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Monday, April 9, 2012

Pete Seeger

The Complete Bowdoin College Concert 1960 (Smithsonian Folkways)

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Pete Seeger turns 93 in May, but he already seemed like an elder when he played Maine's Bowdoin College in 1960. His earnest and rather studious approach to folklore may seem unfashionable nowadays, yet Seeger was a brave and significant force, a pal of Woody Guthrie and an important influence on the folk revival that shaped '60s rock. The newly released Concert CD, recorded by the campus radio station, captures the essence of Seeger as he leads the student audience in sing-alongs of folk tunes from many lands (“world music” before the term was coined), entertains them with humorous political asides (he lost many years under indictment, blacklist and FBI surveillance) and introduces them to socially conscious songs of recent vintage. His “Bells of Rhymney” would be covered by The Byrds, and “Penny's Farm” inspired Bob Dylan's “Maggie's Farm.”


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