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Tom Paxton/Anne Hills/Bob Gibson
Best of Friends


“Now, almost two decades later . . . there is finally an available record of the marvelous singing that Tom, Bob and Anne did together as Best of Friends . . . Tom has been one of our best and most prolific songwriters since the early-1960s, and his compositions from that period, including a writing collaboration with Bob, ‘And Loving You’, dominate the trio’s repertoire. They include devastating topical songs like ‘The Death of Stephen Biko’ and ‘She Sits on the Table’, evocative pieces like ‘Did You Hear John Hurt’ and gorgeous love songs like ‘Home to Me (is Anywhere You Are)’.  . . Although most of the material is familiar, each has endured very well indeed . . . and the harmonies and interchanging lead vocals make them all sound fresh and new. This CD is a most welcome retrospective of a unique collaboration.”
Sing Out!
“In 1984, folk superstar Tom Paxton teamed up with the then relatively unknown Anne Hills, and the by then almost shamefully neglected Bob Gibson, to form a trio. As they were the best of friends, they had no problem when it came to finding a name. Alas, they only lasted some 18 months, and they were never to go into the recording studio; but some of us were blessed to see them on their tours of the US, Canada and the UK. They were a trio that has never been bettered, and perhaps never even been equalled. A truly mellifluous blend of voices and musicianship. This CD is the result of the taping of a gig in February 1985 at Holsteins, a Chicago club. The recording was subsequently broadcast on WFMT-FM. And thus it is that we miraculously find it seeing the light of day as a 2004 CD, which thus serves as the only official aural documentation of this lamentably gone-far-too-soon grouping. What did they have exactly? Well, whatever it was, it was GREATER than the ‘sum of the individual parts’. . . and heaven knows, they were great enough in themselves.”
FolkWorld, Germany

“The closeness of the harmonies, the simplicity of the arrangements, the ease with which these consummate performers wrap their vocals chords around a song, are amazing. Gibson and Paxton both sing in a mid-range tenor no Pavarottis here and Hills has a pure but natural soprano, which easily handles the high parts. They sound almost like an especially relaxed version of Peter, Paul and Mary. . . . Best of Friends might better be thought of as timeless, as all great folk music is. In England, the folk process reaches back centuries; in the U.S.A. it only goes back decades, many decades . . . but it all runs together in one thread of music and comment. That thread is twisted around the talents and voices of three very special performers. This album is all that remains of their work together. Thanks to Appleseed for making it available to us!”
Green Man Review

“[This CD] now gives us all a chance to experience a representative taste of the magic of this unique lineup. It's a warm, intimate set . . . Vocally, the three friends ebb and flow within the mix, but Anne's rich, smooth tones bind the texture together in a wholly magical way. Instrumentally, the deftness of Bob's group arrangements isn't in the slightest bit compromised by the underpinning of guest bassist Michael Smith. Hey, it’s good to have this rather special experience enshrined on CD at last.”
NetRhythms, UK
“Just like a jazz jam, great players came together for a moment to make something lasting. A solid, live piece of contemporary folk that fortunately played out with the tapes running.”
Midwest Record Recap
“Since this is the only recording by Best of Friends that will see the light of day, as well as capturing their onstage vocal magic, producer [Rich] Warren has left intact half a dozen song introductions and quick-fire verbal repartee. . . A remarkable historic document.”