For this CD, Roger's "studio" was a portable computer with multi-track software, and he traveled the Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine to record old friends and early influences Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Jean Ritchie, Tommy Makem and Josh White Jr. in their homes, in borrowed apartments and other informal sites. These modern "field recordings" capture Roger and these musical icons performing 18 traditional songs from their mutual past in the Golden Age of Folk Music -- the late Fifties and early Sixties.
The impetus for this project came from Roger’s concern that our country was losing its musical past as folk music was being pushed into obsolescence by more contemporary trends. His first step in preserving the songs and style he loved was to record and post his solo versions of favorite folk songs on the “Folk Den” page of his Website http://mcguinn.com for free download each month, accompanied by reminiscences, lyrics, guitar tablature, and even evocative illustrations.
After seven years of posting, Roger decided to re-record many of the Folk Den songs for commercial release as Treasures from the Folk Den, this time enlisting his illustrious musical friends in mostly acoustic duo and trio combinations. While taping Joan Baez, Roger also had the opportunity to meet and record with one of the rising talents in the modern folk genre, Eliza Carthy (daughter of British folk deities Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson), who plays fiddle behind Joan’s vocals on the opening “Wagoner’s Lad” and “Willie Moore,” and on the instrumental “Reel.”
Among the other folk standards on Treasures are “Fair Nottamun Town” and “John the Revelator” (both with vocals by Jean Ritchie), “Dink’s Song,” “Alabama Bound,” “In the Evenin’” (all with Pete Seeger, who also improvised “Pete’s Song” with Roger for the CD), the Irish-based “Whiskey in the Jar” and “Finnegan’s Wake” (with Tommy Makem), and other songs showcasing Judy Collins, Odetta, and Josh White Jr.
1. Wagoner's Lad (w/Joan Baez & Eliza Carthy)
2. Dink's Song (w/Pete Seeger & Josh White Jr.)
3. Bonnie Ship the Diamond (w/Judy Collins)
4. Cane Blues
5. Reel (w/Eliza Carthy)
6. Fair Nottamun Town (w/Jean Ritchie)
7. John the Revelator (w/Jean Ritchie & Odetta)
8. Alabama Bound (w/Pete Seeger)
9. Finnegan's Wake (w/Tommy Makem)
10. In the Evenin' (w/Pete Seeger)
11. Willie Moore (w/Joan Baez & Eliza Carthy)
12. The Brazos River (w/Frank & Mary Hamilton)
13. Sail Away Lady (w/Odetta)
14. John Riley (w/Judy Collins)
15. Trouble in Mind (w/Josh White Jr.)
16. Whiskey in the Jar (w/Tommy Makem)
17. The Virgin Mary (w/Odetta)
18. Pete's Song (w/Pete Seeger)
ReviewsRoger McGuinn never hid his folkie heart. It's been stitched on his denim and flannel over the years, sometimes discreetly, but never far away. Nor has he let his homespun sensibility impede him: McGuinn was one of the earliest musical champions of the Internet, an effort that paid off handsomely. A former poster boy for SoCal rock, the once and future Byrdman now calls Florida home and makes magic with distinctive music that shimmers and chimes. 2001's Treasures From the Folk Den featured friends Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Odetta, and garnered a Grammy nomination. - The Austin Chronicle