Orriel Smith

A Voice in the Wind

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Orriel Smith was one of numerous young women folksingers with high, pure voices who had the opportunity to record in the early '60s in the wake of Joan Baez's rise to stardom. Although it was issued on a major label, Columbia, A Voice in the Wind nonetheless remains quite obscure. Both the repertoire of traditional folk ballads and delivery may well recall early Baez to many listeners, as well as some other singers of the period like Carolyn Hester, though Smith may have a yet higher voice and slightly more operatic manner. Even for a folk album of the period, the production is sparse and dominated by her own acoustic guitar, Walter Raim helping with the accompaniment (as he did for another, more memorable folk LP recorded around the same time, Judy Collins 3). "When I Was Single," "Geordie," "Black Is the Color," and Ewan MacColl's classic "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" are among the more familiar songs included on this recording, produced by "A Taste of Honey" co-writer Bobby Scott.