Tom Paxton

Comedians & Angels

Tom Paxton was one of the first folkies to get a hit when the Fireballs cut “Bottle of Wine” in 1968. As political as Ochs and as poetic as Dylan, albeit a more comprehensible lyricist, Paxton wrote standards like “The Last Thing on My Mind” and “Ramblin’ Boy.” Throughout the years, he’s been a prolific writer, and this collection is one of his finest—a meditation on the joys of marriage, fatherhood and encroaching mortality, sung and played with his characteristic wit and compassion. The acoustic pickin’ blends folk, Celtic and country impulses, while Paxton’s mellow baritone imbues every tune with quiet beauty. He salutes the idealism of the ’60s without sounding sappy, and the love songs to his wife—“Home to Me (Is Anywhere You Are)” and “I Like the Way You Look”—are burnished gems.