Various Artists

Roots of Rock: 60's Folk

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It is certainly true that folk was one of the roots of rock & roll, but not the folk that's on Rebound's Roots of Rock: 60's Folk. First of all, not all of this is folk. Some of it could be called folk -- Joan Baez's "There But for Fortune," Phil Ochs' "Outside of a Small Circle of Friends," Tim Hardin's "Reason to Believe" and "Misty Roses," John Martyn's "May You Never," Richie Havens' "High Flyin' Bird" all comfortably fit that definition -- but a lot of it is folk-pop. After all, you certainly couldn't call We Five's "You Were on My Mind," the Rooftop Singers' "Walk Right In," Ian & Sylvia's "Circle Game," Spanky & Our Gang's "Sunday Will Never Be the Same" and the Chad Mitchell Trio's "The Marvelous Toy" folk in the traditional sense -- it's too pretty, too collegiate, not the protest folk singing that informed the very best rock & roll. Also, what is Traffic's "John Barleycorn" doing here? It's more rock than folk! None of this would have been a problem if the disc wasn't titled Roots of Rock. A title like that suggests that it should give an accurate history lesson, which is certainly not what you get here. That said, it's entertaining as a sampler -- the songs do sound pretty good together and the disc is available for a very reasonable price. Sometimes, it's OK to sacrifice purity and accuracy for good tunes on the cheap...

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