Saturday, January 12, 2019

John McCutcheon – To Everyone in all the World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger


JOHN McCUTCHEON
To Everyone in all the World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger
Appalseed Productions

This coming May 3 will mark the centennial of the birth of legendary folksinger Pete Seeger. Pete – who died January 27, 2014 at age 94 – was perhaps the most influential and certainly one of the most inspirational figures in the folk world.

When Pete died, I mentioned I was grateful for having had the opportunity to have known known him for most of my life and to have enjoyed some small measure of friendship with him.

John McCutcheon – who has surely been one of our finest folksingers for decades now – was also deeply inspired by Pete, whom he describes as “a beacon, a mentor, a friend, a musical partner” to him. On To Everyone in all the World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger, John offers a loving and masterful tribute to Pete with 15 songs from his repertoire (12 of them written or co-written by Pete), performed in many different styles, many of them featuring stellar guest collaborators.

John opens the album with great versions of the optimistic “Well May the World Go” with backing by Hot Rize, one of the finest of my generation’s bluegrass bands, and “If I Had a Hammer,” with members of the great Cajun band Beausoleil.

I could mention every other song as a highlight – and they all are – but I’ll call attention to a few.

Pete Seeger and John McCutcheon (2010)
“Die Gedanken Sind Frei,” a 19th century song that became an anti-Nazi rallying cry in Germany during the Second World War, is given a classical treatment with a brass ensemble and wonderful harmonies by Ottawa’s own Finest Kind.

“Sailing Down My Golden River,” my favorite of Pete’s many Hudson River songs, is a beautiful duet with Suzy Bogguss and features some lovely fills from John’s hammer dulcimer, while “Guantanamera,” Pete’s adaptation of a song made from the words of Cuban poet José Marti, has an infectious Latin arrangement and duet vocals by Nicaraguan singer Katia Cardenal.

“Letter to Eve,” which Pete used the biblical figures of Adam and Eve as the starting point for a critical commentary on the state of the world, is arranged brilliantly in a blues-jazz setting, while “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy” – on which Pete used his army training experiences during the Second World War as a metaphor for the futility of the Vietnam War in the 1960s – has a powerful rock arrangement.

To Everyone in all the World: A Celebration of Pete Seeger is the first great folk album of 2019 and a most worthy companion to John’s previous centennial tributes marking the birth of Woody Guthrie and the execution of Joe Hill.

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Mike Regenstreif

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Saturday Morning with Mike Regenstreif – CKCU – Saturday January 5, 2019


Saturday Morning is an eclectic roots-oriented program on CKCU in Ottawa heard live on Saturday mornings from 7 until 10 am (Eastern time) and then available for on-demand streaming. I am one of the four rotating hosts of Saturday Morning and base my programming on the Folk Roots/Folk Branches format I developed at CKUT in Montreal.

CKCU can be heard at 93.1 FM in Ottawa and http://www.ckcufm.com/ on the web.

This episode of Saturday Morning can be streamed on-demand at … https://cod.ckcufm.com/programs/128/41023.html

Noah Zacharin- This First Dawn
A Startle of Wings (Noah Zacharin)

Naming the Twins- Sing the Winter Away
Sing the Winter Away (Duet Right Records)
Bill Garrett- A Winters Night
Seems to Me (Borealis)
Naming the Twins- Winter Awakening
Sing the Winter Away (Duet Right Records)
Lynn Miles- This Heart That Lives in Winter
Winter (Lynn Miles)
Naming the Twins- Frolics in the Snow
Sing the Winter Away (Duet Right Records)
Laurie MacAllister & David Glaser- Birches
The Lies the Poets Tell (Laurie MacAllister)

Larry Hanks- The Ballad of Tom Joad
The Last Wagon (Zippety Whippet Music)
Bruce Springsteen- The Ghost of Tom Joad
Springsteen on Broadway (Columbia)

John McCutcheon with Finest Kind- Die Gedanken Sind Frei
SONIA disappear fear- Wandering Jew
By My Silence (Disappear Records)
Mara Levine with Gathering Time- By My Silence
Facets of Folk (Mara’s Creations)
Holly Near- Someone was Brave Before Me
2018 (Calico Tracks Music)
Fink, Marxer, Gleaves- Shout and Shine
Shout and Shine (Community Music)

Extended feature: Songs from my Top 18 folk-rooted or folk-branched albums of 2018. Visit https://frfb.blogspot.com/2018/12/top-18-for-2018.html to see annotations for each of these albums.

#18
The LYNNeS- Cost So Much
Heartbreak Song for the Radio (The LYNNeS)
#17
Vince Halfhide- No Water No More
Vince Halfhide (Vince Halfhide)

#16
Kate Campbell- This, and My Heart Beside
Damn Sure Blue (Large River Music)
#15
Rory Block- Gimme a Pigfoot and a Bottle of Beer

#14
Orit Shimoni- Peace of Mind
Lost and Found on the Road to Nowhere (Orit Shimoni)
#13
Lucy Kaplansky- Hallelujah
Everyday Street (Lucy Kaplansky)

#12
El Coyote- Tip Jar
El Coyote (El Coyote)
#11
Maria Muldaur- Now You’re Down in the Alley
Don’t You Feel My Leg: The Naught Bawdy Blues of Blu Lu Barker (The Last Music Company)

#10
Ken Tizzard- A Good Dog is Lost
A Good Dog is Lost: A Collection of Ron Hynes Songs (Ken Tizzard)
#9
Eric Bibb- Gathering of the Tribes
Global Griot (Stony Plain)

#8
Eliza Gilkyson- Conversation
Secularia (Red House)
#7
Jimmy LaFave- Peace Town
Peace Town (Music Road)

#6
Nefesh Mountain- The Narrow Bridge
Beneath the Open Sky (Eric Lindberg & Doni Zasloff)
#5
The Roches- My Winter Coat

#4
Reggie Harris- Been Down into the South
Ready to Go (Reggie Harris Music)
#3
Sophie Millman- Chuvasher Tekhter (Daughters of Chuvashir)

#2
Tom Russell- Navajo Rug
#1
Bob Dylan- Shelter from the Storm
More Blood, More Tracks: The Bootleg Series Vol. 14 (Columbia/Legacy)

In memory of Victor Anthony (a.k.a. Victor Mecyssne) 1952-2018.

Victor Anthony- He Walks Alone
Mystery Loves Company (Victor Anthony)
Tom Mitchell- Missing You
When the Moon is Right (Truesongs)
Victor Anthony- Keep the Faith
Mystery Loves Company (Victor Anthony)

Skinner & T'witch- Everybody’s Grotty
Everybody’s Grotty (Skinner & T’witch)
Justin Vivian Bond- A Good Man is Hard to Find
Linda Thompson Presents My Mother Doesn’t Know I’m on the Stage (Omnivore)
Jim Wurster- One Last Call
Life (Y&T Music)
Bruce Murdoch- She Reminds Me of You
Matters of the Heart (Bruce Murdoch)

Dakota Dave Hull- St. Anne’s Reel
This Earthly Life (Arabica)

I’ll be hosting Saturday Morning next on February 2.

Find me on Twitter. @MikeRegenstreif


--Mike Regenstreif