Duck Baker is an internationally acclaimed American acoustic finger-style guitarist who plays in a variety of styles: jazz, blues, gospel, ragtime, folk, and Irish and Scottish music. He has written many instruction books for guitar, famously released several albums on Stefan Grossman's Kicking Mule label in the 70's, and later recorded for Windham Hill and Shanachie among others. Les Blues Du Richmond is a collection of previously unreleased early demos recorded for Grossman in the 70's.
2010's mammoth, highly collectible and very limited, 19-disc Sandy Denny box set was truly a thing to behold, presenting the entirety of her career from studio to stage to front porch. It was a completist's dream, but it came with an exceptionally high price tag, which makes the appearance of 2011's Notes and the Words: A Collection of Demos and Rarities a real gift for fans, especially those who already own the complete studio recordings, whether solo or with Fotheringay, Strawbs, or Fairport Convention. The handsome, limited-edition four-disc box skims the cream from the top of the myriad rarities, BBC sessions, demos, and outtakes that made the previous collection so remarkable (an intimate bedroom recording of Jackson C. Frank's "Blues Run the Game"; an early demo of Like an Old Fashioned Waltz's "Carnival" with previously unheard melodies and lyrics; a blistering alternate studio take of a Dave Swarbrick-less "Sailor's Life," and alternate versions of Fairport classics like "Matty Groves," "Come All Ye," and "Fotheringay"), resulting in a wonderful window into one of English folk music's most magnificent voices.
XYZ frontman Terry Ilous, has gone back into his archives and discovered eighteen songs that the public has never had a chance to hear. "Forbidden Demos 1985/1991" contains five of the songs from the original line-up and unreleased or slightly different recordings from earlier recordings. From the unreleased tracks, the "High Life", "You Got Me Wrong" and "Made For Love" are fantastic hard rock, with catchy choruses, songs in the vain of XYZ's first two releases. Overall this is a great collection that takes you through XYZ's formative years.
Among folk legends, the late Phil Ochs is nearly peerless. His dozen years as a ringing voice in the war against social and political injustice left the world with a wealth of music and lyrics that remain powerful and in some cases topical more than 30 years after he recorded them. Joined by the likes of Ry Cooder, Clydie King, Jack Elliott, Van Dyke Parks, Don Rich, and Tom Scott, Ochs created a legacy of words and music that continues to drive the spirit of social conscience in musicians like Billy Bragg, Natalie Merchant, and Ani DiFranco. This 3 CD set collects the work he did at Elektra, A&M, and Folkways between 1964 and 1975, as well as several previously unreleased tracks. It chronicles not just an era when music and politics often clashed, but also one spiritual man's sojourn from rebellion and activism to depression and despair.