Roger McGuinn began his career as a folksinger/guitarist and he has never lost his love of the music. In 1995, he launched the Folk Den project on his website, making free downloads available of folk songs he recorded, along with lyrics and a little background on each number and what was special about it to him. He decided to re-record them in higher fidelity for commercial issue, producing this four-CD set with 100 tracks and over four and a half hours of music. Known primarily for his work on the 12-string electric Rickenbacker guitar, McGuinn also plays banjo and Fender bass, plus six-, seven-, and 12-string acoustic Martin guitar, while often overdubbing a second instrument and harmony vocals. Like any good folk musician, McGuinn carries on the tradition of adapting the melodies and lyrics in his own way, so familiar songs may sound a bit different than one remembers them. This valuable collection includes sea shanties, Christmas carols, spirituals, blues, and hymns along with traditional folk tunes that originated in the U.S. and Europe. Among the unusual arrangements are the Scottish tune "Wild Mountain Thyme" (played with a reggae beat!) and the spiritual "Oh Freedom," which preserves the sound of thunder taped during its performance in the studio. This collection is excellent for introducing anyone young or old to a variety of folk music, while longtime fans of Roger McGuinn will consider it to be an essential purchase. ~ Ken Dryden
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- The Bottom Line Archive Series: In Their Own Words (Roger McGuinn Band)