John Sebastian

One Guy, One Guitar

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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger

Half of this 18-song set was recorded on August 2, 1981 at the Cambridge Folk Festival; the other half on July 29, 1984, at the same festival; and both portions were broadcast on the BBC before their release on this CD. There aren't any surprises on this disc. It's just Sebastian and his guitar, running through sets that are heavy on some of the most popular Lovin' Spoonful tracks: "Nashville Cats," "Daydream," "Rain on the Roof," "Darling Be Home Soon," "A Younger Girl," and the lesser-known jug band derivatives "Jug Band Music" and "Fishing Blues." There are also a couple of the best-known songs from his solo career ("Welcome Back" and "She's a Lady"), a cover of Little Feat's "Dixie Chicken," and just a few items from his later solo career (the Smokey Robinson homage "Smokey Don't Go," and "Tar Beach," which is marred by a drum machine). The sound isn't so great (though not mortally flawed), the vocals sometimes inappropriately distanced from the mike, the guitar sometimes a wee bit distorted. There's no harm done to Sebastian's reputation by this collection, but it's inessential, particularly as so many of the songs are done better (sometimes even in live versions) on other releases.

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