Shaw Brothers

Concert in the Park

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The Shaw Brothers really take one back. As with Peter, Paul, & Mary and Gibson & Camp, one is transported back to an optimistic world view that came part-and-parcel with the early '60s folk revival. The harmonies are tight, pleasant, and happy. Although recorded in the '80s, Concert in the Park represents a world view untarnished by the cynicism that followed the Kennedy assassination, Vietnam, and Watergate. While young curmudgeons may scoff, the pure of heart will sing happily along with "Seven Daffodils" and "Three-Legged Man." "Hot Crawfish" has an infectious melody that is made even more upbeat by a jaunty banjo, while Tom Paxton's "Who Speaks for Me?" is a touching political portrait of injustice in Central America. Another Paxton song, "I'm the Man That Built the Bridges," is a lively piece praising the "common man's" multiple contributions to building America. The duo captures a sense of loss in a melancholy cover of "It Was a Very Good Year," and one shouldn't miss the brothers' version of "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)," the '70s hit that became a Coke commercial standard. Most of this album was recorded in Portsmouth, NH, in 1981 during the Shaw Brothers' annual appearance at Prescott Park. An enthusiastic audience adds a great deal of ambience to this recording. For old fans, young fans, and revival fans, Concert in the Park is a pleasant recording, full of hope and lovely harmony.

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