Album – CARNEGIE CONCERT & HOOTENANNY AT CARNEGIE
Bob traveled extensively amassing a collection of Calypso and gospel songs, many of which he performs here with a live audience at New York’s Carnegie Recital Hall. This 1957 recording showcases Bob’s captivating ability to inspire audiences to sing along. The album introduces several tunes which went on to become folk standards including Michael, Row the Boat Ashore, Day-O and John Riley.
HOOTENANNY AT CARNEGIE
By 1963, Bob’s popularity in the folk field was at its pinnacle. He had recorded four top-selling albums on Riverside, three best sellers on Elektra (with one more to come) and initiated the hootenanny night at The Gaslight in Greenwich Village. Bob was a regular featured act on ABC’s Hootenanny Show and his name became synonymous with sing-alongs. With this in mind, in 1963 Riverside rearranged the song list, redesigned the graphics, and re-released the 1957 Carnegie Concert album, now calling it Hootenanny at Carnegie.
Digital recording not yet available except tracks 2, 3, 5, and 8 which are included on Joy, Joy! The Young and Wonderful Bob Gibson.
NEWS, REVIEWS & NOTES
This is an album that could rate highly with lovers of folk music. Gibson has a commentary and introduction on his selections that describes the origins or circumstances that inspired the melodies. He encourages audience participation and the appreciation of those attending is evident. Market may be somewhat restricted, but as folk albums go, this is one of the better sets available. Includes “Day-O,” “Good News” and “Go Down to Bimini.”
I was notably surprised at this concert. For one thing, Gibson as a leader and impromptu teacher is a wonderfully warm individual: you will immediately sense and hear the enthusiasm and high spirits he generates. For another, the Gibson comments on the audience’s doings and shortcomings are, as the saying goes, worth the price of admission all by themselves. Particularly noteworthy is the segment that opens this side of the album, in which Bob sets forth his views on group singing…
The LP offers considerably more than the songs listed in the next column. There is Gibson’s running introductory commentary on the selections, his remarks to the audience and their spontaneous reactions to his comments and his songs. (This is authentically “on the spot” recording, right down to the sound of Bob’s banjo being tuned and re-tuned now and again.)
The material is Gibson’s usual adept combination of the unhackneyed and fresh treatment of the familiar. He can breathe new life into as standard an item as Erie Canal, can restore a full folk feeling to Day-O (which has recently undergone the Tin Pan Alley face-lifting treatment), can convey the rich beauty of John Riley and Bimini, and the sheer nonsense of There Once Was a Poor Young Man, as well as the rousing power of the three quasi-religious songs that close the album. As a result, everyone has an extraordinarily good time at a concert by Bob Gibson and his banjo. This time, “everyone” can include record-buyers, too.