Richard & Jim

Folk Songs and Country Sounds

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Folk Songs and Country Sounds is a fair, though not notable, '60s folk revival album with a much heavier bluegrass and country flavor than most in the genre. For collectors, it might be far more noteworthy for some ancillary contributions by a few musicians who became much more interesting figures in their own right. Richard Fariña, who would soon become an important folk-rock singer/songwriter as half of Richard & Mimi Fariña, wrote the liner notes; Dave Jackson, presumably the same David Jackson who played on albums by Dillard & Clark and Hoyt Axton, played bass. Most interestingly, Steve Young, who would later play with the "Richard" half of the duo (Richard Lockmiller) in Stone Country and then become a cult folk/country/rock solo singer/songwriter, wrote three of the songs; perhaps he also contributed some guitar, as the liner notes do mention him, without specifically crediting him with guitar work on the album. Young's songs are better than Richard Lockmiller and Jim Conner's or the traditional tunes, particularly "Journey Afar," a nice (if typical of the period) rambling troubadour ode, and "Travelin' Kind," on which it sounds like he tried to combine "Wayfaring Stranger" and "John Riley." The picking and harmonies on the LP are quite accomplished, but the vocals are a little stilted and hokey in their good-time shuck.

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