Barbara Scott

Wandering in the World

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Born in North Carolina and steeped from childhood in traditional folk music, singer and guitarist Barbara Scott spent a good chunk of her adult life on the worldwide folk music circuit, attending and playing at festivals across the globe and traveling to different continents and cultures to absorb the local traditions, from stints in central Africa to a period apprenticing with Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger in London. Surprisingly, 1994's Wandering in the World (reissued in 2006) is Scott's first solo record, a collection of 17 British and American folk songs, most of them traditional. Even the non-trad songs, such as Scott's own "Rocks Hard and the Rivers Wet" and Jean Ritchie's "Cool of the Day," are entirely within the folk tradition. Scott's vocals and guitar are not alone on Wandering in the World, which also includes lead vocals and instrumental assistance from longtime friends like banjoist Tom Paley (formerly of the New Lost City Ramblers) and fiddle player Peter Cooper. A straightforward recording with a warm live-in-the-studio feel, Wandering in the World is traditional folk music minus both the faux nostalgia of the O Brother, Where Art Thou? crowd and the pedantic strict adherence to tradition that draws the life and fun out of so many similar albums.

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