The Lost Tapes

Ian & Sylvia

Stony Plain, 2019 › wiki › Ian_&_Sylvia

REVIEW BY: David Bowling


Ian (Tyson) & Sylvia (Fricker), both individually and as a duo, have been key artists in the Canadian music scene for over a half-century. They were also an integral part in the Greenwich Village folk revival scene of the early 1960s. While they went their separate ways in 1975, they left behind a catalogue of folk music that has rarely been equaled in Canadian music history.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Their new album began with some spring cleaning by Sylvia, which unearthed a box of long misplaced concert tapes from the early 1970s. These missing performances have now been released as a two-CD set titled The Lost Tapes.

Ian & Sylvia’s new album will mostly appeal to fans of the duo or of the folk music scene of the 1960s. Despite the audio not being up to modern standards, it does provide a nice glimpse into their music and concert style.

Disc one is the more traditional of the two. It consists of traditional songs and country classics, including Ian Tyson’s most famous composition “Four Strong Winds.” Songs such as “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” “Crazy Arms,” “When First Unto This Country,” and “Nancy Whiskey” are all staples of the late ‘60s folk scene. Ian & Sylvia had a unique vocal style, so it is interesting to hear their interpretations of these old tunes.

Disc two contains 13 previously unreleased performances. Many of the songs are not usually associated with the duo or folk music. This allows them to explore material beyond their norm and shows their willingness to take some chances in concert.

Today, Ian & Sylvia are sometimes an afterthought in the folk revival movement, but The Lost Tapes will hopefully bring their legacy some new attention.

Rating: B+

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