>A Review of the Rod MacDonald CD
"A Tale Of Two Americas"
"A Tale of Two Americas"
by Rod MacDonald
Wind River Records
This review is written by Kevin McCarthy, 7/05
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.
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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
"...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
"Sacrifice" delves into the 'framing' that goes into defining patriotism. A portion of one telling verse:
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 the patriotic for the gold
MacDonald ends "Sacrifice" with:
sacrifice the truth for the story being told..."
"...one side kills the other in return for killing them
MacDonald's antidote to the troubles he so eloquently sings of is the healing "Love Is The Common Ground." The chorus:
if you look on down the road, time and time again
all you do is sacrifice the future for the past"
"...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."
the place we stand together
here's the truth I've found>
love is the common ground..."
"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.
- Ray & Ron (3:17)
- Terror (3:55)
- Missing (2:50)
- The Governator (3:04)
- My Beloved Enemy (3:52)
- Smoke (3:42)
- Treat You Right (3:12)
- I'm Your Dad (4:23)
- The Lucky Ones (4:37)
- Don't Let Your Dim Light Die (4:07)
- Sacrafice (5:13)
- Peace (3:33)
- Here I Stand (4:14)
- True Love (4:17)
- A Tale Of Two Americas (3:56)
- Love Is The Common Ground (3:01) Rod MacDonald, Susan Flaherty, Dan Grove, Walt Michael, Scott Anslie, Bob Green
- I Am Bob Dylan (3:36)
- With God On Our Side (6:30) Bob Dylan
All songs by Rod MacDonald, except as indicated.
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