Isaacson, Peter / Sings the Songs of ...
Album: Sings the Songs of ...   Collection:General
Artist:Isaacson, Peter   Added:Apr 2023
Label:American Anthropology  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2023-05-14 Pull Date: 2023-07-16
Week Ending: Jul 16 Jun 25 Jun 11 Jun 4
Airplays: 1 1 2 1

Recent Airplay
1. Jul 22, 2023: Music Casserole
Long Way Back Home
4. Jun 10, 2023: Music Casserole
Early Morning Rain
2. Jul 15, 2023: Music Casserole
In My Time of Dying, Both Sides Now
5. Jun 09, 2023: Totally A
Early Morning Rain
3. Jun 22, 2023: Traditions
Early Morning Rain
6. Jun 03, 2023: Virtually Happy
Ribbon of Darkness

Album Review
Be Sharp
Reviewed 2023-04-30

Peter Isaacson was a house act at Gerde’s Folk City (in NYC) beginning in 1967. He’s got a pleasing baritone voice, somewhat like Paul Stookey’s or Gordon Lightfoot’s. This 1971 issue had some success in Canada, but Issacson remained obscure in the US, later changed his name to Clay Canfield, and made a couple C&W (cowboyish) albums. Why? Because much of this material had been expertly interpreted by Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Peter Paul & Mary, etc; and by 1971 this sort of thing was passé. You can tell this was meant to be a demo: it’s quite spare (just voice & acoustic guitar), and he frequently names the song titles & writers at the start of tracks. (Tracklist on back cover is wrong; believe mine.)

FCC clean

1 ** “Both Sides Now” (Joni Mitchell) A sensitive reading w nice melodic tweeks (3:18)
2 “Blowin’ in the Wind” (Dylan) Competent, but play P,P&M’s version instead (2:38)
3 *** “Lalena” (Donovan) Deeply emotional singing, Spanish sounding guitar (2:37)
4 “Trouble in Mind” down-and-out blues is not in his wheelhouse (2:43)
5 “Just Like a Woman” (Dylan) weirdly retrograde, as though it came from Freewheelin’ rather than Blonde on Blonde. Play Richie Havens instead. (3:56)
6 *** “Ribbon of Darkness” (Lightfoot) Slow, sad. Fine singing & finger-style gtr (2:20)
7 * “I Shall Be Released” (Dylan) Slow. Passionate singing of popular prison song (2:43)
8 * “Black Sheep Boy” (Tim Hardin) A prodigal-son ballad, prettily done (1:48)
9 ** “Catch the Wind” (Donovan) Pretty but sorrowful song of a love out of reach (2:16)
10 “Affair on 8th Ave” (Lightfoot) Memories of a one night stand? A bit tedioius (3:11)
11 * “Long Way Back Home” (Lightfoot) Reflecting on a life lived with hardships (2:52)
12 “Girl from the North Country” (Dylan) The pathos is turned way up (3:12)
13 * “Friends of Mine” (Ian Tyson) A song about friendship, nicely sung & played (02:41)
14 “Suzanne” (Leonard Cohen) Nothing special about this version (4:57)
15 “Hoochie Coochie Man” (Willie Dixon) a blues standard done acoustic (03:53)
16 * “If I Were a Carpenter” (Hardin) A decent version despite a noticeable restart (3:51)
17 *** “Early Morning Rain” (Lightfoot) As good as the original; beautifully done (3:08)
18 ** “I Threw It All Away” (Dylan) Done with more emotion than Bob’s original (2:40)
19 ** “In My Time of Dying” (Blind Willie Johnson) Strong singing and vigorous guitar on this blues classic aka "Jesus Make Up My Dying Bed." Match it with Led Zeppelin (3:31)
20 Isaacson tells the recording engineer that he’s made a mistake (0:10)

Track Listing
1. Both Sides Now   11. Long Way Back Home
2. Blowin' in the Wind   12. Girl From the North Country
3. Lalena   13. Friends of Mine
4. Trouble in Mind   14. Suzanne
5. Just Like a Woman   15. Hoochie Coochie Man
6. Ribbon of Darkness   16. If I Were a Carpenter
7. I Shall Be Released   17. Early Morning Rain
8. Black Sheep Boy   18. I Threw It All Away
9. Catch the Wind   19. In My Time of Dying
10. Affair on 8th Avenue   20. Junk