Live From the Old Town School
Come and get it! The Old Town School of Folk Music is proud to offer digital downloads of select live concert recordings made here at the School over the last half century. Pulled from our archive, these 127 songs are the first chip off the tip of a 53-year-old iceberg!
Each of these gems was selected for this initial voyage because they are important, high quality, transferable examples of the vernacular music that we love. Recorded by sound obsessed tape enthusiasts at our early locations or captured from the soundboard of our current state of the folk concert hall, these recordings have bottled live music at its best: simple, direct and in-tune with the audience and the times.
For years these recordings languished in cardboard boxes and on the cold, hard shelves of the School’s Resource Center until a generous grant from the Donnelley Foundation made it possible to license this core sample for commercial release. We set up our own licensing office, complete with phones, office supplies, printers, e-mail addresses and recent law school grads, and went to work contacting 85 artists about working with The Old Town School to release 127 recordings. With a little hard work, and the promise of fame and fortune, we found that it is possible to get a bunch of musicians behind a project like this. It was all the fun of the entertainment business without the free food and drinks.
We feel that everyone misses out when good stuff like this stays in boxes, and there will no doubt be more of this kind of thing coming from the Old Town School. Please enjoy this music either as single song downloads or in whole album chunks. This music is available on iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. Here is a partial list of some of the great artists featured on Live From the Old Town School:
Andrew Bird-Goodnight Irene, Joan Baez-The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, Rory Block-The Titanic, Big Bill Broonzy-Glory of Love, Ella Jenkins-Came Out The Wilderness, Jeff Tweedy-Three is the Perfect Number, Mahalia Jackson-Move on Up a Little Higher, Toumani Diabate-Jarabi, Martin Carthy-John Barleycorn, Frank Hamilton and Valucha-Motherless Child, Mono Blanco-La Bamba, Guy Clark-Sis’ Draper, Ginni Clemmens-Wild Women Don’t Get the Blues, Steve Dawson-The Dying Soldier, Donovan-Mellow Yellow, Lila Downs-Ofrenda, Mark Dvorak-Streets of Old Chicago, Steve Earle-Jerusalem, Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott-With a Memory Like Mine, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott-Grand Coolie Dam, Los Plenaros de la 21-Puerto Rico Mi Tierra Natal, Jon Langford-Homburg, Bonnie Koloc-Roll Me on the Water, Malvina Reynolds-Bury Me in My Overalls, Dave Van Ronk-St. James Infirmary, Doc Watson-Blue Eyed Jane, Jean Ritchie-Nottamun Town, Oumou Sangare-Woula Bara Diagna , Tom Dundee-Delicate Balance, Fred Holstein-Days of 49, John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee-The Cruel Sister, Pete Seeger-Roll the Union On and many more.