Pete Seeger

Frontier Ballads, Vol. 1

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Pete Seeger's Frontier Ballads collection of 19th century American songs tracing rural life and the development of the American West was released both as a double-length LP and in two separate volumes on 10" discs. Seeger accompanies himself on the banjo (with the occasional a cappella song thrown in) on material divided into three thematic sections, the first two of which appear on this first volume. Immigrants contains seven songs referring to those who came to the U.S., their experiences explored in such lyrics as "No Irish Need Apply." The next seven songs, The Trek, concern the movement west with special attention paid to the "Cumberland Gap" and the "Erie Canal," as well as encounters with "Sioux Indians." The album's extensive liner notes put the songs into historical context, and Seeger's spirited performances bring to life a panorama of American experiences during the 19th century when the country was being discovered and settled. (The second volume recounts the experiences of The Settlers as they hunt, farm, build railroads, distill liquor, and just live.)

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