Old Songs for Modern Folk CD (2016)


Old Songs for Modern Folk CD (2016)


Old Songs for Modern Folk, is a record in the truest sense, in that there is no editing, overdubbing or enhancement with each song recorded completely straight to tape in one take: no effects, no autotune.

What folks are saying...

"Brings a modern sensibility to songs that lie deep in our musical genes" -Fred Smith (Country Standard Time)

"A very impressive approach and album" - John Weingart, WPRB (Music You Can't Hear On The Radio)

“Blends the old blues traditions of Mississippi Fred McDowell and Son House with the folk traditions of Dave Van Ronk and Tom Rush. Give his CD a listen. You will be rewarded” -John Sillberg, CKOL (Small Time Radio Show)

“Captures the spirit and methodology of the great tradition of troubadours, blues and old-time vocalists, songsters and folk singers. He uses musical and lyrical tropes that have been transmitted across generations to create new songs addressing contemporary issues” -Art MeniusWCOM (The Revolution Starts Now)

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    Old Songs for Modern Folk presents eleven songs that address modern life, from police brutality in ‘Michael Brown’ (an adaptation of the classic ‘Louis Collins’ by Mississippi John Hurt), to the modern immigrant experience in ‘The Ballad of Roosevelt Avenue’ to the exploitative labor practices of ‘Garments of Shame.’ The album also highlights the solo live solo performances. Playing banjo, or guitar, with a few spare riffs of harmonica, the songs borrow melodies and lyrics from the American folk tradition, while telling stories, old and new.

    *1. Freeport Town (Cross) 2:47 – vocal, banjo – up tempo murder ballad themed around jealousy.
    *2. Michael Brown (Cross) 2:53 – vocal, guitar – medium tempo topical ballad on police brutality.
    *3. Ode to an Old Guitar (Cross) 2:58 – vocal, guitar – slow tempo: addresses immortality through art. *4. Dark Hollow (Alone) (Cross) 3:08 – vocal, guitar – slow tempo: challenges loneliness in the big city. 

    5. As the Crow Flies (Cross) 3:04 – vocal, guitar – medium tempo: a song satirizing directness.
    6. Memories (Cross) 2:54– vocal, guitar – slow tempo: phantoms of memory meet and dissolve.
    7. Garments of Shame (Cross) 2:47 – vocal, guitar – up tempo: labor exploitation in Pakistan.
    8. Zora's Blues (Cross) 2:29 – vocal, guitar – slow tempo lullaby: addressing diversity in America. 9. Going Down that Road (trad) 3:00 – vocal, banjo – up tempo: a lover's complaint. 

    10.The Ballad of Roosevelt Avenue (Cross) 3:22 – vocal, guitar – medium tempo immigrant ballad. *11. Passing Through (Cross) 2:34 – vocal, guitar– slow tempo a song treating stability as a rut

    Listen to 'Alone' from the album. Shot on location in Central Park NYC, Fall 2015.
    Filmed, directed, and edited by Don Cato.