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PETE SEEGER - Waist Deep In The Big Muddy & Other Love Songs

PETE SEEGER - Waist Deep In The Big Muddy & Other Love Songs
Talking Elephant TECD263

The bulk of this release is derived from the 1967 release, with two additional tracks that were added to the first CD release (1994). This Talking Elephant re-release has made these gems available again to the general public and they have been lovingly delivered as crisply as ever. For those wishing to be initiated into the world of Seeger, this is as good a place as any to start (bearing in mind that with a career spanning over 70 years there are a lot of albums). Here we have the definitive original take of Waist Deep In The Big Muddy, later famously covered by Gaughan, but just as vital in this place. Other highlights include The Sinking Of The Reuben James and My Name Is Liza Kalvelage, but my top pick that I keep returning to is Those Three Are On My Mind, which was the first song written by a Long Island newspaperwoman with amazing insight (whose name is not recorded, although it may have been on the original sleeve – it was Frances Taylor incidentally). Melodie D’Amour reminds us that Pete Seeger was a more than competent banjo player, who could tease every possible essence of emotion from those strings.

The two additional tracks add less than seven minutes to the original running length of the vinyl (which was just shy of 41 minutes long), so there should have been scope for much more of the extensive catalogue to be investigated for additions, but as it stands this is still a worthy inclusion in anyone’s collection, in my book. Pete Seeger passed away in January 2014, but has left a huge body of work to investigate and celebrate. Let’s have more of this…

Grem Devlin

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This album was reviewed in Issue 105 of The Living Tradition magazine.