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Bonnie Dobson: Dear Companion

Track List

>Dear Companion
>My Mother Chose My Husband
>Girl of Constant Sorrow
>Ben's Lullaby - (mono)
>Bonnie Lass of Kenmore Town, The
>When I Was in My Prime
>Ah! Si Mon Moine
>Blues Jumped a Rabbit
>Dink's Song
>Vertsa Dievcha
>Cruel Mother, The

Album Notes

Personnel: Bonnie Dobson (vocals, guitar); Hennie Kubik (vocals); Peter Gardner (guitar); Isabel Gardner (flute).

Liner Note Authors: Kris Needs; Pete Welding; Bonnie Dobson.

Dobson, a now largely forgotten but good singer of the early-'60s folk revival, offered a diverse and well-done assortment of material on this album, undated but certainly from the early '60s. The principal disappointment is that there is but one original composition (the a cappella "Ben's Lullaby") from a singer who obviously had the potential to be an important songwriter, as she was the composer of the folk (and later rock) standard "Morning Dew." Otherwise, this is all over the map, and indeed all over the globe, from Cecil Sharp-archived folk tunes to children's ballads to blues to Yugoslavian, Czech, and French-Canadian traditional numbers. It seems like there might have been a conscious attempt to jam a lot of bases into one album, but Dobson does pull it off well, in a high, clear, dignified voice that's not too dissimilar to early Judy Collins. The use of occasional second guitar, harmony vocals, and even a dab of flute yields a slight textural variety that makes it stand out a bit from the scads of dry acoustic guitar-and-nothing-else folk records of the period. It's not exceptional, but if you like Judy Collins' earliest recordings, for instance, you'll probably like this as well; Dobson's not as outstanding as Collins by any means, but she's not that much worse, either. ~ Richie Unterberger


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