US Leftist folk music

This music video from the USA says about itself:

The “Sing Out the Vote Ohio!” tour stormed the Buckeye State two weeks before ’08 election, spearheaded by Holly Near ( ). Here Laura Love ( ) sings her song “Yes We Can,” backed by Rick Burkhardt and Andy Gricevich ( ), Sandy O and Pat Humphries ( ), Sue Jeffers ( ), Roy Zimmerman ( ), Vanessa and Tamara Torres ( ), Deborah Van Kleef ( ), Holly Near and John McCutcheon ( ).

From British daily The Morning Star:

Give thanks for folk

(Monday 24 November 2008)

Red Folk with Mike Newman

Left musicians to make the US holiday season go with a swing.

WITH the impending end of the Bush era, there will be even more reason for celebration in the US this Thanksgiving Day for those of a left-leaning disposition.

This month’s Red Folk column joins this spirit of merriment by looking at just a few of the new releases from politically motivated musicians from across the water.

The new CD from the Seattle Labour Chorus, Songs Of Peace And Justice for the Holiday Season, seems a good place to start.

This fine choir was described by the much-missed Utah Phillips as “a labour of love.

“The chorus endows each song, old or new, with passion, convictions and deep understanding.”

The choir’s JoAnn Keenan describes them as “the musical voice of labour in Seattle, a chorus of about 40 singers from all walks of life who serve the labour community in song.

“We appear at rallies, protests, union meetings and on stages around the Seattle area to inspire and educate in four-part harmony.”

Directed by Janet Stecher, who is one half of the excellent Rebel Voices, this CD will definitely put you in the Christmas spirit.

Self-proclaimed “union maid, hell-raiser and labour singer” Anne Feeney took part in the Sing Out The Vote tour in October through Ohio to encourage women to cast their ballots.

Her latest release is called Dump The Bosses Off Your Back, which gives some indication of the content.

The 15-track album includes six new songs from Feeney as well as musical contributions from Commander Cody, the Austin Lounge Lizards, Emma’s Revolution and an all-star cast of Pittsburgh musicians.

Legendary folk DJ Gene Shay from Philadelphia’s WXPN public radio station said: “This is one of Anne Feeney’s best albums ever.

“It’s loaded with uninhibited energy and heartfelt singing, all applied to a wonderful collection of songs.

“I just can’t wait to play these new tunes on my radio show.”

Feeney is on the road for 200-plus days of the year, using her music to spread the message for a better world.

She emerged from the civil rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam war and, as she says, “I’ve been comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable since I graduated from high school in 1968.”

David Rovics is rightly recognised as one of the leading political folk singer-songwriters of his generation.

The advent of parenthood has in no way mellowed him, just given him a whole new set of issues to write about.

His latest release is called Har, Har, Har – Songs About Pirates, Penguins and Punk Rock Babies.

Featuring 16 songs written with a child’s eye view of the world, this album looks at life when you’re only two feet tall.

Issues covered include the wonderment of why you can’t manage to eat a piece of fruit successfully (The Fruit That Got Away) and how best to deal with bullies – surely a lesson here for us all. But, being Rovics, politics are never far away.

Two Mommies And Two Daddies deals with the advantages of having more than the conventional number of parents and The Pirate Song tackles wealth redistribution (“Take from the rich, give to the poor, har, har, har, har, har”).

This CD is put together with humour and imagination and the musicianship is spot on – just what you would expect from such a seasoned trouper. It should appeal to young and old alike.

We owe these musicians a huge debt of gratitude for shining a light on a better world through the darkest days of the Bush years.

Let’s hope that the changes being celebrated in the US will have a positive impact on us all.

Rovics will be on tour in Britain with Attila The Stockbroker from May 2009.

Alistair Hulett, David Rovics tour Australia: here.

4 thoughts on “US Leftist folk music

  1. Posted by: “frankofbos”

    Sat Dec 6, 2008 12:18 am (PST)

    Remember how the 2004 presidential vote came down to Ohio? On this
    date a highly unethical Bush administration maneuver insured that a
    civil rights investigation of the Ohio vote would not happen. Also on
    this date, Bush’s press secretary said that even Bush balked at a 2nd
    round of tax cuts for the rich, ’til Rove and Cheney pulled him back
    in. And a deficit snapshot.

    Today’s category: Corruption/Conflicts of Interest, Deficit
    Mismanagement, The Millionaire’s Ally


  2. Alistair Hulett: `A truly great singer, songwriter, activist and

    January 29, 2010 — Alistair Hulett died at the Southern General
    Hospital in Glasgow on Thursday evening, January 28, 2010. Alistair, a
    truly great singer, songwriter, activist and socialist, will be greatly
    missed by us all.

    * Read more


  3. Pingback: US civil rights singer Odetta dies | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Singer Pete Seeger remembered | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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