Full performer name: Woody Guthrie/Pete Seeger/Leadbelly.
Personnel includes: Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, Cisco Houston, Sonny Terry, Josh White.
Even before Moses Asch started the legendary Folkways label, he recorded many classic blues and folk performers, many of whom would be unknown otherwise. The 21 tracks on THE ORIGINAL FOLKWAYS RECORDINGS are vintage early recordings by three of Asch's best-known folk discoveries. Mixing the three often radically different singer/songwriters brings out their similarities as well as their differences.
Guthrie's rowdy good humor, especially notable on duets with Cisco Houston like "Who's Gonna Shoe Your Pretty Feet," meshes well with Seeger's passionate traditionalism and Leadbelly's more personal, somewhat idiosyncratic style. Josh White and Sonny Terry also appear, as Terry shines in a trio with Houston and Guthrie on a rousing "Jack Hammer Blues." Obviously, given the somewhat primitive early recording conditions, these songs are not particularly hi-fi, but they're clear and have surprising depth. This is a fine introduction to all three performers.