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DERROLL ADAMS - Feeliní Fine

DERROLL ADAMS - Feeliní Fine
Ghosts From The Basement GFTB7051

Some 45 years after the original release of Feelin’ Fine, it is at last possible to revisit these classic tracks by a key member of the 1960s folk scene in continental Europe. His influences were many, he toured with Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, mentored such burgeoning talents as Alex Campbell and Ralph McTell, and was himself a keystone for the revival. The original tapes were lost for years but have been lovingly restored and are spellbinding as a snapshot of the times. Recorded over three days with Adams on banjo, along with Wizz Jones on guitar and Roland Van Campenhout on guitar, harmonica and recorder (none of whom had played together before), with a cameo appearance from Derroll’s wife Danielle, this is presented as a knockabout affair, but it’s so much more. Simple songs like Muleskinner Blues and Apprenticed In London, are quite simply stunning.

What has been described as Adams’ ‘zen’ banjo style is perfectly presented here, in what can be loosely classed as classic Americana. Adams himself was born in Oregon in 1925 and was thus well into his 40s at the time, but plays like a young turk, though with the benefit of decades of gigging (he played a triumphant ‘comeback’ appearance at Cambridge Folk Festival immediately before recording this album in Bristol). Easily his finest work, it is augmented here by 6 tracks from the later Along The Way recording, including classic versions of Dixie Darling and Anna Feher. It’s a long time since a CD has given me such pleasure. Heartily recommended – even if you’re not banjo fans – this has every chance of making you a convert.

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 118 of The Living Tradition magazine.