Travis Edmonson

The Tucson Tapes: The Second Set

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It seems that musicians, managers, and groupies have a habit of storing old tapes from obscure performances in the attic. Of course, the tapes weren't old when first stored, and no one realizes -- until 40 years later -- that they might actually be of some historical value. Such is the case with The Tucson Tapes: The Second Set, a live recording of Travis Edmonson captured in 1966. Edmonson had been part of the duo Bud & Travis between 1960-1965, and the two had gone their separate ways as the folk revival dissipated. Edmonson's smooth vocals and cocky self-assurance stand front and center on The Tucson Tapes. The arrangements, just a man and his guitar, are straightforward on 24 folk and pop standards, stretching from "Scotch and Soda" to "Greenback Dollar." While this setting is somewhat austere and definitely folk-flavored, Edmonson, no traditionalist, performs material like "Yesterday" and "Born Free." The sound quality is marginal, but the historical importance of the set outweighs fidelity concerns. The sunny optimism of this album, as with a number of recordings from the revival era, seems to take place in a time warp. While there isn't any crossover from The Tucson Tapes: The First Set, only hardcore Bud & Travis fans will want both sets.

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