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Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...

DigiTrad:
DARK ISLAND 2
SAMMY'S BAR or THE LAST BOAT'S A'LEAVIN
SINGER'S REQUEST
SUNDOWN
WATERBOUND


Related threads:
Info Req:Tis a Gift & Kickin' My Dog (Golden Ring) (13)
Sharon Mountain Harmony: Golden Ring of Gospel (30)


Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 10:43 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 10:45 PM
Deckman 17 Aug 12 - 10:49 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 10:52 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 10:55 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 10:58 PM
Joe Offer 17 Aug 12 - 11:03 PM
Artful Codger 18 Aug 12 - 12:11 AM
Arkie 18 Aug 12 - 12:15 AM
Joe Offer 18 Aug 12 - 12:40 AM
Artful Codger 18 Aug 12 - 03:03 AM
dick greenhaus 18 Aug 12 - 10:13 AM
kendall 18 Aug 12 - 10:51 AM
Elmore 18 Aug 12 - 11:26 AM
bbc 18 Aug 12 - 04:27 PM
Dan Schatz 18 Aug 12 - 09:41 PM
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Subject: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:43 PM

For many years, I have been meaning to post a tribute to my favorite collection of recordings, the Golden Ring recordings from Folk-Legacy Records. I'll edit these posts along the way, adding links to lyrics for all the songs I can find. In the process, I hope to have corrected and documented lyrics to add to the Digital Tradition. Feel free to post to this thread, but I may edit things to make more sense.

On another thread, Artful Dodger, whose opinion I usually respect without question, said he hasn't cared for the later Golden Ring recordings. Well, I dunno. The five Folk-Legacy Golden Ring recordings are probably my all-time favorite recordings. I think all five were made in the living room of Sandy and Caroline Paton's home in Sharon, Connecticut. Now, the house was once a violin school, and I think it has seven bedrooms. The room where I stayed when I visited in November 2000, is the room that houses Sandy's library, and I spent the night browsing books. The living room is huge, and the fireplace hearth is a good-sized stage. The acoustics in the living room are wonderful, and there has always been a flow of excellent musicians through the Paton household.

Sandy and Caroline made many wonderful recordings, but it's the Golden Ring recordings that I really treasure.

-Joe-

      This is an edited PermaThread® for the Golden Ring recordings published by Folk-Legacy Records. This thread will be edited by Joe Offer. Feel free to post to this thread, but remember that all messages posted here are subject to editing or deletion.
      -Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:45 PM

If I'm correct, the first Golden Ring recording was Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends for Making Music, Folk-Legacy CD-16.

Here's the track listing:

Babe of Bethlehem
Barbara Ellen
Blind Man's Song, The
Captain Kid
Dipper of Stars
Golden Ring Around My Susan Girl
Holly Bears a Berry, The
Hound Dog Song, The
Howie's Breakdown
Jesse James
Nonesuch
One Man Shall Mow My Meadow
Rollin' A-Rollin'
Simple Gifts
This Old World
When Jesus Wept

The online notes:

This is the original recording of George and Gerry Armstrong, Ed Trickett, Howie Mitchell, Win Stracke, and others, singing together for the pure joy of it, a recording that defined the spirit of the Fox Hollow Festival and became one of the most popular recordings of the early folk song revival. It has been digitally remastered and is now available on compact disc.

The Blind Man's Song; Jesse James; Nonesuch; The Hound Dog Song; Captain Kidd; Dipper of Stars; When Jesus Wept; Simple Gifts; Rollin' A-Rollin'; One Man Shall Mow My Meadow; Howie's Breakdown; Barbara Ellen; Golden Ring Around My Susan Girl; The Holly Bears a Berry; Babe of Bethlehem; This Old World.

