Tom Paxton

New Songs from the Briarpatch

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An exceptional 1977 album by this multi-talented singer-songwriter, NEW SONGS FROM THE BRIARPATCH is one of Tom Paxton's more topical releases, making it something of a rarity in his post-'60s work, which tends to be divided between his folky material and the children's songs for which he's perhaps best known. Even this album, however, is split between biting songs like the anti-death penalty "Bring Back The Chair" and the Ron Kovic-based "Born on the Fourth of July," and more personal tracks like "You're So Beautiful," adding in a reworked version of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" for good measure. The album's high point is the opener, "Did You Hear John Hurt?," a joyous celebration of the restorative power of music listening that's among Paxton's best works. NEW SONGS FROM THE BRIARPATCH is also notable because singer-songwriter Steve Goodman adds guitar and harmony vocals to most of these 11 tracks.

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