Album Review

Three Score & Ten : A Voice to The People [coll] – [Topic Records Ltd]

Thurston Hunger   6/2/2010   CD, International

A nice score for KFJC, and 3.5 score for Topic. The
label’s humble, anti-fascist beginnings 70 years ago
remain unvanquished. The book this comes with is
devotedly done as would befit and independent label,
and they capture pretty much everything from the first
release, Paddy Ryan’s “The Man Who Watered the Worker’s
Beer” onward. On that Ryan track though the tone is
solidy set, a good mix of distrust of the bosses and
a pint to chase it down. Comedy from Billy Bennet may
not unite the female workers of the modern world,
but surely there’s plenty on hear for one to dig.
If anything they watered down their true international
output, whence Topic traveled beyond the British Isles
for some excellent folk music, but Ireland and Scotland
each get a disk here, and county Sligo might come out
a wee bit behind. Mrs. Makem though makes her boys proud.
Watersons of all sorts are brilliant, especially Mike’s
“Tamlyn.” Pogue fans can kiss Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old
Town” and enjoy 3 othrers, including “Sixteen Tons.”
There’ll be plenty you and Paul Simon recognize here,
but plenty more to discover. Pipes from all over to
blend with your experimental sounds, American Seeger’s
and other truth seekers. A just some of the most
plain and powerfully so singing you could ask for. Raise
yer glass to another 70 years. A gift so good it’s nearly
a Crime!

-T’urston ‘unger

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