Q - 8/94, p.1253 Stars
- Good - "...Obviously essential for Guthrie enthusiasts, the collection is endlessly fascinating..."
Personnel: Woody Guthrie (vocals, guitar, fiddle, harmonica); Cisco Houston (vocals, guitar); Butch Hawes (guitar); Bess Lomax Hawes (mandolin); Sonny Terry (harmonica).
Compilation producers: Guy Logsdon, Jeff Place.
Recorded in New York between 1944 and 1949. Includes liner notes by Guy Logsdon and Jeff Place.
Adapter: Woody Guthrie.
Personnel: Woody Guthrie (vocals, guitar, fiddle, harmonica); Cisco Houston (vocals, guitar); Butch Hawes (guitar); Bess Lomax Hawes (mandolin); Sonny Terry, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (harmonica).
Liner Note Authors: Guy Logsdon; Jeff Place.
Recording information: New York, NY (1944-1949).
What's surprising about LONG WAYS TO TRAVEL is not that these 17 tracks have never been released before, nor even that they're of such uniformly high quality (Woody Guthrie was seemingly incapable of an uninspired or unengaging performance), but that this album, unwittingly, like a folk concept record.
LONG WAYS TO TRAVEL is an apt title for this collection, as most of these 1944-1949 tracks have travel as an explicit or implicit theme. Whether as resigned as the opening "Hard Travelin'" or as gloriously hopeful as the closing title track, the characters populating these songs are traveling to a new and hopefully better place. As a result, the historical "Harriet Tubman's Ballad" and the fanciful "Rocky Mountain Slim and Desert Rat Shorty" have a shared humanity that enriches every track.