Tom Paley is one of the great survivors of the American folk and country scene. Sixty-two years ago, he played and sang with America's greatest folk hero Woody Guthrie, before going on becoming a founding member of that celebrated trio The New Lost City Ramblers, with whom he worked until the early 60s. Since then he has spent much of his time living modestly in London, and though he kept playing, he has been sadly overlooked until a group of Paley enthusiasts formed a co-operative to record this remarkably fresh-sounding album.
An hour in the company of Tom Paley and his revue is an hour well spent. Sid Smith 2012 “Been there, done that” is one of those clichéd quips that all too easily rolls off the tongue. Yet when you’ve been around for as long as Tom Paley has, it just happens to be true. A founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers in the late 1950s alongside Mike Seeger and John Cohen, Paley fuelled a revival in old-time music when it was regarded as a parochial throwback, all but forgotten and overtaken by the popularity of bluegrass.