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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter, Paul and Mary (Limited Edition Hybrid SACD version)

Review by Gary Hill

I can’t remember a time when the music of Peter Paul and Mary was not a part of the world. Of course, that’s because this, their debut album, was released before I was born. I knew their songs before I knew who they were. Then, as time went by, I sort of forgot about them. It’s not that I didn’t remember them. It’s just that I didn’t listen to their music or hear it on the radio anymore. I just didn’t think about them. Well, this new audiophile release of their first album got me thinking about and listening to them again. I have to say that I’m glad. The songs sound better than ever here. If you’ve ever liked this group, or just like folk music in general, pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 3 at

Track by Track Review
Early in the Morning

Okay, like everything else here, this is folk music. That said, it really feels a lot like old time rock and roll at the same time. Some of the lead vocals here are just so deep. It’s an energetic tune that works well.

500 Miles
Very slow moving, this is quite traditional folk music. The mix of vocals on the song is what makes it work.
I really love the vocal harmonies on this. Beyond that, though, it’s another slow moving folk tune. It’s not that different from the last piece. It’s just that the vocals here gel even better than they did on the previous cut.
This Train
Here’s another tune that’s more of a rocker. There’s a lot of energy on this. It also seems to be another where the vocal arrangement stands taller than the previous piece. It’s one of my favorites here.
There’s a bit of an Island vibe to this song. It’s a playful one. It doesn’t do as much for me as some of the other stuff does, though.
It's Raining
Rather intricate, this is based on and contains a lot of quotes from various traditional tunes. It’s got a lot of little kid type stuff. It’s pretty, though. It’s also rather playful.
If I Had My Way
This is another that’s got more of a rock energy to it.
Cruel War
A much mellower piece, this is part love song, part anti-war tune.
Lemon Tree
Another with an Island vibe, I like this one a lot. It’s so catchy. In fact, this is another contender for my favorite piece here.
If I Had a Hammer
As much as I like Pete Seeger, I think that I like this version of his classic song better than his. It’s an energetic tune that’s really a quintessential folk number. This is another standout.
Autumn to May
Gentle, intricate folk music, this is rather delicate. It’s also quite pretty.
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
I’ve always loved this song, too. It’s not all that special in some ways, but the vocals on this really sell it.


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