If you like folk music, you'll love this recording


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Deckman
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:49 PM

I certainly aggree with you Joe. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:52 PM

Next is New Golden Ring - Five Days Singing, Volume 1 (CD-41) and Volume 2 (CD-42)

Here's the track list for Volume 1:

Benjamin Bomaneer
D Composition in C
Ginny's Gone to Ohio
It Soon Be Done
Leaning On the Everlasting Arms
Lord Bateman
Over the Waterfall
Poor Howard
Rolling Hills of the Border, The
Sundown
Temperance Reel
Waterbound
Waters of Tyne, The
World of Misery

Notes:
The first Golden Ring was so much fun, we enlarged the group with even more friends (25 of 'em), gathered together at Folk-Legacy and sang for five days. The result was this two-volume set of which John Wolfe (at Radio KVOD in Denver) wrote: "The real, honest-to-goodness joy that can come from folk music is epitomized by the 'Golden Ring' albums on Folk-Legacy." Waterbound; The Waters of Tyne; World of Misery (Shenandoah); Benjamin Bowmaneer; Over the Waterfall; Ginny's Gone to Ohio; Leaning on the Everlasting Arms; Lord Bateman; The Rolling Hills of the Border; D Composition in C; Poor Howard; Sundown; Temperance Reel; and It Soon Be



Done.Victory Review says: This is what folk music heaven will be like.
Wonderful harmonies, terrific instrumentals, great old songs--I can't stop smiling!
Wow! What a recording!


The New Golden Ring

FIVE DAYS SINGING, Volume I


Introduction


Actually, the "Golden Ring" has never been an established group of specific individuals; it has always been more a concept, an approach to informal, non-competitive music-making by a gathering of friends, often solo performers in their own right, who simply enjoy singing and playing together. Our first recorded example of this was the "original" Golden Ring, recorded at WFMT in Chicago in 1963 and now available as Folk-Legacy's CD-16.


For some years following the release of that recording, we wanted to produce a sequel,

but the "original" artists were scattered around the country and managed to get together only once a year at the Fox Hollow Festival that Bob Beers produced every August in upstate New York. There, around the campfires, the ring seemed to expand each year as members of the group brought in new friends and partners.
In fact, new "rings" were developing all over the country as the various participants gathered others around them, wherever they were living, for the simple purpose of sharing the music they loved.


We finally decided to invite all who could come for a reunion at the home of Sandy and

Caroline Paton, a remodeled barn on a rural hillside in Sharon, Connecticut, that also houses Folk-Legacy. There we would make music together for a week or so before we all went on up to Fox Hollow. Friends came from Denver, Chicago, Ann Arbor, Washington, Boston, Philadelphia, Accokeek (Maryland), Falls Church (Virginia), Camden (Maine), New Haven and Madison (Connecticut). When we ran out of extra bedrooms and couches, air mattresses were strategically laid out on the living-room floor. The Armstrong family pitched their tent in the back yard by the pond and the Dildines took up quarters in our pick-up camper which was parked behind the house. They probably got more sleep than those of us who stayed in the house, but, truth to tell, no one slept very much. To go to sleep would mean missing the music still being made by other, more tireless song-swappers.


It was not what one might call a well-controlled recording situation. I set up microphones, set levels as well as I could, pushed the buttons, and then dashed in to add my tenor to the chorus. Caroline took on the task of feeding the multitudes and organized it brilliantly. Loathe to leave the perpetual music to prepare meals, she had baked a number of casseroles ahead of time and stored them in the freezer.
When people began to show signs of hunger, she would pop a couple of these in the oven and run back to sing another song or two while they heated. Everyone pitched in to help with the kitchen chores, of course, often experimenting with harmonies on a new song while scrubbing pots and pans. With over twenty-five folks to feed, all the meals were strictly buffet and paper plates.


It was five days of a marvelous musical marathon, exhilarating and exhausting, following

which we all trekked up to Fox Hollow for another five days of singing and playing with an even larger assembly of friends. When it was all over, I must have slept for a couple of days before editing the many tapes which resulted in the two volumes of this set. But we'd do it again - and, in fact, we did, with somewhat smaller gatherings, to produce the cassette titled Sharon Mountain Harmony: A Golden Ring of Gospel (C-86) and, recently, in sessions which resulted in 'Twos On a Night Like This: A Christmas Legacy (CD-114) and For All the Good People, A Golden Ring Reunion (CD-121) - for that's what it's all about, really: good times, with good music and good friends.


