The Derroll Adams story begins with his growing up in the back seats of cars in 1930s America, listening to early country and old-time music on the radio. The 1950s found him on the West coast where he wrote his celebrated song Portland Town and his life intersected with Pete Seeger, Odetta, Guy Carawan, Woody Guthrie, Will Geer, James Dean, Lord Buckley and eventually Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, with whom he came to Europe in 1957, never to go back.
He became a folk hero in Britain and Europe in the 1960s, appearing in the Bob Dylan Don’t Look Back film and with fans of his zen banjo playing and singing including Donovan, Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, Billy Connolly, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Lane, Long John Baldry and many more. In 1972 he recorded his best album, Feelin’ Fine, for cult English label Village Thing.
Here it is on CD for the first time, in a triple-fold digipak, expanded with six tracks from another mid ’70s release and with guest musicians including Wizz Jones, Tucker Zimmerman, Roland Van Campenhout and Maggie Holland.
released November 27, 2016
Tracks 1-12 from Feelin’ Fine (The Village Thing).
Recorded August 1972 at The Meeting House, Frenchay, Bristol.
Produced by Ian A. Anderson.
Derroll Adams: vocal and 5-string banjo.
Danny Adams: vocal (2, 8, 12).
Wizz Jones: guitar (1, 4, 5), 12-string guitar (12).
Roland Van Campenhout: guitar (1, 3, 11), harmonica (4), recorder (12).
Tracks 13-18 from Along The Way (Best Seller).
Recorded 1975 in Brussels, Belgium.
Produced by Christoph Luhr.
Derroll Adams: vocals and 5-string banjo.
Danny Adams: vocal (15).
Maggie Holland: bass guitar (13, 15, 16, 17).
Youra Marcus: guitar (13, 15).
Tucker Zimmerman: piano (14, 16), 12-string guitar (17).
This “play the two records at the same time” thing is very surprising. Even with a random shift of about a quarter of an hour, some parts sound beautiful and moving, as if intentionally composed this way. Also, I find it interesting that some rather gloomy sections become almost cheerful when combined. Truly a mind-boggling work. Alice M.