>A Review of the Rod MacDonald CD
"A Tale Of Two Americas"

"A Tale of Two Americas"
by Rod MacDonald

Copyright 2005
Wind River Records

This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/05
"Kevin and Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews"
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The elements in Florida must be agreeing with New York transplant and veteran folkie Rod MacDonald as, like last year, he has released another CD loaded with new creations. 16 fresh cuts appear, along with a re-release and a Bob Dylan nugget.

As usual, MacDonald provides his perspective on current political and world events, along with putting to words the thoughts and feelings emanating from everyday life.

The most powerful social offering is the title cut, "A Tale Of Two Americas," which illuminates the differences between red and blue staters, the secularists and religionists. Here is but a snippet of the powerful lyrics:
"...and those who never knew war
sent other people's kids to battle
in my tale of two americas
they called each other warriors
sat real high up in the saddle..."
This cut qualifies as a companion piece to MacDonald's "For The Good Of America," on his previous release.

"Terror" is another oh-so-appropriate song. MacDonald sings:
"...you want to say who lives and dies
the power to say what's true and what is lies...

...you want to play the god and wield the fire
and always without questioning your own desires..."
"Sacrifice" delves into the 'framing' that goes into defining patriotism. A portion of one telling verse:
"...sacrifice the patriotic for the gold
sacrifice the truth for the story being told..."
MacDonald ends "Sacrifice" with:
"...one side kills the other in return for killing them
if you look on down the road, time and time again
all you do is sacrifice the future for the past"
MacDonald's antidote to the troubles he so eloquently sings of is the healing "Love Is The Common Ground." The chorus:
"...love is the common ground
the place we stand together
here's the truth I've found>
love is the common ground..."
The lives of Ray Charles and Ronald Reagan, who died a few days apart, are curiously twined in "Ray and Ron." Arnold Schwarzenegger gets his comeuppance in "The Governator."

"I'm Your Dad" is MacDonald's ode to his daughter. Very similar to his lovely spousal tribute on his last release, "You Who Sleeps Beside Me," this one is a touching look at the bond between father and daughter.

Do not overlook "Smoke," with two of the song's characters being Playboy Playmates somehow boogeying to, of all tunes, "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald."

With "True Love," MacDonald depicts the vagaries of intimate relationships.

The surrealistic imagery in "Don't Let Your Dim Light Die" is reminiscent and comparable to some of Dylan's psychedelic work. Fittingly, "With God On Our Side" concludes the release.

MacDonald has proven again here that he is a master at musically portraying the difficult issues facing this country and the world.

It's also abundantly clear that MacDonald didn't head to Florida to retire. In fact, he appears to have discovered the fountain of youth.

Lucky for us.

Also, check out the very interesting cover page of the liner notes, which appears to be a schlocky street leading to The White House.

Track List:

All songs by Rod MacDonald, except as indicated.

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