Folksy Nina

Nina Simone

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Folksy Nina Review

by Richie Unterberger

Like the 1963 LP Nina Simone at Carnegie Hall, Folksy Nina was also recorded there on May 12, 1963, but duplicates little of the material found on that prior album. It isn't just unworthy leftovers, but a strong set in its own right, concentrating on material that could be seen as traditional or folk in orientation. It's not exactly strictly folk music, in repertoire or arrangement (which includes piano, guitar, bass, and drums, though not every tune has all of the instruments); "Twelfth of Never" (which had also appeared on the Carnegie Hall LP) certainly isn't folk music. However, there was also an uptempo piano blues, Lead Belly's "Silver City Bound," covers of the Israeli "Erets Zavat Chalav" and "Vanetihu" (which served as further proof that Simone's eclecticism knew no bounds), and the stark, moody, spiritually shaded ballads at which she excelled ("When I Was a Young Girl," "Hush Little Baby"). "Lass of the Low Country" is as exquisitely sad and beautiful as it gets.

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