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Johnny Rivers ‎– Johnny Rivers Rocks The Folk (1965)

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Johnny Rivers ‎– Johnny Rivers Rocks The Folk (1965)

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A1 	Tom Dooley 	
A2 	Long Time Man 	
A3 	Michael 	
A4 	Blowin' In The Wind 	
A5 	Green, Green 	
A6 	Where Have All The Flowers Gone 	
B1 	If I Had A Hammer 	
B2 	Tall Oak Tree 	
B3 	Catch The Wind 	
B4 	500 Miles 	
B5 	Mr. Tamborine Man 	
B6 	Jailer Bring Me Water

Johnny Rivers - Guitar, Primary Artist, Vocals 
Chuck Day - Bass
Mickey Jones - Drums

 

When the folk-rock ship arrived, Rivers was ready to jump aboard, with assistance from producer Lou Adler (then also handling Barry McGuire and the Mamas and the Papas). "Twelve Greatest Folk Songs in His A Go-Go Style" reads the subtitle, and it's an accurate description of a set dominated by some of the most familiar folk songs of the era: "Tom Dooley," "Michael (Row the Boat Ashore)," "Blowin' in the Wind," "Green, Green," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "If I Had a Hammer," and "500 Miles." More contemporary material gets a nod via versions of Donovan's "Catch the Wind" and Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man." Basically, however, it sounds like a mid-'60s Johnny Rivers album: nearly unvarying mid-tempo, easy-to-handclap-along-with rhythms, soulful female backup harmonies, and easy-rocking lead vocals. Quality folk-rock took the best of both genres to create something greater than the sum of the parts, but Rivers just laid his own (pretty derivative) commercial pop/rock style on a set of folk material. That means this LP lacks the imagination necessary to rate as interesting folk-rock, though it's adequately pleasant. A historical curiosity, it bears some similarity to the first hit albums by Trini Lopez, though with a heavier rock feel. That similarity is not unexpected given that drummer Mickey Jones had played with Lopez (and, in a more surprising twist, would soon go on to play with future Band members in the group that backed Bob Dylan on his famous 1966 world tour). ---Richie Unterberger, AllMusic Review

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