A booklet is available /or this recording, containing notes on all of the songs and their complete texts. To obtain a copy, send $ 1 to Folk-Legacy Records, Box 1148, Sharon, CT 06069.




Here's the track listing for Volume 2:

Ah, Robin
Angeline the Baker
Calvary
Few Days
Galveston Flood, The
Goodbye, Fare You Well
Jute Mill Song
Kangaroo Song, The
Mist Covered Mountains
Mortality
Over the Water to Charlie
Rolling Home
Sam Gone Away
Sammy's Bar

Notes:
The second volume of the set, establishing clearly the joy that happens when good friends make music together in a creative, non-competitive environment. Most of the participants here are professional folksingers, but all enjoy singing harmonies and "sharing" a song with others.

Among the participants: Joe Hickerson, Ed Trickett, Sara Gray; Harry Tuft; Gordon Bok, Michael Cooney; Sandy and Caroline Paton, Jack Stanesco, George and Gerry Armstrong, and a cast of dozens!


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:55 PM

Then there's For All the Good People: A Golden Ring Reunion, CD-121.

Here's the track listing:


All The Good People (Ken Hicks)
Damned Old Piney Mountains (Craig Johnson)
Dark Island (David Silver)
Devil In the Garden (Bob Coltman)
Early (Greg Brown)
Golden Years (Lee Ruth)
Goodbye to the Lowlands
Grandma's Song
Last Letter Home
Last Train to Glory
Last Wagon, The
Little Creek
Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
Reindeer Song, The
Richmond
Singer's Request
Springtime Brings On the Shearing
Stoney's Waltz
Weaver's Reverie
When You and I Were Young, Maggie

Notes:
Mind you, the Golden Ring was never a specific group; it was more a concept of sharing music with friends. Thus, when a group of us gathered again in the Folk-Legacy barn, a group including Ed Trickett, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Harry Tuft, and Sandy, Caroline and David Paton, it was truly a reunion of the Golden Ring idea. May it live forever!

Singer's Request; Grandma's Song/The Reindeer Song; Springtime Brings On the Shearing; Richmond/Last Letter Home; Damned Old Piney Mountains; Goodbye to the Lowlands; Devil in the Garden; Stoney's Waltz; When You and I Were Young, Maggie; Weaver's Reverie; Little Creek; Early; Napoleon Crossing the Rhine; Dark Island; Golden Years; The Last Wagon; Last Train to Glory; and All the Good People.


Also see the Barton/Para Discography Page for notes and background information on the songs.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 10:58 PM

Then there's Sharon Mountain Harmony: A Golden Ring of Gospel, CD-86

Track Listing:

Been In the Storm So Long
Blessed Quietness
Bright Morning Star
Climbing High Mountains
Done Found My Lost Sheep
Glory Bound
I Want to Die Easy
I Will Arise
I've Been Listening
Lord I Want More Religion
Oh, He's Taken My Feet
Peace Like a River
There Are Angels Hovering Round
Time Has Made a Change in Me
Trouble So Hard
Turtle Dove

Notes:
Lucy Simpson and Rock Creek (Tom McHenry, Wally Macnow & Will Destler), along with Peter and Mary Alice Amidon, present a program of sacred folksong from both black and white musical traditions. Great old hymns and wonderful harmonies. I've Been Listening; Glory Bound; Turtle Dove; Climbing High Mountains; Peace Like a River; Done Found My Lost Sheep; I Want to Die Easy; Blessed Quietness; Oh, He's Taken My Feet; Lord, I Want More Religion; Trouble So Hard; I Will Arise; Bright Morning Star; Time Has Made a Change in Me; Been in the Storm So Long, and There Are Angels Hovering Around.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 11:03 PM

The last one may not be an "official" Golden Ring recording, but it fits in the series. It may well be my favorite Christmas album, 'Twas on a Night Like This (A Christmas Legacy), CD-114.

