Buell Kazee

Buell Kazee

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A banjo-playing and singing minister who actually had some hit records in the '20s, Buell Kazee was tracked down during the folk revival of the '60s, resulting in a Folkways album that was recorded casually and released without the artist's knowledge or permission as well as this posthumous set, which apparently came much closer to the new recording Kazee was intent on putting out during his twilight years. Rounder was putting out much of this type of material in the '70s, but word is that this slightly prissy Boston-based label could never really come to terms with the equally picky Kazee. The project eventually saw the light of day on the smaller June Appal label. The artist was basically in good form during his later years. The banjo work is not particularly of the hotshot variety, but this is not what he was known for even during his younger days. Fans of banjo playing will be most interested in the medley in which he blends together three different traditional pieces with relaxed grace. This album is more about the deep emotions he puts across through his vocals, which some listeners may find a bit formal sounding for country music, while others may have no use for the gospel material that concludes the set. All in all, fans of Kazee's earlier work will surely be interested in this, as it both holds up in comparison and reveals a somewhat deeper feeling from the artist than was evident when he was just a whippersnapper.

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