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Best of Friends

The following information is from a press release issued by Appleseed Recordings. You can pre-order the album now from Amazon.com - a link is provided below.

On February 24, 2004 Appleseed will issue a previously unreleased live CD by Tom Paxton, frequent collaborator Anne Hills, and the late, highly influential modern folk pioneer Bob Gibson, recorded in a Chicago club on a snowy night in February 1985 during the 18-month period when the musicians were touring as "Best of Friends."

The new CD, logically entitled "Best of Friends," represents the only official recordings by this gone-too-soon supergroup of three generations of abundantly talented singers, songwriters and performers. While Tom's material dominates this live acoustic show, Bob Gibson's powers as an instrumental and vocal arranger are much in evidence, and Anne Hills' warm soprano provides the rich, lovely link between the three voices.

Among the 14 selections on "Best of Friends," Paxton pays tribute to political martyrs ("The Death of Stephen Biko") and musical heroes ("Did You Hear John Hurt?"), presents a Tom Lehreresque nightmare ("One Million Lawyers"), atmospheric Americana ("Panhandle Wind"), environmental and sociological concerns ("Something's Wrong with the Rain," "She Sits on the Table"), romantic balladry ("Home to Me"), the good-time anthem "Bottle of Wine," and his signature "Ramblin' Boy." Gibson's three original compositions here include the brave, inspirational "Pilgrim Song," which addresses the 12-step recovery for substance abusers, and "Let the Band Play Dixie," a call for social reunification. There's an early Anne Hills song, the yearning "While You Sleep," and the CD starts with its lone non-original track, Shel Silverstein's plea for a lost musical idealism, "Sing for the Song."

Bob Gibson may be a less familiar name to some of you. The senior member of Best of Friends was one of the first superstars of the folk revival of the mid-'50s. Gibson's clean-cut appearance and accessible presentation paved the way for such commercially viable groups as the Kingston Trio and The Tarriers. His repertoire of traditional folk and blues songs, increasingly augmented by some brilliant original compositions, his trademark 12-string guitar and imaginative instrumental and vocal arrangements as a solo artist and in partnership with Hamilton "Bob" Camp, with whom he recorded the first gold album of the folk boom, 1961's "Bob Gibson and Bob Camp at the Gate of Horn", were to leave a major imprint on such young artists as Simon & Garfunkel, Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, Fred Neil, and Phil Ochs (an occasional co-writer). Personal problems and changing times eventually edged Gibson from the spotlight, but he remained a creative presence in the folk world until his death in 1996.

The musicians, their material and the intimate mood of performing in front of a winter-chilled and appreciative audience in their Chicago stronghold all add up to a model experience of modern folk music. As Gibson quotes Abe Lincoln in "Let the Band Play Dixie," "We are gathered not in anger but in celebration."

Click Here to order Best of Friends from www.Amazon.com

Song List:

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