Track list:

Chocolate Burro
Christmas Day in the Morning
Christmas Hornpipe
Dark December
Every Star Shall Sing a Carol
Here We Come A-Wassailing
Holly Bears a Berry, The
Holly Tree Carol
Infant Holy
In the Bleak Midwinter
Kentucky Wassail
Last Month in the Year
Mary Had a Baby
New Year Round
Peace Round
Quaker Benediction
Silver Star Hornpipe
Skater's Waltz
Sweet Lamb
Sweetly, the Little Bells Ring
Twas On a Night Like This
Under the Mistletoe Bough


Notes:

INTRODUCTION
Christmas is a time of celebration and joy; it is also a time of reflection, reverence, and love. For this recording, we have chosen songs and melodies that express both aspects of the holiday season: the welcoming of the winter solstice and the celebration of the wondrous birth.

We've wanted to make this recording for a long time. Over the years, Cathy Barton and Dave Para have developed a unique repertoire of seasonal songs and tunes, and we have learned a number of unusual ones as well. The four of us love singing together and hope to do much more of it in the future. We were delighted that Ed Trickett and our sons, David and Robin, could join us on some of the songs. Many thanks, too, to Skip Gorman for his inspired fiddle accompaniments and to David Paton for his beautiful contributions on English concertina.

Our material has been drawn from a wide variety of sources, traditional and contemporary, American and European, ranging from the Shetland islands to Alabama and Texas, from a lilting Spanish carol to a delightful ragtime tune learned from an old music box and rendered here by Dave Para's guitar (and banjo] with Cathy Barton's hammered dulcimer. A few of the songs and tunes may be familiar to you, but we trust that most of them will offer fresh alternatives for your holiday listening and music-making.

Here, then, is a collection of songs and melodies of spirited wassail ("be healthy" or "hale"), together with many of a more spiritual nature: carols of simple faith and songs that speak of a precious hope for the future of humankind.

We invite you to' share them with us, and with your family and friends.

Sandy and Caroline Paton
Sharon, Connecticut; 1989

Take the Golden Ring concept, add a splendid collection of unusual Christmas songs and tunes, bring in Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Sandy, Caroline and David Paton, Ed Trickett's guitar and harmonies, Skip Gorman's fiddle, and Gordon Bok to offer a Quaker Benediction, and you have a Folk-Legacy Christmas recording. Kentucky Wassail; Christmas Day in the Morning; In the Bleak Midwinter; Sweetly, the Little Bells Ring; Sweet Lamb; Infant Holy; Mary Had a Baby; Holly Tree Carol; Under the Mistletoe Bough; Every Star Shall Sing a Carol; Dark December; Last Month of the Year; 'Twas On a Night Like This; Silver Star Hornpipe; The Holly Bears a Berry/Oh, Come, Little Children; Chocolate Burro; Skater's Waltz/Christmas Hornpipe; Here We Come A-Wassailing; New Year Round; Quaker Benediction; and Peace Round. Also available as a cassette.

FOREWORD
Of all our seasonal festivals, Christmas is the best kept, which is partly why it carries such a complexity of meanings and why we eagerly anticipate its coming every year. Much of our Christmas folklore reaches back through centuries, and we carry it on yet, though sometimes unaware of some of its original intentions. We credit St. Francis with first democratizing Christmas, arousing in common people an affectionate devotion to a little baby, who, though God Incarnate, suffers the cold winter and the rough manger bed. The Christmas story is a celebration of simple humanity, and we therefore associate it with what we hold most dear: family, friends, brotherhood, peace.

Francis is also credited with awakening the "carol spirit" in the Christmas festival. For most adult Americans, Christmas carols comprise the strongest folk-singing tradition we have left, and at Christmas we are folksingers all.

