10 Folk Albums Rolling Stone Loved in the 1970s You Never Heard

We praised them 40 years ago — and you should listen to them today!

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Various Artists, 'Traveling Through the Jungle'
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Various Artists, 'Traveling Through the Jungle'

Folk in the Alan Lomax tradition: field recordings of rural people making music in their everyday lives. In this case, the subject was African-Americans in the deep South, which makes the collection's title unfortunate, even if it was meant to underscore the African tradition that much of this music drew on. But the music here, made with military drums (store-bought) and cane fifes and flutes (homemade), was raw and rousing.

What We Said Then: "Rhythmically it's like proto-rock & roll, with a very heavy Bo Diddley beat and shouted, bluesy vocals, but the drumming style, with its traces of both Anglo-American parade music and West African polyrhythm, also sounds like a direct ancestor of jazz. Folklorists will probably be discussing the significance of this very important first fife and drum music for some time but that shouldn't keep anyone from enjoying it." — Robert Palmer, RS 198 (October 23rd, 1975)

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