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People’s Picks: Tom Brosseau

We all went to the same school for our musical education, Smithsonian Folkways - myself and so many performers who have played with and traveled with me over the years.

Often, my first Folkways albums were compilations: We Shall Overcome: Documentary of the March on Washington, The Asch Recordings, 1939 to 1945 - Vol. 2 and Classic Railroad Songs from Smithsonian Folkways. Varied and beautiful.

Every city has someone who cares. In San Diego there lives a musicologist, Virginia Curtiss, who, along with her late husband Lou, owned a record store and hosted folk concerts starting in the 1960s. Virginia and Lou kept the community alive by doing the most basic and precious of things, sharing. Our traditions get passed along this way. Think of it as one candle flame lighting another.

Folk songs of all kinds, from all over the world, stories and funnies told and sung by men, women, and children, from all kinds of different backgrounds is what you’ll encounter on this compilation. I hope that you’ll enjoy listening to these gems. Pass a song or two on to a friend. Or perhaps the entire lot. Play this list at any time of the day, any day of the week, on a special occasion, or for no reason at all. The souls of voices you will hear are your own. We are all part of the flame.