A Review of the Keith Greeninger CD
"Glorious Peasant"

"Glorious Peasant"
by Keith Greeninger

Wind River Music

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/07
"Kevin and Maxine's Celtic & Folk Music Reviews"
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The predominate theme of Keith Greeninger's latest release "Glorious Peasant" swirls around the basic questions of life: what are we here for? what should we do? how should we act? He offers his intimate yet robust sermon on the mount throughout the musical offerings here but the preaching so to speak takes place instead in the fields, foothills, valleys, rivers and desert, all riffs on the intrinsic human passion play called life.

He firmly plants his flag in the tierra firma of the common man and woman, inhabitants trying to get by and do right, or as right as possible within their respective cloistered realms. Plus, he does so with engaging lyrics and expressive delivery, providing absorbing visual imprints.

Opening with the anti-war, anti-greed, definitely anti-George W. Bush deed and behavior anthem "All Who Have," Greeninger begins:
"Flags were waved
The speech was read
The deals' were made
The fears were fed..."

He concludes with:
"...There ain't no forgiveness
When you cross that line
You sacrifice an innocent life
For the crude promise
And the dollar sign"
Optimistically expressing his ardent belief that immersing and expending oneself in love is the best path on which to tread, Greeninger opens "Harder That We Love" with these captivating lines, a telling example of his songwriting talent:
"Gather up all the tears that you have saved
Lay them softly on the ground
The quiet sadness born of everything we crave
Has left these dreams without a sound..."
The wonderful "Arsenal Of Doves" is clearly an invocation to the late Mother Teresa, with references seemingly to Jesus, Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, et al. This one will penetrate even the toughest of external facades. Expect to hit the replay button right after this cut concludes.

"Breaking Through" slams the artifice and phoniness too often poisoning spirituality, calling for a cutting through any veneer and going direct to giving oneself to love. And this without even a direct reference to the late Kate Wolf.

A friendship offering but with a deeper, more penetrating message, "Something Worth Keeping" contains these two exceptional lines:
"...The spirit shines out beyond the body's cages
The sweetest scriptures ain't written on no pages..."
Then the healing refuge found in love is beholdenly expressed and sultrily delivered in "Shelter Of Your Heaven."

The last two songs, the title cut "Glorious Peasant" and "Immediately Blessed" seem twined but first a necessary diversion. In E.M. Forster's novel "Room With A View" George Emerson -- played by Julian Sands in the film version -- has a memorable scene where he climbs a tree and is then heard shouting his creed to the universe. Greeninger does the same in "Glorious Peasant" albeit not in a golden field in Italy. The last six lines:
"...These are my people this is my tribe
We are a ragged band of gypsies
With a flame that burns inside
These are our children this is our home
We put our hands upon the earth
And then we bring the harvest home."

"Immediately Blessed" appears at least partially a paean to the late Kate Wolf. With lines like "...woven blankets on your clothes line, write their poems in the evening wind...", Greeninger concludes with:
"...We can die with all our secrets
Strung like beads in ancient hands
Keep our eyes upon the heaven
And our hopes wrapped in the land"
Greeninger's earlier CD "Wind River Crossing" was a similar artistic success, featuring mini-folk operas demanding conscious attention but providing the payoff to listeners with the sweeping up and transportation to various familiar and unfamiliar realms.

One omission here is the genesis of each song. Some seem interpretable by the lyrical subject matter but others have a murkier birthright. Such insights would surely be intriguing.

This is a gorgeous and gratifying musical release all about the times we're living in -- nothing further need be written.

Track List:

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Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.

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