Personnel: Mike Seeger (guitar, banjo, dulcimer, autoharp, fiddle).
Liner Note Author: John Crosby .
Photographer: Jim Marshall .
Although Mike Seeger's brand of reverently traditional folk can sound ordinary today, his multi-instrumental talents and wide repertoire made him a key part of the folk revival, both as part of the New Lost City Ramblers and as a solo artist. The self-titled Mike Seeger is his second solo album, from 1964. Seeger played almost everything on this record -- guitar, banjo, dulcimer, fiddle, autoharp, and French harp -- though Marge Seeger is credited with "occasional accompaniment." Aside from his facility on numerous instruments, the most impressive aspect of the record is the breadth of material, including songs sourced from bluesman Henry Thomas ("Fishing Blues," speculated in the liner notes of the 2012 reissue to be the likely model for Taj Mahal's version), Jean Ritchie (the a cappella "Young McAfee on the Gallows"), the Carter Family, Grandpa Jones, and numerous corners of traditional folk. If he's not the most original or earthy interpreter of these tunes on the vocal side, his singing is certainly engagingly competent, and his musical virtuosity consistently impressive. The material's origins were painstakingly detailed in folklorist D.K. Wilgus' liner notes, which are reprinted in the booklet to the 2012 CD reissue, along with historical notes penned in 2012 specifically for that edition. ~ Richie Unterberger
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