Monday, October 29, 2007

The Continuing Sock Shortage

Those of you who have been listening to TRADITIONS know about the sock shortage. Lately I have had my socks knocked off by much of the material that has arrived to present to you. This week there were two that I want to tell you about now---it was my last pair of socks so I was in the studio barefoot.

We start with EMMA'S REVOLUTION . The group consists of Pat Humphries (left) and Sandy O (right).

Those of you who have heard me on the program over the years know that I refer to Pat as my favorite and best anthem writer to visit this planet in many a moon. Now she is multiplied by two. The latest CD moves them onto even richer and more nuanced material presented with some great feeling for a studio recording. While it is not a "live" concert recording you get the feeling of that on many of the tracks---"Choir" comes to mind. Their take on "If I Had A Hammer" shows you can that wonderful anthem by Pete Seeger/Lee Hays and put it into a whole new feeling---a Southwestern or South of the Border feeling. Unlike the Peter Paul and Mary version or, even, The Weavers now we have a melody with instrumentation that includes accordion (no bad jokes now!) and Latin instrumentation.

Suffice it to say that this is a recording you can listen to many a time and get a great feeling for the music and the messages it sends to you.

Since EMMA'S REVOLUTION is more than just about recordings one should visit their web-site to find out where they can be seen live and what you might learn from their appearances. In addition for you clothes conscious people--as I am---check this out:

On their web-site you can get this tee-shirt (or sweatshirts) inscribed thus---designed by these talents.

I look forward to sporting one of these myself.

Would that this world had more talents that made music that was singable, listenable and also have meaning and substance. EMMA'S REVOLUTION has that.

The socks are still off since there were two to the pair. The other one was blown off by SPOOK HANDY :

The latest effort by this meaningful and talented artist's "Whatcha Gonna Do?" So--watcha gonna do. Hopefully listen to this work and say you have to add it to your collection.

It may well be that all roads lead to Pete Seeger since so many artists have been influenced by him and credit him with those influences. Yet, they all have beaten their own path and their work stands on its own. Spook is no exception.

The title of the recording is quite apt. My take on it, given all the subject matter, it really fits. Watcha Gonna Do. Watcha Gonna Do with the world we live in which each of this tracks presents in a unique and interesting way.

The booklet that comes with the CD explains the thought behind each song. That always seems like a wonderful insight into the artist's thought process. An example---September 11 (which Rudy Giuliani is mayor of) and the invasion of Iraq prompted Spook Handy to to an interpretation of John Prine's "Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore"---thinking, of course, of the ribbons and bumper stickers. "Mom and Pop's Small Townne Corner Hardware Store" is a gem in bringing, musically, to us the sad homogenization of our society.

Since, it seems all roads lead to Pete Seeger "Waist Deep In The Big Muddy" is interpreted by Spook on this CD. A Holly Near composition that has been done by her, The Klezmatics, and now Spook is included along with so many other tracks---12 in all--one cannot single out a best one. They are all good and make such valid musical points.

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