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A Big surprise
on 7 October 2004
Somewhere in this CD, Peter Seeger, who recorded most of this before a live audience in 1966, talks about camping out wild with folk singers like Cisco Houston in 1942.
I detest live re-recordings of old hits & this guy seemed like a geriatric then, so why am I always playing this, you ask? Couldn't be the fact you're 52 yourself now, you say?
Don't think so-Seeger is a consumate professional musician, for starters and the fact that this was actually recorded at one of his peace/summer camps, in front of a pretty young audience, doesn't see him lower his musical standards, nor talk down to the audience.
Few people before or since have managed to sign from the Left without becoming diatribal or polemic. Seeger rarely loses his easy charm and Little Boxes is the most obvious example of a cutting satirical commentary disguised in a virtual kid's song.
You also learn from whence Seeger learned these songs, or got the influence for them, Guantamera coming from an 1898 Spanish/Cuban original and Turn, Turn, Turn virtually straight from Ecclesiasticus.
I will admit I only got it originally for one vaguely remembered track, but came to find there are jewels throughout this coalfield or industrial landscape, which is probably how Pete Seeger felt it ought to be, as it is in real life.
And yes, that one track, The Bells Of Rhymney, is worth it alone. For all I've said about polemics, no other song you'll ever meet about Capitalism/Materilalism will raise YOUR hackles as this does, assisted by Seeger's flawless delivery.
In conclusion, a quite thrilling, enchanting experience.