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FolkWorld CD Reviews

Issue 11 10/99

Hank Schwartz "Notes along the Way"
Label: Hank Schwartz Design; HSD 001; 24 Tracks; Playing Time: 73.52 min

This one's strictly for banjo lovers only; 70+ minutes of old-timey banjo tunes and songs with banjo accompaniment. It's a home recording, but the sound quality is surprisingly good. In the liner notes, Hank Schwartz is needlessly apologetic for his "untutored" voice - yes, he's no virtuoso, but his singing is in fact perfectly adequate and suits his style.
He's playing purely for the pleasure of it and has put together a selection of his favourite traditional tunes and songs for this album. As you would expect, many are familiar - "Arkansas Traveler", "Soldier's Joy", "Katy Cruel", "The Water Is Wide" and "I Once Loved A Lass" are all here - but he plays well (and fast!) and thus it's an enjoyable listen. As long as you like the sound of the banjo, that is!

Hank Schwartz website

Anja Beinroth

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