For the two of us, this tradition has been extended by commercial recordings of Christmas music. Every year, the records came out with the ornaments, stayed stacked by the hi- fi and were played over and over for weeks until we wistfully packed them away in January. They helped us keep the old favorites that we sang in church and school and told us something about their origins. These recordings also introduced us to the musical traditions of other cultures to which we as yet had no access. These records provided the earliest sources for some of the music here, and we sincerely hope we have added to that tradition.

We will remember 1989 affectionately for making this album, but also as the year in which we acquired our first house. These two are well related, as Christmas highlights the warmth of having a home to shelter your memories and share with family and friends. And, as Bob Coltman, of Chelmsford, Massachusetts, wrote us, "even your music sounds its best in a place you really love."

But, as Bob well knows, it is a special house in which we recorded this music before you. For more than 20 years, this house has welcomed musicians of many and great talents and given some of their music a home. This house in the Connecticut Berkshires is more than a recording studio, however. It's a real house where babies are born and raised, meals are cooked and shared, friends laugh and love, where real people Live and bring integrity to their music. At this house, we have come to know its proprietors, Sandy and Caroline Paton, their sons, David and Robin, and to cherish them as friends and their music as inspiration. At this house we have found good friends in Skip Gorman and Ed Trickett, whom we're privileged to have contribute to this project. It is a house we love to visit and hate to leave. So, gratefully, we sing, "God bless this house, from the bottom of our hearts."

And yours as well, dear listener.

Cathy Barton and Dave Para

Boonville, Missouri; 1989


Also see the Barton/Para Discography Page for notes and background information on the songs.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Artful Codger
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 12:11 AM

Let me clarify: I don't care for the later ones because two are Christian-oriented and the other (aren't there now six Golden Ring recordings?) seemed to be more "contemporary" rather than traditional in flavor. The song selection was poorer and the style of performance for even the traditional songs was more foofed up. This is based on recollections of some years back, when I was sampling the newer albums. Maybe it was like listening to Joni Mitchell's "Chalk Marks in the Rain" after wearing out "Turbulent Indigo", "Court and Spark" and "Wild Things Run Fast"--the bar had been set too high. The Christmas album was okay, but I only recall a couple of songs that weren't in the "been there, done that" category, and those few didn't grab me. Mind you, others may not be as "jaded" and may find all the albums delightful, particularly if they haven't been spoiled already by the first three--there was a warm, homey character to them that the later recordings didn't recapture, in my opinion. I was also a LOT younger then, and the early Golden Ring songs became indelibly imprinted on my impressionable mind, helping to form my folk tastes.

FWIW, Howie Mitchell was my inspiration for building and playing hammered dulcimers (for various reasons, practices I've long since discontinued, though my fingers still twitch for the hammers.)


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Arkie
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 12:15 AM

Great set of recordings. I have most but am missing a couple. Really love "Twas on a Night Like This" and other as well. Not a bad recording in the group. Great songs and performances.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 12:40 AM

Hi, Artful Dodger -
You're right that there are six CDs - one of the five albums has two discs. While "Sharon Mountain Harmony" and "Twas on a Night Like This" have religious songs, I don't believe any of the performers was particularly religious. That being the case, I think they were better able to bring out the musicality of the religious songs without getting sappy on us.
-Joe-

Here's something I did earlier on this subject.

