This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 10/00
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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Robert Hoyt's music is akin to a time travel machine. Primarily singing about current national and worldly concerns, his social commentaries transport one back to the 1960s, when it was still believed that music could both change and save the world. Hoyt also offers some more private, personal cuts throughout the release but the strength of this offering is his unabashedly humanistic, liberal viewpoint on a myriad of matters. On one of the stronger cuts, "Indentured Class," he sings about the ramifications of the cost of higher education:
"...So you borrow to pay for your college yearsHis chorus goes:
You come out in debt up to your ears
Just when you thought you won the battle
You come to find out that you're just chattel...
You see the bankers and the politicians got a great plan
To create two kinds of people all across the land
One'll be the hammer, the other the nail
That's the ones in debt and the ones in jail...
So, forgive all the loans, we can no longer stand it
Free education, it's your country, demand it
And when they cry uncle and concede that you're winning
Tell 'em 'Uh, uh. This is only the beginning'"
"Indentured class, indentured classHaving a bit of fun while still making a valid point on "Stop Go," Hoyt provides his take on females entering the road construction work world:
I bet you never thought it would come to pass
You work real hard for what you got
But I've got some bad news
"...And it'sAnd what is a progressive discourse without a rant against money? Hoyt's "I Hate Money" fits the bill. He sings:
Stop Go, stop slow
She can change direction of the traffic flow
She's the flag person on a road construction crew
Stop go, stop slow
Why don't they ever let her run the back hoe
Or lean on a shovel like the men workers do...
You could offer her a glass of lemonade
Hold a big umbrella, give her some shade
But what can you do to help her see clear
Of the asphalt ceiling in her career..."
"...I hate money, money killed my brotherHis solution?
I hate money, it's killing my mother
I hate it, I hate it, look what it's done to you and me
It's not just the root, it's the whole damned tree
I hate money, it's that carrot on a stick
I hate money, as I turn another trick
I hate to think that they would take away mine
And that's all it takes to keep me in line..."
"...So what if we treated it like the trash that it isHis most serious cut is "Ocilla You Sleepy Little Town," about a racial killing in a small Georgia town:
And refused to use it to pay for goods and services
Then this thing money'd be a thing of the past
And any left around you could use to wipe your...brow..."
"It happened a long time agoAlthough race is inferred but never actually stated, a black man is accused of the crime and brutally murdered by a town mob. Hoyt concludes with:
A little town where life is slow
Was shocked from its sleep when a young woman died
A terrible thing it was
But what came next was worse because
Not one but two murder cases never would be tried..."
"...Ocilla, your friend timeHis pull-no-punches observations about the goings-on in this country and the world are a nice change of pace from the more introspective bent of folk music, and, agree or disagree with his points of view, Hoyt provides an impetus to re-examine our beliefs and value systems.
Will erase the memory of your crime
But among your people killers abound
And somewhere deep within your soul
Are secrets too dark to be told
Ocilla, you sleepy little town
Ocilla, you sleepy little town"
Hoyt, on guitar and vocals, is backed by Jack Helsley on bass; Bruce Chandler on tambourine; Enoch Emery on bass; David Woodsmall on mandolin; Randy Auxier on bass and backing vocals; Manfred Steiner on keyboard; and Andy Mahler on backing vocals.
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