The Weavers


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Given their reputation for being, well, godless Communists, the concept of a gospel album by the Weavers is curious on its face. In fact, however, much of the group's repertoire derived from folk and spiritual sources, sometimes with specifically religious subject matter, sometimes just with church-based origins. In these tracks, compiled from their 1955-1963 recordings, the Weavers address such familiar inspirational material as "When the Saints Go Marching In," "Sinner Man," and "True Religion," as well as gospel-influenced folk songs like "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which concerns the Underground Railroad that helped slaves to freedom, and their own politically charged "If I Had a Hammer (The Hammer Song)," which bridged religious fervor and social activism. Combining the Pete Seeger and Erik Darling eras of the group, this is an excellent thematic arrangement of Weavers music, the only serious criticism of it being that, at under 38 minutes, it could have been longer.

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