have to go to sleep.