The Limeliters Our Men in San Francisco / The London Concert (2-CD)
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- Number of Discs: 2
- Released: May 29, 2000
- Originally Released: 2004
- Label: Collector's Choice
Tracks on Disc 1:
- 1.The Wabash Cannonball
- 2.Max Goolis
- 3.I'm Goin' Back To Whur I Come From
- 4.Corn Whiskey
- 5.Civil War Medley: Bright Golden Buttons / The First Battalion / Yes I See / Two Brothers
- 6.By The Rising Of The Moon
- 8.The Lute Player (Le Joueur De Luth)
- 9.The Jam On Jerry's Rock
- 10.Sleep Soft (Lullaby)
- 11.Goodnight Ladies / Leaving A Song
Tracks on Disc 2:
- 1.The John Henry Steel Driving Man
- 3.The Wabash Cannonball
- 4.When I First Came To This Land
- 5.The Hammer Song
- 6.The Far Side Of The Hill
- 7.Hard Ain't It Hard
- 8.Lonesome Traveler
- 9.The Little Burro
- 10.Hey Li Lee Li Lee
2 LPs on 1 CD: OUR MEN IN SAN FRANCISCO (1963)/THE LONDON CONCERT (1965).
THE LONDON CONCERT was recorded live in London, England in 1963.
This two-fer reissue from mail-order firm Collector's Choice Music combines two Limeliters live albums. By the time Our Men in San Francisco was recorded at the hungry i club in September 1962; folk audiences were hip to Lou Gottlieb's deliberately pompous introductions; and one can hear snickering in anticipation of the next "Lou-ism." The result is the usually (for the Limeliters) entertaining blend of humor, poignancy, and instrumental virtuosity. The extended "Civil War Medley" does not include the usual well-worn tunes on the order of "Battle Hymn of the Republic," but does include some newer songs by folksinger Bob Gibson and cartoonist-cum-songwriter Shel Silverstein. Traditional songs ("The Jam on Jerry's Rock" and "Wabash Cannonball") were "written" by the group's mythical arranger-in-residence, Cal Bagby. Although their albums were being produced and released at a manic pace, comparable to the group's equally hectic touring schedule, it remains amazing that their act remained as fresh as it did. It's a tribute to the ingenuity, drive, and imagination of Gottlieb, Alex Hassilev, and Glenn Yarbrough. The London Concert, recorded at Festival Hall in February 1963, shows what made the Limeliters so special. All the elements are here: Yarbrough's vibrant tenor on "When I First Came to This Land" and "The Far Side of the Hill"; Hassilev's multi-lingual talents on "The Little Burro," and of course, the erudite Gottlieb, whose professorial introductions and witty asides were perfectly suited for the stuffy British audience. There is not a weak track on the album. The driving "Hard, Ain't It Hard" and "Lonesome Traveler" became a medley for the group, lasting into the 1990s. Even the overexposed country/bluegrass standard "Wabash Cannonball" was fresh and exciting. By the time the concert-closing audience-participation song "Hey Li Lee Li Lee" came along, the audience was won over. In their clipped accents, British concertgoers provided the album with its most hilarious moments, contributing "spontaneously invented, rhyming couplets" as original verses. (The final, operatic-sounding entry sparked a roar of hilarity from the audience, even though none of the Limeliters could ever decipher what the man sang.) If ever a Limeliters' album could be called a classic, this is that album. ~ Cary Ginell
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