Now Available: Peter, Paul & Mary, Discovered: Live in Concert
It’s a good time to be a Peter, Paul & Mary fan.
Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers first came together in 1961, and although they took the occasional hiatus here and there over the years, they continued to play together until Travers’ declining health took her off the stage, but even after her death in 2009, Yarrow and Stookey have carried on, taking the trio’s music into their 50th anniversary and beyond. Those five decades are being celebrated on PBS on December 1, when the network premieres a new documentary, “50 Years with Peter, Paul and Mary,” but the celebration really started back on November 4, with the release of a new coffee table book, Peter, Paul and Mary: Fifty Years in Music and Life. As you’ve probably guessed by now, we’re getting into the act, too, and our contribution comes out smack dab between the other two, with the release of a collection featuring 13 live performances of songs never recorded for any Peter, Paul & Mary studio album.
Of the 13 tracks on Discovered: Life in Concert, a full dozen of them have never been released at all – the lone exception being “Mi Caballo Blanco,” which turned up on the trio’s 2004 box set, Carry It On – and they’re a decidedly diverse bunch, including covers of Leadbelly’s “Midnight Special” and Kate Wolf’s “Give Yourself to Love.”
Here’s the complete track listing, for your perusal:
1. “You Can Tell The World”
2. “Give Yourself To Love”
3. “No Choice”
4. “Cactus In A Coffee Can”
5. “Geraldine And Ruthie Mae”
6. “Little Ship”
7. “Mi Caballo Blanco”
8. “Be Right Back”
9. “Space Suits”
10. “Parallel Universe”
11. “Semper Fi”
12. “Show The Way”
13. “Midnight Special”
As it happens, it was the development of that aforementioned box set which ultimately led to the release of this collection. Just as the ‘70s gave way to the ‘80s, Peter, Paul & Mary began the process of recording and archiving their concerts, envisioning the release of a live album at some juncture, but at some point the tapes were set aside and more or less forgotten about until Stookey stumbled upon them, resulting in “Mi Caballo Blanco” being included on Carry It On. The rest of these performances from the same era, and they serve as a wonderful document of how well the trio delivered their songs in a live setting.
Like we said at the beginning, it’s a good time to be a Peter, Paul & Mary fan. And if you’ve never been a Peter, Paul & Mary fan? Hey, it seems to us that this is a darned fine time to start.