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Donal Lunny a dash of La Bottine Souriante The album consists of 32 tracks of concerned,
and miscellaneous other written tunes. All moving, joyous and hopeful music and
The Maker’s Mark
stunning. This is a beautiful, beautiful album unfortunately I can only mention a few here.
and also important in its stated aim – to Wonderful Friends is a simple but strong song
recognise the contribution of luthiers to what is of the power of friendship sung by Pete and
arguably a new golden age of the making and Dave Bernz with a rising chorus joined by more
playing of the acoustic guitar. singers. Throw Away that Shad Net is to me
the essence of Pete Seeger’s optimism, a song
Alan Murray of the PCB pollution in the Hudson River and
the determination to make the waters clean
again. Tzena, Tzena, Tzena is recorded here
as a beautiful bridge between cultures with
Pete Seeger At 89
lyrics in the original Hebrew and new Arabic
lyrics - and in a hopeful allegory it becomes a
wonderful harmony. False From True is a word
of wisdom put to a gentle swinging tune. Waist
Deep in the Big Muddy gets a comeback as
the liner notes says it’s ‘…shamefully, relevant
again.’ Little Fat Baby is a very moving song
by Seeger and Bernz of the swift passing of
This album is all embracing and intimate. I first
encountered Pete Seeger’s music in the early
What’s this? It’s a CD that celebrates the art 90’s, I was 13 and watched him on the telly
and craft of the guitar-maker, accompanied by singing at a festival in Denmark, the audience
erudite notes on the relative merits of Italian sang We Shall Overcome to call him back onto
and German Spruce, Brazilian Rosewood, the stage…it seemed to come out of nowhere
bone saddles and unusual tunings. Clearly, and started quietly but began to rise until
it’s a CD for the guitar-anoraks. End of review? thousands of people sang from the bottom of
WRONG … VERY, VERY WRONG! their hearts…I wish I had been there… Pete
Seeger sings, ‘but I promise you brothers and
Remember, people, we are talking Tony sisters of every skin, I’ll sing your story while
McManus here – one of the most technically Here’s an album from a man who now has I’ve breath within’ - and thank God for that.
skilled and sensitive players on the planet. reached his eighty-ninth year, a man who has
True, guitar nerds will dribble at both the worked tirelessly for humanitarian, political and Pernille Rutzou
detailed discussion of the different sounds environmentalist causes through his songs and
to be had from different woods, tunings and music the whole world over and back in his
strings, and at Tony’s demonstration of those own Hudson Valley. I suspect that this is where
differences in action. I’m a bit of a guitar the heart of it lies; a cabin in Beacon, New York,
In Full Flight
geek, so I’ll do my share of drooling and envy. somewhere overlooking the Hudson River,
Crannagh Music CMCD4452
However, the rest of you will join the guitar- where this man at 89 still chops wood as the
spotters in luxuriating in some of the finest sun peaks up over the mountain…From here
playing you’ll ever hear. Tony is, for those of there’s a voice though maybe gentler in it’s
you who don’t know, primarily a finger-picking tone still as vibrant and strong in the message
player who is known for doing things to a guitar its sending, as it ever was.
with his fingers and thumb that are known to be
impossible (Tremolo with your thumb? Don’t Pete Seeger‘s new album is a wonderful
be silly). He also shares, with Martin Simpson, concoction of old and new songs never
the ability to reign in his virtuosity and make recorded before, a couple of banjo riffs
his guitar sing. On The Lea Rig, for example, and flute pieces and Pete Seeger’s own
I can hear Rod Paterson, even though he was introductions to the songs. These are kept
nowhere near. On N’Kosi Sikelele Africa, that short while still giving the listener an insider
great song of freedom, Tony lets the guitar’s view of the song and its context. Pete Seeger
open spaces ring out. Sure – he could fill those is joined by a host of great local singers
spaces with 20 notes/second, but he doesn’t and musicians such as members of Work of
and Bill Kelday’s magnificent baritone guitar the Weavers and the Walkabout Clearwater
rumbles away sonorously to invoke a feel of Chorus, the Hudson River Sloop Singers and
wide open African skies. I’m getting carried the After Hours Quartet. A conscious decision
away now, but playing this good (a) makes me probably to follow the Pete Seeger & Friends
want to give up and (b) conjures up all sorts of volumes on the Appleseed Record label, which
images in ma heid. featured many well-known artists singing Pete’s Len Graham of Glenarm, Co. Antrim has spent
songs, with an album of Pete Seeger himself a lifetime on an ongoing ‘song journey’ as a
I could list tracks – better to say this has lots in the moment of the day in the company of collector and singer who, in turn has become
of “trad. arr. McManus”, some Scott Skinner, friends from the local community. a source singer for many Irish singers/groups.
The Living Tradition - Page 36 Sponsored by BIrnam CD
Issue82.indd 36 24/2/09 14:00:56
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