CD's to date:
Songs of the West

Four Cords 


MAY 1962

"Songs of the West." Dave Fredrickson.
Folkways FH 5259, $5.95 (LP). 

This is a curious and intriguing album. Dave Fredrickson's vocal range will win him no auditions at the Met, but his voice possesses a flat authenticity perfectly attuned to these cowboy ballads. The songs themselves, despite their familiar titles, are not conventional Western fare. For example, Farewell, Fair Ladies is a haunting hybrid by Old Paint out of Doney Gal; Fredrickson's Jack of Diamonds also contains traces of Rye Whiskey and Down in the Valley. The accretions are always logical and listenable; they also afford vivid evidence that even this body of folklore-despite the passing of the cowboy-does not remain static. Fine recorded sound. O.B.B
THIS WORLD, May 13, 1962

By Dean Wallace

SONGS OF THE WEST: Sung by Dave Fredrickson, with guitar. Folkways FH5259

Dave Fredrickson is deceptive. By some trick of style or vocal quality, the young (34 or thereabouts) native of the San Francisco region manages to sound like an honest-to-john troubadour of the Old West, preserved and resuscitated for the sole purpose of showing the 20th century what old-time cowboy singers really sounded like. This illusion may be due to the fact that he sings his songs in a slack, night-rider fashion without the slightest bit of wasted motion or embellishment (monotony and an easy rhythm were useful in passing time and quieting nervous cow critters on the long trail). This also makes for painless listening, and when Fredrickson gets some of the verses of Rye Whiskey mixed up with those of Down in the Valley, one is inclined to be tolerant. Selections include Billy the Kid, Streets of Laredo (Only he citifies it by placing it in Austin), Lone Star Trail, etc., but unfortunately do not include Strawberry Roan and Cowboy Jack. Maybe Fredrickson will pick these up on his next record, which should soon be forthcoming.
VOLUME 77 - 1964

"There are, however, lesser known performers significant of the best in the current revival in folk music, such as Dave Fredrickson, whose Songs of the West (Folkways FH5259) is a masterpiece of straightforward western style singing- even though some of his sources are from Georgia field recordings which Fredrickson deposited in the Archive of California and Western Folklore at UCLA. Aside from sources, notes to the songs are sparse, and the "Pretty Boy Floyd" is wrongly attributed to Woody Guthrie." 

University of California D.K Wilgus
Los Angeles, California