Various Artists

The Prestige/Folklore Years, Vol. 2: New City Blues

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Because this focuses only on blues-related songs that appeared on Prestige/Folklore releases in the first half of the 1960s, it's not the most diverse or representative entry in this series. It's still decent material, and a snapshot of the blues/folk crossover happening in the early 1960s folk revival scene; all of these blues are acoustic. With the exception of Jesse Fuller and the far more obscure Larry and Hank, all of them are white revivalists, too, although they're the top level of the white blues/folk revivalists of the period: Dave Van Ronk, Geoff Muldaur, Tracy Nelson, Eric Von Schmidt, Tom Rush, and the New Strangers (with Danny Kalb on guitar and vocal). This is more pleasant and accomplished than exceptional or exciting, the standouts being Van Ronk's tracks; Eric Von Schmidt's "Kennedy Blues," inspired by the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; the New Strangers' "Alberta"; and Larry and Hank, whose session (from November 1965) was later than anything else on the disc, and who do more lowdown funky acoustic blues than the other performers offer.

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