Bud Dashiell / Bud Dashiell & the Kinsmen

Folk Music in a Contemporary Manner

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Bud & Travis (Bud Dashiell and Travis Edmonson) were one of the best acts to come from the folk revival of the 1950s and '60s, but while they made some splendid records, their commercial success was limited and they didn't get along well off stage, and several years before the duo finally called it quits, Dashiell was already stepping out as a solo act. Bud Dashiell teamed up with the folk duo the Kinsmen (C. Carson Parks and Bernie Armstrong, Jr.) to cut his first solo effort in 1961, and while it lacks the energy and spirited interplay of the best Bud & Travis sides, it confirms Dashiell's tremendous talents as a guitarist and vocalist. Bud & Travis had a well-known knack for material with an international flair, and Dashiell brought that talent with him for his album with the Kinsmen; the album opens with the calypso-flavored "Pom Pa Lom," features several Latin-influenced numbers (including "Café Panella" and "El Preso Numero Nueve"), and a lively French number, "Merci Bon Dieu." The trio also tries their hand at some more mainstream material, including two lesser-known show tunes ("I Talk to the Trees" from Paint Your Wagon and "She Was Too Good to Me" from Rodgers & Hart's Simple Simon), and "Bald Mountain," which here sounds like standard-issue post-Kingston Trio folk material, though performed with undeniable skill and a showman's flair. Dashiell's harmonies with Parks and Armstrong are excellent, and the musicians jump from style to style with an easy confidence and impressive technique. Folk Music in a Contemporary Manner is certainly one of the better albums to emerge from the folk revival era, even if "Ka-Lu-A" sounds today as if its lovelorn protagonist wants to get his girlfriend loaded on coffee liqueur to win back her heart.

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