Richard & Mimi Fariña

Vanguard Visionaries

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Founded in 1950 by brothers Seymour Solomon and Maynard Solomon just as the LP format was taking hold (it had been introduced to the market two years previously), Vanguard Records took full advantage of the longer playing time afforded and began life as a classical label, moving easily into jazz, then gospel, bluegrass, blues, and folk (as Joan Baez's label, they had a high profile during the 1960s folk revival), eventually experimenting with rock groups like the Frost, although folk and classical remained the label's forte. Vanguard was sold to the Welk Group in 1985. The new owners set about revitalizing the imprint's back catalog, and also began adding contemporary recordings of country and pop artists as the 21st century began. To celebrate the imprint's rapidly approaching 60th anniversary, Vanguard has released a series of brief artist samplers (Vanguard Visionaries) from the label's peak 1960s and early-'70s era, including this one from Mimi & Richard Fariña. The husband-and-wife duo recorded two fine albums for Vanguard, 1965's Celebrations for a Grey Day and 1966's Reflections in a Crystal Wind, both full of Richard's jazzy, modal dulcimer playing and Mimi's unsung but solid guitar skills, before Richard's death in 1966. A third Vanguard album, Memories, appeared in 1968. This brief sampler takes tracks from all three LPs and is representative of the duo's work for the label, but listeners should definitely seek out the original issues.

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