Thread #75848   Message #1338171
Posted By: Joe Offer
24-Nov-04 - 06:16 PM
Thread Name: Info Req:Tis a Gift & Kickin' My Dog (Golden Ring)
Subject: Golden Ring Recordings


The Golden Ring CD's are my favorite folk recordings. The first one is Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends for Making Music, originally issued as an LP in 1964 and reissued on CD in 1996. Here's the track listing:
  1. The Blind Man's Song
  2. Jesse James
  3. Nonesuch
  4. The Hound Dog Song
  5. Captain Kidd
  6. Dipper of Stars
  7. When Jesus Wept
  8. Simple Gifts
  9. Rollin' A-Rollin (Child #10)
  10. One Man Shall Mow My Meadow
  11. Howie's Breakdown
  12. Barbara Ellen (Child #84)
  13. Golden Ring Around My Susan Girl
  14. The Holly Bears a Berry
  15. Babe of Bethlehem
  16. This Old World
The other Golden Ring recordings are:
  • The New Golden Ring: Five Days Singing
    • Volume I
        Benjamin Bomaneer
        D Composition in C
        Ginny's Gone to Ohio
        It Soon Be Done
        Leaning On the Everlasting Arms
        Lord Bateman
        Over the Waterfall
        Poor Howard
        Rolling Hills of the Border, The
        Sundown
        Temperance Reel
        Waterbound
        Waters of Tyne, The
        World of Misery
    • Volume II (1996???)
        Ah, Robin
        Angeline the Baker
        Calvary
        Few Days
        Galveston Flood, The
        Goodbye, Fare You Well
        Jute Mill Song
        The Kangaroo Song
        Mist Covered Mountains
        Mortality
        Over the Water to Charlie
        Rolling Home
        Sam Gone Away
        Sammy's Bar
  • For All the Good People: A Golden Ring Reunion (1992)
      All The Good People
      Damned Old Piney Mountains
      Dark Island
      Devil In the Garden
      Early
      Golden Years
      Goodbye to the Lowlands
      Grandma's Song
      Last Letter Home
      Last Train to Glory
      The Last Wagon
      Little Creek
      Napoleon Crossing the Rhine
      The Reindeer Song
      Richmond
      Singer's Request
      Springtime Brings On the Shearing
      Stoney's Waltz
      Weaver's Reverie
      When You and I Were Young, Maggie
  • Twas on a Night Like This (A Christmas Legacy)
      Chocolate Burro
      Christmas Day in the Morning
      Christmas Hornpipe
      Dark December
      Every Star Shall Sing a Carol
      Here We Come A-Wassailing
      The Holly Bears a Berry
      Holly Tree Carol
      Infant Holy
      In the Bleak Midwinter
      Kentucky Wassail
      Last Month in the Year
      Mary Had a Baby
      New Year Round
      Peace Round
      Quaker Benediction
      Silver Star Hornpipe
      Skater's Waltz
      Sweet Lamb
      Sweetly, the Little Bells Ring
      Twas On a Night Like This
      Under the Mistletoe Bough
  • Sharon Mountain Harmony: A Golden Ring of Gospel
      Been In the Storm So Long
      Blessed Quietness
      Bright Morning Star
      Climbing High Mountains
      Done Found My Lost Sheep
      Glory Bound
      I Want to Die Easy
      I Will Arise
      I've Been Listening
      Lord I Want More Religion
      Oh, He's Taken My Feet
      Peace Like a River
      There Are Angels Hovering Round
      Time Has Made a Change in Me
      Trouble So Hard
      Turtle Dove

-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Artful Codger
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 03:03 AM

I've always considered the two volumes of "Five Days Singing" as separate albums, since they were issued (and reissued) separately--and, being dirt poor at the time, I had to buy them separately. Now I'm only moss poor.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 10:13 AM

Just in case someone isn't familiar with the recordings, they're all available on CD from Folk-Legacy (folk-legacy.com). Highly recommended!


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: kendall
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 10:51 AM

Some of my all time favorites.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Elmore
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 11:26 AM

It was a pleasure to see these performers at Fox Hollow, and then to hear them on these memorable recordings.


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: bbc
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 04:27 PM

How nice to see this thread, Joe! Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Golden Ring: A Gathering of Friends...
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 09:41 PM

Every one of these is a favorite. I've often felt the spirit of the Golden Ring at gatherings of music friends, but these albums capture that spirit better than anything I've ever heard. And they are "go to" albums for excellent material.

Dan


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