Flatt & Scruggs

Changin' Times

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In the mid- to late '60s, Bob Johnston was not just producing leading edge folk-rockers, like Bob Dylan and Simon & Garfunkel. He was also leading some old-school folk legends, willing or unwilling, into little-remembered LPs with folk-rock contemporary pop arrangements. Among those were records by Pete Seeger, Burl Ives, and this one with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. This is actually not bad, though, and while it does feature a repertoire fairly far from the bluegrass norm, Flatt & Scruggs do acquit themselves with dignity. Bob Dylan covers (five of them) figure heavily, and they also take cracks at "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Ode to Billie Joe," and "Four Strong Winds." It's most notable, however, for the Dylan composition "Down in the Flood," which the duo recorded in late 1967, but which Dylan himself wouldn't release until the '70s. Perhaps to pick up some casual consumers, the record also includes "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," which had recently been featured in the movie Bonnie and Clyde. In the actual arrangements, the folk-rock influence is light, and the result isn't that much different from how Flatt & Scruggs usually sounded on record.

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