Monday, March 22, 2010

The Cuckoo - JSD Band

Folk me, this is a traditional folk song? The JSD Band's "Cuckoo" single is unlike any version that I've ever heard before. It was recorded in 1974 for their Travelling Days Album. For me, this is the definitive version of the classic folk ballad. Hands down.


  1. Wow. I'm glad they left in the violin...fiddle. There is a difference - one has strings and the other has strangs.
    I had to track this down - back in 2006 Dick Spottswood on WAMU's Obsolete Music Hour traced the history of The Cuckoo, back to when the lyrics were originally about a race horse ("Bet on Stewball"). Interesting, if you're into that sort of music. He surely did not play the JSD Band's version of the tune.


  2. I love strings too, and flutes! Especially great when a folk band can funk things up with some good drum breaks! Another close second to the JSD version is the Kaleidoscope interpretation. Its more psychedelic than anything else, but well worth tracking down.

    Listening to Dick Spottswood and American Roots are what initially piqued my interest in vintage grooves. Man, I had no idea that "Cuckoo" was originally about a race horse!?! They must have realized early on that birds make for better love metaphors.

    Thanks for all the info Mike!