Various Artists

American Folk and Country Music Festival

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AllMusic Review by

Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau began organizing their American Blues and Jazz Festivals in 1962, bringing to Europe American blues and jazz players for a series of successful tours, and in the early spring of 1966 Lippmann and Rau switched gears a bit and brought over a package of the New Lost City Ramblers, the Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Band, Cyp Landreneau's Cajun Band, Cousin Emmy, and Roscoe Holcomb, billing it as the American Folk and Country Music Festival. Although it was somewhat less fiscally viable than the blues and jazz fests, it was certainly a varied and rewarding show, and thankfully several of the stops were recorded, leading to this wonderful two-disc set featuring generous selections from all of the participating artists. Among the high points are a haunting, high lonesome version by Roscoe Holcomb of "East Virginia Blues," the New Lost City Ramblers' take on "Coo Coo Bird" (based, obviously, on Clarence Ashley's famous arrangement of the song), Cyp Landreneau's bayou meets gypsy sound on "La Danse du Lac Charles," the harmonica and banjo playing of Cousin Emmy, and the sleek yet rustic sound of the Stanley Brothers on "Riding on That Midnight Train," which, while it is definitely bluegrass in approach, still has an old-timey string band feel to it. Lovingly assembled like all of the Bear Family's remarkable box sets, and generously annotated, American Folk and Country Music Festival is both a valuable historical document and a fun, even revelatory, listen.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
3:07
2
2:12
3
2:34
4 1:41
5
2:36
6
1:34
7 2:20
8
2:46
9
3:32
10
2:37
11 1:50
12
1:49
13 1:05
14
3:50
15
0:59
16
2:58
17 1:18
18 1:14
19
2:56
20 2:06
21 1:30
22 2:09
23 2:39
24 2:01
blue highlight denotes track pick