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PETE SEEGER & LORRE WYATT - A More Perfect Union

PETE SEEGER & LORRE WYATT - A More Perfect Union
Appleseed Recordings APRCD1130

Pete Seeger has been at the forefront of the folk revival in the US for as long as there has been one. For years he has been out there singing traditional songs, and new ones that urge people to sing out in dissent or praise, urging for world peace, a cleaner environment, better labour relations, in fact, better everything. He wants the world to get its act together and wherever he and his banjo can get up and give it a nudge he will do so. He is still doing so despite being over 90 years of age and having a voice that is now wispy and cracked.

A Seeger appearance can still fill a hall of any size, but nowadays he likes to take other singers on stage with him to share the burden, he leading with banjo or guitar, a twelve string most times, they coming in with strong back-up, a most pleasing sound to hear and join in with.

A More Perfect Union is an album that takes this approach. Seeger and Lorre Wyatt wrote all the songs together, with the exception of Somos El Barco / We Are The Boat, a Wyatt composition. They perform them with Seeger or Wyatt gently coaxing the song along with a host of guest musicians singing out in the choruses and playing a host of instruments, acoustic and electric. The songs are all on Pete Seeger’s favourite topics, and there is no doubting the sincerity in the now flawed with age voice in which he sings. He overcomes all the technical defects with the honesty of his delivery. A few years ago I was at a Seeger concert in upstate New York, and was struck by the feeling of excitement and affection in the room as he took the stage, alone this time. A couple of hours later I was with all the rest of the audience, standing applauding until our hands were raw. I applaud this album too, although I do concede that someone coming new to Seeger might not be as affected by it as I am. But I was one of thousands who signed a ‘Keep Pete Seeger out of Jail’ petition in the wake of the McCarthyism scourge. Nowadays, without ever changing his stance he receives honours from his President and Government. He is indefatigable and living proof of the power of song. Bravo Pete!

Roy Harris


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This album was reviewed in Issue 95 of The Living Tradition magazine.