Tom Paxton has been performing great folk music for over 40 years. This CD is his classic recording from 1969 and includes "About The Children" and "All Night Long."
Personnel: Tom Paxton (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); David Bromberg (guitar, electric guitar); Albert Bouchard (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, drums); Max Pollikoff (violin); Bob Sylvester, Robert Sylvester (cello); Jack Bonus (flute, tenor saxophone, wind); Hubert Laws (flute); Richard Grando (soprano recorder, soprano saxophone, wind); Johnny Coles (flugelhorn, horns); David Horowitz (piano, keyboards); Herb Bushler (electric bass); James Madison , Jimmy Madison (drums).
Audio Mixer: Peter K. Siegel.
Arrangers: David Horowitz; Joshua Rifkin.
Paxton's last 1960s album was his most musically ambitious of the decade, getting into both some full folk-rock arrangements and some orchestrated Baroque-folk or symphonic folk. The expansion of musical color was admirable, with contributions from some name players like David Bromberg, Richard Davis, and Hubert Laws. But Paxton was never the most adaptable of the folkies to rock, and the songs he came up with for the LP were not among his best. The rollicking, even a bit sloppy, folk-rock of "Bishop Cody's Last Request" sounded much more forced than his gentle ballads, like "Wish I Had a Troubadour." The 15-minute "The Iron Man" might be the most unusual 1960s Tom Paxton track of all, recalling slightly earlier overly ambitious Baroque-folk poem epics like Phil Ochs' "When in Rome" and Tim Buckley's "Goodbye and Hello," though without as much melodic or vocal distinction. Ultimately, the most satisfying track was the contemplative "All Night Long," which boasted the album's best tune and (courtesy of Joshua Rifkin) understated orchestral arrangement, and which Paxton has described as a lament for the troubled times of America in general in 1968. ~ Richie Unterberger