Folkways LP # FA 2022 (and Folkways 22)
Folkways LPs were released under two numbers. This 10" LP was later released on a 12" version with the 900 Miles and other R.R. Songs. It is now available from the Smithsonian on non-professional CD teamed attractively with the same 900 Miles.
Track Listing:Side 1
Many of these titles are on other compilations, but in quite different performances. Listening to a younger, less vibrant and somewhat tentative Cisco from 1952 is a relevation. He has not been the center of attention much, but was more often Woody's backup musician and vocalist. At this early date, on center stage, he is a comparatively timid. Yet the singing is straightforward and delightful, the playing perfectly suited to the lyrics.
Many of these songs are new to me, and I loved them on first listen. Cisco's voice is a bit rougher, less tenor, more cowboy. It sounds as if he has sung these on the trail; the smoke of a campfire and the prickle of the cholla resonates through these songs.
And one that certainly should have appeared on the Folkways Best of CD year is the final cut "Tying a Knot in the Devil's Tail", an effective combination of whimsy and wit that sounds wonderful every time I listen. It is the perfect conclusion to a charming LP.
And lookee here: The French released this on an LP together with the Railroad Songs LP, and, apparently these entire notes crammed on the back. Can't imagine it was a big seller, but that it exists at all is pretty interesting.
To see the complete notes from the Cowboy Ballads LP, click here.