2-CD with 52-page booklet, 60 tracks. Playing time approx. 159 mns.
Though later overshadowed in the folk diva sweepstakes by Baez and Collins, Texas-born Carolyn Hester preceded both with her 1958 debut album and, judging from this two-CD, 60-song collection of Hester's complete 1961-67 Columbia recordings (plus 9 from 1965 for Dot), may have been the most interesting of the era's folk ladies. Bob Dylan was her harmonica player on a 1961 session, and Ravi Shankar even appears on one of the 19 previously unissued tracks. Hester had an intimate and natural empathy for sparely-arranged traditional songs, yet she doesn't sound misplaced among the folk rock material (much of it previously unissued) that closes this impressively illustrated and annotated collection. It effectively traces both a neglected artist's career and the stylistic changes in the folk movement of the Sixties. The titles blend original and non-original material, and include Once I Had A Sweetheart, Simple Gifts, East Virginia, I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound, Blues Run The Game, Reason To Believe, and Outside The Window.
Bob Dylan plays harmonica on:
Swing and Turn Jubilee
Come back, Baby
I'll fly away