This CD is a live performance by Fred in 1969 at the legendary Chicago folk club, The Earl Of Old Town. Most of the songs are not on any of his other recordings and many are songs Fred rarely performed in later years. A treat for Fred’s fans, everyone who remembers the folk boom of the 60s and 70s and anyone who loves live folk music.
Fred Holstein always said he was a folk singer, nothing more, nothing less. He sang in Chicago’s folk music clubs for over 40 years – and in the Pete Seeger tradition, Fred had his audiences singing with him. He chose both traditional and contemporary folk songs and in Ray Nordstrand’s words “sang them like they should be sung.”
Here is some of what Eddie Holstein had to say about his brother:
“In December 1958 Fred and I went to see Pete Seeger for the very first time at Orchestra Hall. As we sat in our seats the lights dimmed and with no introduction Pete Seeger came galloping out and broke right into East Virginia Blues. We both thought, gee, this guy even looks like a banjo. Everything that was good in the world was in that hall that night. Pete had us sounding like the Robert Shaw Chorale. With his songs and stories he took us all over the country and to parts of the world we never saw.
The wonder of that evening never diminished for Fred. At 15 he knew that’s what he was going to do...”
And Rich Warren:
“…Fred, like a painter, approached a song as if it was an outline to be filled in and colored. He never copied from the composer or the tradition. He never sang by number. He took a song apart and reconstructed it in the way he thought it would most move the listener. A song absolutely had to resonate in him before he would sing it…”