The Sidewalk Swingers – Folk Swingin’ Harpsichord With 12 String Guitar (1964)

FrontCover1The Sidewalk Swingers were a studio aggregation consisting of Russell Bridges on harpsichord, Jimmy Bond on bass, Hal Blaine on drums, Bill Cunningham on banjo and mandolin, and a young Glen Cambell on 12-string guitar. This album is a delightful collection of instrumental versions of 14 folkie standards like “Cotton Fields”, “Green Green”, “This Land is Your Land”, Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice”, and several others both traditional (“All My Trials”, “Stewball”, “Jamaica Farewell”, “Betty and Dupree”) and songs written by prominent folk writers of the day (“If I Had a Hammer”, “Freight Train”, “Greenback Dollar”, “Saturday Night”, “Walk Right In”). The harpsichord actually lends itself quite well to these lively tunes. Released in 1964 to cash in on the folk and hootenanny craze (or perhaps to keep it alive a bit longer after the onset of Beatlemania), it’s really quite a tasty production. If you like the popular folk style of the early ’60s and pleasant instrumental music, this one is worth getting.

This album is a delightful collection of instrumental versions of 14 folkie standards (by Derrick Phillips)

Glen Campbell in the early Sixites:
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This one’s perfect for your next hootenany cocktail party. I’m not sure who’s idea it was to play a bunch of folk tunes (both new and old) on harpsichord with 12-string guitar accompaniment but they had a certain demented genius in their plan. The producer also got some fine session players to perform: Russell Bridges (harpsichord), Glen Campbell (guitar), Jimmy Bond (bass), Hal Blaine (drums), and Bill Cunningham (banjo & mandolin). Tracks include Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right” and some old chestnuts like “If I Had a Hammer” and “Greenback Dollar.” I don’t expect this one to rock your world but it is a pleasant enough excursion into instrumental folk with a bit of country twang (playitagainmax.blogspot.com)

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Personnel:
Hal Blaine (drums)
Jimmy Bond (bass)
Russell Bridges (harpsichord)
Glen Campbell (guitar)
Bill Cunningham (banjo, mandolin)

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Tracklist:
01. Saturday Night (Sparks) 2.09
02. Freight Train (Traditional) 2.38
03. Blowin’ In The Wind (Dylan) 2.58
04. All My Trials (Traditional) 2.42
05. Stewball (Traditional) 2.02
06. Betty And Dupre (Traditional) 2.31
07. If I Had A Hammer (Seeger/Hayes) 2.10
08. Swingers Cotton Fields (Traditional) 2.16
09. Green Green (McGuire/Sparks) 2.04
10. This Land Is Your Land (Guthrie) 2.08
11. Walk Right In (Cannon/Woods) 2.23
12. Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right (Dylan) 2.18
13. Jamaica Farewell (Ain’t That Loving You Baby) (Traditional) 3.01
14. Greenback Dollar (Axton) 2.21

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