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Brown Eyed Handsome Darlin’

Sammy Walker

Ramseur Records 2016

Review by David Bowling

 

Folk singer Sammy Walker is about to release his first album since 2008’s Misfit Scarecrow. The odd thing about Brown Eyed Georgia Darlin’ is that the music was recorded 40 years ago.

During the early 1970’s he released four albums for the Folkway and Warner Brothers labels. One of his Warner Brothers releases was produced by legendary folk artist Phil Ochs. He had recorded demos for a fifth album but changing musical trends and the disco era intervened. He would work 18 years in a convenience store before resuming his music career full time.

His music looks back to the end of the original folk revival movement. The lyrics are pointed and have meaning and while they may be a bit dated four decades later, they still hold up well. His “Talkin’ Women’s Lib” is a folk history lesson by itself.

It is an album of personal stories that have lain dormant from a bygone era. “Decoration On The Wall,” “Days I Left Behind,” “The East Colorado Dam,” and “A Cold Pittsburgh Morning” all point to a different time when folk music was an important voice in society and culture.

Also, being loyal to the theme of releasing tracks that were in the vaults for 40 years; this is a vinyl record issue. I’m not sure about the overall commercial impact of that decision, but as a vinyl addict I appreciate the purity of intent.

Arthritis has slowed Walker in the last several years, so it is high time that these old songs see the light of day. They provide a nice glimpse into the mid of Walker and hopefully will bring him some long overdue success.

Rating: ***

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