[Collection] – ‘Their Hearts Had Six Strings’ – Volumes 1-6 (1962-1977)

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As Musicophilia nears its tenth year, it has picked up a lot of steam, with many new mixes in the last year (that I think are among its best): six installments of the ‘Le Monde du Funk‘ series, ‘Le Son de L’Infini,’ and the late-80s ‘Evensong‘ and ‘The Dawning‘ mixes.  But I’ve also been looking back, putting together themed collections of some of the blog’s continued series: the ‘Musique du Monde‘ series of 1960s-70s international cool; ‘The Young Lady’s Post-Punk Handbook‘ series of woman-lead post-punk; the ‘Sensory Replication Series‘ that heavily mix and modify dozens of tracks together; the ‘No Heroes‘ mixes of post-punks covering the classics; and most popular, the ‘1981 Box Set‘ mixes, nine mixes and hundreds more tracks of post-punk from the titular year.  Now we’re happy to present a collection of another long-running series, ‘Their Hearts Had Six Strings‘.

Their Hearts Had Six Strings‘ delves into the oft-maligned, pigeonholed and critically disregarded realm of  folk/singer-songwriter music from the late 1960s and the 1970s.  Often assumed to be corny music made by Ren Faire maidens and mopey sludge by coffee shop goatee’ed troubadours, this sphere is actually remarkably eclectic.  It may have started from a European-derived folk revival in the early 60s, but by the late 60s and through the 70s, it drew as much from a wide variety of traditions and sounds, including Soul, Country, psychedelic rock, R&B, Jazz, and non-European folk traditions.  In other words, it was fully engaged with the era’s phenomena of musical interplay, cultural exchange, and adventurous forward momentum away from sonic segregation.  While the solo voice and “six strings” of the guitar may be at the foundation of a lot of the music, you’ll also hear a lot of spectacular string arrangements, surprising production flourishes, and even bits of avant-garde electronics alongside pedal steel guitar and groovy organs. To my ears, at least, this music is as exciting as anything else we’ve featured here at Musicophilia, and I hope you’ll agree.

The best part of revisiting this series for this collection is that it prompted me to remember that I’d culled dozens more tracks during the “lean years” when I didn’t have the time to put things together for Musicophilia.  And so I’ve added to the original four volumes two brand new volumes, that are every bit as strong as those previous–if not stronger.  I’ve packaged it all up as a digital “box set,” each volume with unique artwork all in a booklet (which you can preview here).

This “box set” features 100 artists and group; from the famous and beloved, to the woefully overlooked, and everything in between:

Pierre Akendengue, Areski, Arthur, Kevin Ayers, Joan Baez, Sibylle Baier,  Pierre Barouh, Robbie Basho, Jorge Ben, Big Star, David Bixby, Tia Blake, Colin Blunstone, Curt Boettcher, Lo Borges, Anne Briggs, Duncan Browne, Tim Buckley, Vashti Bunyan, Michael Chapman, Susan Christie, Leonard Cohen, Judy Collins, Ry Cooder, Don Cooper, Mike Cooper, Jim Croce, Karen Dalton, Sandy Denny, Bob Desper, Dillard & Clark, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Brian Eno, Mimi Farina, Bill Fay, Roberta Flack, Brigitte Fontaine, Jackson C. Frank, Ruthann Friedman, Lewis Furey, Tim Hardin, Donny Hathaway, Richie Havens, Heaven & Earth, Gary Higgins, Catherine Howe, Michael Hurley, Bert Jansch, Wizz Jones, Carole King, Carol Kleyn, Leo Kotke, Lavender Country, Ted Lucas, John Martyn, Eduardo Mateo, Jose Mauro, Shelagh McDonald, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Moore, Van Morrison, Mickey Newbury, Nico, Harry Nilsson, Odetta, Shuggie Otis, Emmanuell Parrenin, Dolly Parton, Annette Peacock, The Pentangle, Linda Perhacs, Susan Pillsbury, John Prine, Procol Harum, Bonnie Raitt, Lou Reed, Relatively Clean Rivers, Rodriguez, Arthur Russell, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Judee Sill, Paul Simon, Nina Simone, Bridget St. John, Candi Stanton, Jim Sullivan, Tax Free, Henri Texier, These Trails, Richard & Linda Thompson, Steve Tilston, Dave Van Ronk, Townes Van Zandt, Tom Waits, Peter Walker, Cris Williamson, Larry Jon Wilson, and Bill Withers

As always, I implore you: please buy all that you can of these artists’ music, to support their art and keep it in print.  I hope you enjoy the music, and pass it on.  And keep your ears peeled for a follow-up mix of music by the spiritual heirs to this music from the 90s-2010s, coming soon.

Download Six ‘Their Hearts Had Six Strings’ Mixes Here

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