Roger McGuinn – Free Download: Folk Den Project

The following is from: This website is excellent to go to everyother month or more often and find some real gems.

Roger McGuinn’s Folk Den Project was my first exposure to online music files. The very first music file I downloaded was his take on “St. James Infirmary” and I immediately grabbed all the others that were available. At that time, in 1995, they were in the clunky 11 KHz 8-bit WAV format but they were still a breath of fresh air. They were traditional acoustic folk melodies played in the way they were meant to be heard. Of course, McGuinn is a seminal voice in the folk rock movement starting with The Byrds and then moving on to his own stellar career. However, these traditional songs show the artist as both an superb performer and a conscientious preserver of folk heritage. The Folk Den is still alive but the files are now in the more manageable and popular MP3 format.

In 2005, McGuinn released a box set of 4 CDs collecting his 100 favorite recordings from The Folk Den. WFMU’s Free Music Archive, with the artist’s permission, has released a free online version of The Folk Den album with 69 of the songs from the four CD set, not in the higher quality CD sound but in acceptable 128kbps MP3 format as found on the actual Folk Den web site. Each one of the tracks is a joy unto its self. I especially like the old songs that I heard as a child like “Skip To My Lou” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb”. I thought they were silly then but McGuinn gives them new life in surprisingly sincere renditions. The variety of songs on this collection is quite impressive. There are Christmas carols, old blues classics, gospel numbers, and plenty of old time standards and relics of Americana. “Red River Valley” is an especially fine track. There are also lots of obscure songs waiting for you to discover them. And if you wish to adopt any of these songs you can run over to the Folk Den web site where the lyrics and chords for each gem can be found. It’s nice to see this collection on the net and to know that the Folk Den is still going strong.

As mentioned, the online album is available in 128kbps MP3. If you enjoy the music, support the artist and the Folk Den Project by buying the much higher sound quality4 CD set.


~ by castleqwayr on June 16, 2009.

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