Sunday, 23 August 2015

'Many A Mile' by Buffy Sainte-Marie

'Many A Mile' is Buffy's second album, originally released in 1965 on Vanguard. Although all of Buffy's other albums on Vanguard have been released on CD, for some reason 'Many A Mile' hasn't been until now.  I can only assume it was a rights issue for one of the cover songs on the album. I tracked down a CD version of the album in the 2000s on eBay and imported it from Italy. It came with a square gatefold version of the original album cover with the original 12" vinyl liner notes printed inside.

Some of the songs from the album are well known from being included in compilations over the years, particularly 'Until It's Time For You To Go' which was covered by virtually everyone in the '60s and '70s. There's also 'The Piney Wood Hills' which was a staple of Buffy's live sets for years and 'Los Pescadores' with it's sweeping and soaring vocals. But 'Many A Mile' includes some other gems like the deep blues of 'Fixin' To Die' and the traditional spiritual 'Lazarus', performed with voice and a handclap to produce a haunting, astonishing sound. 'Lazarus' was sampled years ago by Kanye West for a song by Cam'ron ('Dead or Alive'). There's also the gentle 'Come All Ye Fair And Tender Ladies' with Buffy playing mouthbow.

The two CDs sound very similar but the vocals on the new version sound warmer and richer, or at least they do to me.I'm pleased it's finally released as part of the suite of Buffy's Vanguard records.

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