Fred Holstein | Fred Holstein - Live at the Earl of Old Town

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Folk: Traditional Folk Folk: Urban Folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Fred Holstein - Live at the Earl of Old Town

by Fred Holstein

A folk singer in the Pete Seeger tradition who interprets traditional and contemporary folk tunes and encourages his audiences to sing along.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. I Never Will Marry
3:12 album only
2. Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye
3:20 album only
3. Outward Bound
3:52 album only
4. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere
3:58 album only
5. Urge For Going
7:49 album only
6. Tramp On the Street
2:40 album only
7. Passing Through
3:37 album only
8. Turn Around/don't Bother Me/mockingbird
5:22 album only
9. A Hard Rain's A-gonna Fall
7:39 album only
10. Folsom Prison Blues
2:30 album only
11. A Satisfied Mind
4:58 album only
12. Suzanne
6:16 album only
13. May There Always Be Sunshine/this Land Is Your Land
9:51 album only


Album Notes
This CD is a live performance by Fred in 1969 at the legendary Chicago folk club, The Earl Of Old Town. Most of the songs are not on any of his other recordings and many are songs Fred rarely performed in later years. A treat for Fred’s fans, everyone who remembers the folk boom of the 60s and 70s and anyone who loves live folk music.

Fred Holstein always said he was a folk singer, nothing more, nothing less. He sang in Chicago’s folk music clubs for over 40 years – and in the Pete Seeger tradition, Fred had his audiences singing with him. He chose both traditional and contemporary folk songs and in Ray Nordstrand’s words “sang them like they should be sung.”

Here is some of what Eddie Holstein had to say about his brother:

“In December 1958 Fred and I went to see Pete Seeger for the very first time at Orchestra Hall. As we sat in our seats the lights dimmed and with no introduction Pete Seeger came galloping out and broke right into East Virginia Blues. We both thought, gee, this guy even looks like a banjo. Everything that was good in the world was in that hall that night. Pete had us sounding like the Robert Shaw Chorale. With his songs and stories he took us all over the country and to parts of the world we never saw.

The wonder of that evening never diminished for Fred. At 15 he knew that’s what he was going to do...”

And Rich Warren:

“…Fred, like a painter, approached a song as if it was an outline to be filled in and colored. He never copied from the composer or the tradition. He never sang by number. He took a song apart and reconstructed it in the way he thought it would most move the listener. A song absolutely had to resonate in him before he would sing it…”



to write a review

Bob Tamillo

Having moved from my hometown of Chicago some 35 years ago and discovering Fred's music was available from you, I can't begin to tell you this CD brought back a wonderful nostalgic musical time to this "old folkie". I was there when they taped Fred's preformance at the Earl of Old Town in 1968 (which was my regular hangout for several years). Fred was a staple there as well as other Chicago Folksters such as Bonnie Koloc, Tom Post, Steve Goodman, John Prine, Henry Moore, Fred's brother Ed et al. All of whom I had the pleasure of knowing. Hearing Fred once again has brought back a flood of memories, as I listenend to his relaxed, simplistic guitar playing style & mellow baratone voice singing the songs he did so often during "his set" at the Earl. A big Thanx to CD Baby for offering this excellent selection. In fact, it moved me so much that I've ordered Fred's double CD that yo also offer (as well as Bonnie Koloc's double CD). You guys are the best.

Steven Wojtynek

Time Capsule
My wife recently passed away... I was listening to Fred Holstein: A Collection, and I was thinking how great it would be to be able to go back and sit in Fred's audience that night. For the hell of it (not expecting new releases from Fred who passed years before), I went to Fred's website to find this incredible performance from 11 years before I met Fred... when he taught me how to play "Streets of London" in the front row of Holsteins Pub. What a guy!

jourdan gottlieb

fred holstein live at earl of old town
here's hoping more like this will be found.

sam treynor

Fred Holstein - Live at the Earl of Old Town
Some of our best memories from Chicago are of Fred Holstein singing at the Earl and at Somebody Else's Troubles. This cd was a great way to bring them back.

Kathy Murphy

Forever Grateful!
I am and will be forever grateful for the release of this CD. I, too, have gone through all the vinyl LPs released by Fred back when and love this recording at the Earl. It brings me back to the days when I would go downtown from the far suburbs to hear Fred whenever I knew he was in town. Even love the sounds of Earl that can occasionally be heard in the background. Brings back wonderful memories. Thanks once again to Ed and CD Baby for making this available.

Mary Ann Gilpatrick

What a revelation! I didn't know Fred ever did Dylan or Cohen. I could listen to Fred's voice singing anything. Just hearing him say "A chick by the name of Joni Mitchell" is worth the price of admission. His rendition of her song is the best thing on the CD, I think. Fred appreciated a good poem.


Fred Holstein !!!
I am enjoying the CD immensely. I am grateful to Eddie Holstein, CD Baby and especially to my father for first making me aware of Fred Holstein (and many other fine artists) when I was young. I had a very old copy of Fred's first vinyl LP years ago. It was full of scratches but it was one of my prized possessions and I remember how thrilled I was when it was re-released on CD. Many thanks again!

Frank Taylor

Fred Live at The Earl
I lived in Chicago from June 1968 until September 1976 and spent many nights in Old Town and the Near North Side. I had the opportunity to meet Fred early on and enjoyed his singing, especially at The Earl where regulars (performers and audiences) just seemed like family. Nobody embodied folk music and the Chicago Scene more to me than Fred. It was a great ride--for all of us--and this album brings it alive all over again.

James Capaldi

Thanks for More Fred Holstein!
Even though I've never been to Chicago, I've known about Fred Holstein for many years. Probably through the pages of Sing Out! He was a real folksinger and troubador in every sense of the word. He took a song and made it his own in his beautiful voice. I have all of his vinyl LP's, and now this third CD of his music.

I did meet Fred very briefly once several years ago at the Hudson River Clearwater Festival. I shyly told him that I really enjoyed his music and he thanked me.

If the Holstein family or friends of Fred have any more of this great material, please release it so that the rest of us can enjoy it. One thing that Fred believed in was the sharing of his music, and CD's like this make it possible since Fred is sadly no longer with us.

Thanks for this CD. May there be many more to follow.

Polly Culberson

Love it!
I fell in love with Fred and his music from the first time I heard him at the Earl of Old Town when a friend took me there. I had just moved to Chicago from Michigan and became Fred's biggest fan. We followed him to gigs all over the city and to far-distant cities. I did not know that he had passed away and am deeply sorry to learn of this. What a great loss for his family and for his folk music family as well. His music made me become interested in folk music and I, too, took lessons at the Old Town School of Folk Music.