scattered on those fertile fields where the roots run deep
June 21, 2018 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Way back in 1989, I found this Windham Hill compilation that completely rocked folked my world: Legacy: A Collection Of New Folk Music. Side A: Pierce Pettis - Legacy, Cliff Eberhart - My Father's Shoes [not compilation version], Rebecca Jenkins - Through The Leaves, David Massengill - My Name Joe, Blue Rubies - When You Were Mine [Prince cover], Bill Morrissey - Handsome Molly, Lillie Palmer [Not information, anyone have anything?] - Insanity Street

Side B: John Gorka - I Saw A Stranger With Your Hair [Not version from album], Uncle Bonzai - Men And Women [Not version from album], Steven Roback - Old World [a sparse Discogs page is the only evidence of this song online], Anne Bourne - Blue Ballet, Kirk Kelly - Go Man Go, Iain Matthews - On Squirrel Hill, Sara Hickman - Salvador, Milo Binder [LATimes 1991 profile article] - New Toys
posted by hippybear (11 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
This album moved me sharply away from electric rock and toward more acoustic music for many years following. Well, okay, I'd become obsessed with Indigo Girls' eponymous album (I bought it the week it was released for $REASONS I won't take time with right now), and that had started leading me toward more acoustic instrument driven rock and music.

Anyway, artists from this compilation and others that I came across sideways or however really had me in a different mode from where I was previously. That's a good thing. I think today my appreciation of Carbon Leaf (to name one) (they're one of my favorites ever!) stems from this time.
posted by hippybear at 8:50 PM on June 21, 2018

I have a real soft spot for Wyndham Hill stuff, but I have not heard this - cheers. I bought a compilation way back when I was a young fogey, and (now I'm an actual old fogey) I still pop it on the stereo from time to time. I realise it has a reputation for being a little cheesy and coffee-table, but screw it.

If you enjoy contemporary folk, may I suggest the Sydney radio show (and podcast) Sideways Through Sound. A gentle warning - the presenter mixes the dreamy folk guitar instrumentals with sometimes way-out, fuzzed up psychedelic guitar rock.
posted by misterbee at 9:21 PM on June 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

I realize belatedly that I should have named this post "You didn't have the decency to change the sheets". Oh well.
posted by hippybear at 10:07 PM on June 21, 2018 [1 favorite]

UNCLE BONSAI were a steadfast, reliable source of great songs to put on mix tapes.
If I had a penis, I'd still be a girl...
But I'd make much more money and conquer the world!
I've never heard of this compilation -- it's a lot more singer-songwriter folkier than I expected from Wyndham Hill. They had a reputation for being New Age.

Also there was a weirdo heavy metal band from somewhere near Seattle called WINDHAM HELL.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 10:46 PM on June 21, 2018

Thanks for these wonderful memories, hippybear. My girlfriend at the time worked at Windham Hill and gave me this sampler. I played it incessantly. The Blue Rubies' version of "When You Were Mine" is still one of my desert island discs. I'm going to go listen to it now and think about that old girlfriend.
posted by PhineasGage at 12:26 AM on June 22, 2018 [1 favorite]

FWIW I've seen John Gorka, Bill Morrissey and David Massengill live. Gorka more than once. They were all pretty big on local community radio in the 90's so they brought them here. I have to wonder if this record influenced them.

Massengill played a mean dulcimer.
posted by lordrunningclam at 5:21 AM on June 22, 2018

I had (have? Still unpacking from a move) this CD! They say smells trigger our strongest, most visceral memories, but for me that’s not true. Maybe it’s the synesthesia? But when I hear this music in my mind’s ear, for a moment I feel what it was to live in that body, in that place, how I moved in the world. Thanks for the memories, hippybear!
posted by Nancy_LockIsLit_Palmer at 5:49 AM on June 22, 2018

I found this album at the library at some point in the 90's and fell in love with it. Some of these songs are in the big mp3 collection I play on random shuffle in the car. I think the two that have held up best for me over the years are When You Were Mine and Go Man Go.
posted by Redstart at 5:55 AM on June 22, 2018

I've never heard of this compilation -- it's a lot more singer-songwriter folkier than I expected from Wyndham Hill. They had a reputation for being New Age.

I don't know the story behind this record, but I'd say the chances are high that Iain Matthews had a lot to do with it. Matthews was doing A&R for Windham Hill in the '80s and the label had released his Walking A Changing Line the year before (from whence comes "On Squirrel Hill"). And by '89 the "Windham Hill sound" was becoming stale. It'd make sense for them to want to assemble a contemporary singer-songwriter comp.

I make a habit of picking up Windham Hill records whenever I see them. They're almost never more than a couple of bucks and they're almost always in fine condition.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:42 AM on June 22, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have this compilation!

For years I made a habit of picking up folk compilation CDs whenever I found them. They would always have some cheese and some real gems. It was a way to find new artists I liked.

Now I never see any CDs anywhere except my own collection, and I have to rely on online sources. It's better in some ways, worse in others.
posted by elizilla at 7:19 AM on June 22, 2018

Lillie Palmer [Not information, anyone have anything?]
You probably turned up the same results as me but I'll put them here for posterity anyway. It's a real mystery that there is so little information around for this talent.

She appeared on the bill - 1986 Saturday May 24, Kerrville Folk Festival

Billboard May 13, 1989, p.F-5
Still, the folk scene continues to evolve. Lillie Palmer is one of the most imaginative of the next generation of songwriters in the city. She feels that she could only have reached this point in her work because the scene has inspired her, supported her, and challenged her artistically. "New York's not Utopia, but here you learn to work and to recognize songwriting as work. The competitive edge on the scene is to make your mark in every one of your songs."
Fast Folk - Musical Magazine (30 sec live sample) - [1991]

In an advertisement for Hit & Run Music Publishing in New On The Charts magazine (1992) p.33

Billboard June 19, 1993, p.23
The North By Northeast Publishing Posse (NXNE), a brainchild of 13 music publisher staffers, including Kenny MacPherson, VP of creative at Warner Chappell Music. Says MacPherson, "The creation of NXNE is a call to the rest of the music industry let them know that publishers can nuture [sic] acts, and that we can and do play an important role in getting bands signed. The creation of NXNE allows for publishers to get together to discuss ideas about new artists and trends in publishing."
Now, starting with a Tuesday (15) showcase in New York at Don Hill's, label A &R staffers can hear acts signed to the member companies. On June 15, the acts will include Lillie Palmer (Hit and Run), Nixon Pupils (Famous Music), and Clarissa (Warner Chappell).
Some listenable samples from The Butterfly Zone, 1996 that you linked at discogs .

Fast Folk - Musical Magazine (30 sec sample) - [2002]

Whilst looking for this information I came across American Radio History (the Billboard links), and what a great resource it is. Previously linked here at MetaFilter. How did I miss that?
posted by unliteral at 4:46 PM on June 24, 2018

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