Aureole etc.

Golden Age singers

Nimbus on-line

Faure songs
Charlotte de Rothschild (soprano);

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


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"Young Jane"
Joseph Baldassarre, guitar and vocals

Young Jane/The Minstrel Boy (traditional) [3:25]
Darcy Farrow (S.Gillette/Campbell) [3:45]
Rosin the Bow (traditonal) [1:08]
Christmas in the Trenches (John McCutcheon) [5:40]
The Parting Glass (traditional) [1:25]
John Barleycorn (traditional) [3:23]
Wild Mountain Thyme (traditional) [2:14]
Jimmy Allen (traditional) [1:47]
King of the Fayries (traditional) [1:34]
The Erl King (S. Gillette) [3:24]
The Southwind (traditional) [1:28]
The Green Fields of France (E. Bogle) [4:28]
She Moved Through the Faire (traditional) [4:21]
O'Connell's Lamentation (traditional) [1:55]
The Band Played Waltzing Matilda (E. Bogle) [5:25]
Planxty Irwin/MacPherson's Lament (traditional) [5:54]
The Bells of Rhymney* (I.Davies/P. Seeger) [3:48]
Ashoken Farewell (J. Unger) [3:10]
Joseph Baldassarre, guitar and vocals
Guitars played: Antonio Baldassarre, classical guitar 1983
Guild 212 12-string 1977
Taylor GW514 1998
TOAD Records JB 1199 [58.36]

This is a very well played and very well sung collection of these folksongs in, for the most part, Irish or Australian versions, many dealing with "The Great War."

Joe Baldassarre has been playing guitar for over 40 years, and his idea of fun is getting up on stage and accompanying a soloist by sight reading on the guitar directly from a figured bass harpsichord part. He is, of course, "classically trained" however he has also received lessons from prominent jazz guitarists. He is personally committed to the idea that music is to be shared, and performs in public every chance he gets, for a few bucks if possible, or, what the hell, for free. Besides his solo performances in every style and the classical flute & guitar duo "Camerata," he leads a jazz band, a rock group, and a renaissance band. His local presentations demonstrating the multitude of instruments crafted for him by his father are memorable events. Ever wanted to hear live a vihuela, a chitarra, or an oud? Or compare the sounds of various styles of guitar and lute?

Considering how many disappointing vocal/guitar folksong disks there are, itís necessary to list a few things that arenít on this disk. First, the guitar is there as much as it needs to be, but is not overshadowing the vocal. Baldassarre hardly has to prove his virtuosity. The guitar sound is live and natural, and there is no overdubbing or amplification*. Second, well, some folk song singers have so much vocal style you could slice it and serve it with mustard. Baldassarre sings the notes and the words (in plain American English) and lets the music speak for itself. Considering that some of these songs are not a load of laughs, the temptation is there to over dramatize or try to pump up the emotion, but the words themselves, clearly presented, do what is necessary; in fact a little understatement can be far more effective. So here are no howling, no wailing, no sobbing, and no put-on rustic accents which in the end just make it harder to hear the words.

Here is the kind of folk-song album we wish we had a lot more of.

* The Bells of Rhymney only has three overdubbed vocal tracks.

Paul Shoemaker

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