This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 12/03
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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This is another Appleseed Records release in honor of the many contributions Pete Seeger has made, not only to fans of folk music but to the world as well. It is split into two CDs: the first primarily features Seeger, but also other artists whose humanitarianism dovetails with Seeger's. It is titled "Pete and Friends." The second CD, juxtaposed as "Friends of Pete," is aptly described--performers doing their versions of Seeger-connected songs and tunes.
"Bring Them Home (If You Love Them Uncle Sam)" is sung by the trio of Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco and Steve Earle. It's a wonder John Ashcroft's Patriot Act commissars missed surrounding the recording studio and hustling this dangerous threesome off to Guantanamo Bay?
Anne Hills performs a lovely version of "Flowers Of Peace," employing the same tune as "Wild Mountain Thyme."
The legacy of murdered Chilean folksinger Victor Jara is kept alive with "Estadio Chile." It leads to the question how Henry Kissinger sleeps at night?
Seeger closes the first disc with his enchanting "Sailing Down My Golden River." This song makes the listener want to rush to the Hudson to experience the beauty and tranquility Seeger describes.
Pat Humphries opens Disc Two and provides an enjoyable rendition of "Old Devil Time."
Johann Sebastian Bach is channeled through Tony Trischka and Jennifer Kimball, with their melodically enchanting version of "Jesu, Joy Of Man's Desiring." Bach on banjo is quite a kick.
Dick Gaughan, noted as Scotland's equivalent of Seeger or Woody Guthrie, appears with "Bells Of Rhymney." Pete's half-sister Peggy Seeger performs "Spider Web." Magpie, along with Kim and Reggie Harris do a charming "Tomorrow Is A Highway."
Seeger is certainly an icon to the Left in this country but deserves to be saluted, however grudgingly, by proponents of each and every political persuasion. Not infallible but always sincere, he is a true 'citizen in a democracy' who readily acknowledges one of the tremendous assets of the country he resides in is the right to speak one's mind. And he does, to the chagrin of some.
So when is a Seeger tribute concert going to appear on PBS?
Although the lyrics aren't provided for the songs, the background to each offering's genesis is given great detail in the liner notes--a nice touch to a commemoration release.
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