Saturday, June 26, 2010
Songs of Protest, Hope and Conscience
I MC'd a show of enragees, provocateurs and politically charged singer/songwriters at Hugh's Room last night. Jon Brooks retooled Buffy Ste. Marie's Universal Soldier for the current conflicts of the world and achieved an enthusiastic audience response with an original song ( you can listen at the end of the post ) about the misuse of creative and activist energies that struck deeply at the audience's sense of purpose. He also guested on my show yesterday, bringing in discs by Nick Cave, Maria Dunn and Michael Brennan to illustrate his convictions about the artistry required to make an effective statement in song.
Lynn Miles added a few verses to Neil Young's Ohio to decry the corporate takeover of Toronto and the world. Jory Nash put a fresh muscle of commitment into the great Sam Cooke's A Change Is Gonna Come, and Crabtree & Mills revived the spit and spirit of the civil rights movement with a rare Len Chandler tune, To Be A Man. The John Henrys focussed on the resistance of the media to protest music, and the persistence of American churlishness through an interesting historical tune, Patriot Song. Anthems abounded, spirituals and marching songs resonated, and love of the word, effectively used, was shared. A political charge was conducted throughout the room and hopefully, beyond.