Tom Paxton

The Very Best of Tom Paxton

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These are the songs that made Tom Paxton's name on the early-'60s Greenwich Village folk scene, but they're not the original versions -- instead they're re-recordings made in 1986. Not politically impassioned enough to be Phil Ochs, although the hymn-like "Peace Will Come" is a moving anti-war anthem, nor as inscrutably poetic as Bob Dylan, Paxton remained a second-string figure to the masses who casually followed the collegiate folk boom of the time. But to those in the know, Paxton has always been considered one of the greats. Owner of a homely, unprepossessing voice that's nonetheless a subtle and varied instrument, Paxton exudes an aw-shucks informality and endearing casualness on even his most "produced" tracks. The song selection covers his '60s and early '70s output; it's a fair introduction to his work, but compilations that include original recordings will be preferred by most.

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