A Feminist Folk Classic--Get It While You Can!
Apr 22, 2001
Review by Karen_Olsen
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Superb folk-oriented singing and song selection.
Cons:Nearly out of print, as with many of Holly's Redwood releases.
The Bottom Line: A must-have in any feminist folk album collection.
This was the debut release of the famed collaboration of feminist-activist songwriter Holly Near and Weavers female lead vocalist Ronnie Gilbert, recorded during their premiere North American tour in 1983. Practically all of their best songs are on this one collection--from a reworking of the Weavers' hit "Good Night Irene" to Near's civil rights anthem "Singing for Our Lives", and a solid folk-based repertoire in between. The two women's voices are aptly supported, but never overshadowed, by Jeff Langley's lyrical piano accompaniment anchored by the work of a bassist (whose name currently escapes me).
Recommend this product?
Near and Gilbert complement each other vocally with such skill and effortlessness that one may wonder where each voice begins and ends. Both voices are blessed with control and power, though Gilbert's voice showed clear signs of aging--she was in her late 50's at the time. Gilbert's mellow contralto contrasts with Near's more brazen mezzo-soprano, and both voices are capable of enough volume to nearly blow out your speakers if you're not careful with the settings. The two trade melody and harmony lines back and forth with remarkable ease, and their emotional commitment to each song is never less than fully convincing.
The subject matter of the songs spans the full range of progressive activism, contributed by authors such as Woody Guthrie ("Pastures of Plenty" has hardly been covered better), Bernice Johnson Reagon ("Biko", an anti-apartheid anthem), Charlie King ("Two Good Arms"), and, of course, Holly Near herself ("Singing for Our Lives" and a rewritten "Hay Una Mujer Desaparacida"). Other Spanish-language songs include the Spanish Civil War song "Si Me Quieres Escribir" and one of Mercedes Sosa's greatest hits, a somewhat subdued "Gracias a La Vida". My only quibble with the song selection is that the romantic showtune medley was a bit overlong and disjointed--but Holly is obviously enjoying the theatricality of it.
During the Reaganesque 1980's, terms like "liberal" and "feminist" were widely demonized and denigrated; and some reviewers savaged this album merely for being feminist and topical. But some brave souls refused to hide their true artistic and political sentiments in those days--and we can thank Holly Near and Ronnie Gilbert for offering their best efforts in both art and political statement.
Read all comments (1)
Great Music to Play While: Reading or Studying
Share this product review with your friends
Have Like New condition 1963 American Flyer, Gilbert Toys, 32 page Catalog. X 863-3 Shows Toys, Erector, Science Toys, Chemistry, Microscopes, Telesco...
Olsonhobbies Store Have How to get the most from your Gilbert Microscope Set information sheet. This is a black white light blue-green copy of an orig...
Gilbert is an adorable 8-inch stuffed gorilla that will sure make you say awe! Made with fine plush and beautiful detail. Flopsie's are perfect for ag...
Have single page, D2183 printed on 2 sides A. C. Gilbert Co. 1960 Science Toys Telescopes promotional sheet. Has picture of Gilbert Telescopes, includ...
Olsonhobbies Store Have single page, D2188, printed on 2 sides, A.C. Gilbert Co. 1960 Science Toys Physics Laboratory Set promotion sheet. Has picture...
Olsonhobbies Store Have Original, 4 page, A. C. Gilbert Co. Uniform Straight Bill of Lading. Form was made out at the A.C. Gilbert Co. New Haven, Conn...
If your local hobby shop, or your favorite parts supplier, does not carry this book, now is your chance to get this excellent, 1st Edition trouble-sho...
Olsonhobbies Store Have D2182 A. C. Gilbert Co. 1960 Science Toys Microscope and Lab Sets sheet. Has picture of Gilbert Microscopes and Labs Including...
Olsonhobbies Store Have reprint of the A.C. Gilbert factory auction, held in New York City at Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc on Demceber 4, 1968. America...
Olsonhobbies Store Have two page, Gilbert B147and B149 Power Tools, flyer. These were electric drills made by the A. C. Gilbert Co.and listed the dril...