Fast Folk Musical Magazine - Fast Folk: A Community of Singers and Songwriters

Fast Folk Musical Magazine - Fast Folk: A Community of Singers and Songwriters
Release Date:
February 26, 2002
Recording Date:
February, 1982 - February 1, 1997
Adult Alternative Pop/Rock, Alternative Folk, Alternative/Indie Rock, Contemporary Folk, Contemporary Singer/Songwriter, Folk-Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Urban Folk
Fast Folk: A Community of Singers and Songwriters

From the early '80s to the late '90s, Fast Folk magazine was an important document of and voice for the folk-rooted New York singer/songwriter scene. The magazines came with compilation albums -- no less than 105 of them -- allowing subscribers and purchasers to sample the work of many young and unknown, and some veteran and relatively well-known, singer/songwriters. The magazine stopped publishing in 1997, its holdings donated to the Smithsonian a couple of years later. This first retrospective of the massive body of Fast Folk is a 34-track, two-CD set including 142 minutes of music spanning 1982-1997. Some of the performers are famous, like Suzanne Vega, Shawn Colvin (represented by a 1985 version of her "I Don't Know Why"), Dave Van Ronk, and Steve Forbert; others are fairly well known, like Christine Lavin, John Gorka, Lucy Kaplansky, and Christine Lavin. But most of these names will be unfamiliar, even to many folk fans. And while the music is often acoustic folk, sometimes solo, it's sometimes mild folk-rock with fuller arrangements, too. Fast Folk was undoubtedly a valuable organization and medium for exposure, but good intentions don't always make for great music. Most of this is earnest confessional and/or narrative material, on the undistinguished side melodically, lacking the idiosyncratic and arresting vocal personalities of the best singer/songwriters -- and not just Bob Dylan, an obvious reference point for much of this style (though these performers are on the whole far more polite than Dylan), but even Dave Van Ronk, though his "Another Time and Place" wouldn't be considered one of his best performances. What are the best performances on this disc, though? Elaine Silver's "Share the Failure" has the pristine seriousness of the sort heard on early Judy Collins and Joan Baez outings; Patrick John Brayer's "Bourbon as a Second Language" has a refreshing country-influenced lightheartedness; Germana Pucci's "Corpo Gracile," sung in Italian, has a gypsy feel; Christine Lavin's "Don't Ever Call Your Sweetheart By His Name" has her usual comic touch that, while hard to take in concentrated doses, stands out on this comp as a welcome blast of levity. Comic relief's not always a good thing, though, as demonstrated by the bombastic crude wit of Andy Breckman's "Railroad Bill."

American Jerusalem / Rod MacDonaldFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Rod MacDonald5:58
What's Wrong With the Man Upstairs / David MassengillFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: David Massengill4:38
Old Factory Town / Brian RoseFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Gerry Devine and the Hi-Beams5:12
Just Need a Home (Spotlight) / Lucy KaplanskyFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Lucy Kaplansky3:38
Another Time and Place / Dave Van RonkFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Dave Van Ronk4:31
I Don't Know Why / Shawn ColvinFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Shawn Colvin3:45
Geza's Wailing Ways / John GorkaFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: John Gorka3:53
Ragman!Fast Folk Musical Magazine feat: David Indian4:03
High Times / Tom IntondiFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Tom Intondi4:36
Don't Ever Call Your Sweetheart by His Name / Christine LavinFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Christine Lavin2:21
Where Were You Last Night? / Frank ChristianFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Frank Christian4:19
Introduction to Corpo GracileFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Germana Pucci0:28
Corpo Gracile / Germana PucciFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Germana Pucci5:13
Kilkelly, Ireland / Stephen JonesFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Laura Burns / Roger Rosen5:58
Introduction to the Viking RagFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Erik Frandsen1:32
The Viking Rag / Erik FrandsenFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Erik Frandsen2:37
Forget-Me-Not / Jack HardyFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Jack Hardy4:20
VacationFast Folk Musical Magazine feat: Ensemble2:41

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