Various Artists

Freedom Is a Hammer: Conservative Folk Revolutionaries of the Sixties

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The urban folk boom of the early '60s had a not-very-secret liberal political agenda, and the songs and recordings of its stars, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Joan Baez, and others, were often themed around freedom and change, and it was indeed change that was blowing in the wind as that decade began. But not every young folksinger of the era followed a left-leaning vision, and a few mavericks among them actually had songs and ideas that ran counter to the general liberalism of the folk boom. It's a small group, though, these co-called conservative '60s folk revolutionaries, and they were just as much contemporary footnotes then in their own era as they remain historical footnotes now a decade or more into the 21st century. This set collects period tracks from three of these "counter-folkies," Janet Greene, Tony Dolan, and Vera Vanderlaan, recorded between 1966 and 1968, and if these cuts sound just like the liberal folk mainstream of the time, the themes and aims are quite different, and ultra-patriotic, calling more for preservation and feet-dragging than anything resembling change. It may be that nothing ever truly changes, not when it comes to the whims and doings of humankind, but pop culture is a whole different matter, and it constantly changes its clothes, and it suffers no fools when it comes to prevailing cultural fashion. These conservative folkies simply lined up on the wrong side of the road historically, which doesn't mean they were wrong or they were right, it just means that the wind that was blowing at the time took things elsewhere.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:14
2 2:03
3 2:35
4 3:35
5 3:27
6 3:05
7 3:33
9 2:39
10 3:40
11 2:11
12 1:53
13 3:32
14 3:08
15 2:56
16 3:27
17 2:47
18 3:01
19 2:49
20 1:48
21 2:55
22 2:16
23 2:06
28 2:30
29 3:07
blue highlight denotes track pick