Various Artists

Transatlantic Folk Box Set

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Influential British folk label Transatlantic is given the box treatment with Sanctuary's limited-edition Transatlantic Folk Box. While the three discs, focused mainly on the mid- to late '60s, compile enough proper British folk to score a Charles Dickens film adaptation, there's a veritable quarry of rock-infused selections that help make this sprawling 70-track collection notable. English stalwarts like Ralph McTell ("Streets of London"), the Young Tradition ("Chicken on a Raft"), and Bert Jansch ("Running from Home") are dutifully represented, but it's the inclusion of odder birds such as Unicorn, Decameron, and Lal & Mike Waterson -- the latter's one-off, impossibly hard to find Bright Phoebus record provides the rollicking "Rubber Band" -- that makes this a riveting listen. While some of the selections are a bit daft -- Mae McKenna's jazzy rendition of Randy Newman's normally devastating "Old Man" is not British folk -- there's so much here that's either out of print or an unusual selection for a noted artist that this "box" isn't just Transatlantic, it's transcendental.

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