Tom Paxton is one of the great folk singers to emerge from Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, even though he (unjustly) doesn’t get as much acclaim as contemporaries like Bob Dylan, Joan Baez and Dave Van Ronk. Even at age 77, Paxton has plenty of gas left in the tank as evidenced by his dynamite new release “Redemption Road.”
With more than 60 albums to his credit, Paxton has more than earned the Lifetime Achievement Award bestowed upon at the 2009 Grammys. Later this year, following a two-month spring tour with Janis Ian, Paxton will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
The 14-track release showcases Paxton writing skills and he delivers a handful of stellar tracks in “Susie Most of All,” “The Losing Part,” “If the Poor Don’t Matter,” “The Mayor of Macdougal Street” and “The Battle of the Sexes.” My favorite cuts on “Redemption Road” find Paxton collaborating with a pair of longtime friends. The terrific “Skeeters’ll Gitcha” features John Prine, while the title track gets a boost from Ian (and figures to be highlight on their tour). After more than a half century in the business, Tom Paxton still has something to say. (Jeffrey Sisk)