Fricke's Picks: Velvet Folk Songs

On the third and fourth Velvet Underground albums, 1969's The Velvet Underground and 1970's Loaded, bassist Doug Yule was the gripping boyish voice in Lou Reed's dramas "Candy Says" and "New Age." Yule now lives in Seattle and plays the fiddle (he builds them, too). But he still sings real-life songs in RedDog, a Seattle old-timey-folk trio with mandolinist Cary Lung and guitarist/banjo player Tom Collicott. Their fine debut, Hard Times (OldDog), is all public-domain tunes, antique blues and backwoods fables flecked with a purist's grit. Yule's voice has aged a bit, but the high yearning I know so well in "Oh! Sweet Nuthin'" is still there.