Sunday, 14 November 2010

Alex Campbell: Way Out West (Society, 1963)

Alex Campbell: Way Out West (Society, 1963)

01 The Wabash Cannonball
02 Careless Love
03 Bowling Green
04 On Top of Old Smokey
05 The Old Chisholm Trail
06 The Streets of Laredo
07 Jesse James
08 Down In the Valley
09 Orange Blossom Special
10 The Banks of the Ohio
11 The Frozen Logger
12 Barbara Allen
13 St James Infirmary
14 Railroad Bill
15 John Hardy

From the first scratchy tracks, you can tell that while this record is almost fifty years old, it is powerful. Not Scottish music by any means, but one of Scotland's most widely travelled and best known folk singers, Alex Campbell. Joining him on this session are some top musicians: Royd Rivers playing terrific harmonica, Gerry Loughran on guitar, Ian McCann on mandola, mandolin and autoharp, and Dave Laibman on guitar and banjo. Laibman was from Ohio originally, but studied at Oxford at the time this LP was recorded. Best known for his academic work in the field of Marxisim, he was also regarded as a pioneer in ragtime guitar, eventually recording albums in the US for Folkways, Rounder, etc, and publishing an instruction book. This album is enhanced by Laibman's outstanding guitar; check out Orange Blossom Special and Railroad Bill for examples. 

Front and back covers included.



  1. I would like to thank you most heartily not only for this post, but for everything about your blog also. I discovered it only recently, but am now plundering it vigorously!!

    As I find the time to listen to the downloads I am discovering new treasures and old favourites. As for this post, well ...... I bought this in Woolies in the early 60s for very little, together with 'Songs of Bonnie Scotland' and played both to death as a young man in North London. I never heard Alex sing, though came close many times, especially at the Singers Clubs.

    Going to Edinburgh a few years back I was in a pub when a woman sung the Frozen Logger .... about half way through she lost the words and, noticing I was singing along, turned to me and I sang the next verse to get her going again!!! I got very drunk that night, and so it brings back great memories to me. THANK YOU!!!

  2. This was before Gerry Loughran changed anglicized his name to Lockran.