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PEGGY SEEGER - First Farewell 

PEGGY SEEGER - First Farewell 
Red Grape Music RGPSCD4 

The title of this album gives the lie to the direction of travel of this offering – Peggy Seeger is threatening that this is to be her final solo offering, with the proviso that she has potential for plenty more. For someone who can still tour in her mid-eighties, who can write songs that are timeless and contemporary simultaneously, and perform them with utmost confidence on multiple instruments, I would say that anything is probable rather than possible.

A truly familial offering, featuring sons Calum and Neill, with daughter-in-law Kate St John on instruments and co-writing five of the tracks, there is a familiarity and homeliness about the entire album. Daughter Kitty designed the sleeve, and the touring entourage is managed by the other daughter-in-law, Kerry Harvey-Piper (whenever that all starts up again, post-COVID).

The songs are all original and lyrically range across the whole spectrum of her experience and causes close to her heart – the peace movement, modern slavery and relationships to name just a few.

Calum’s high production values tease out the deep ambiance of the material and present a warm and rounded, homely collection of the most personal of songs. The Invisible Woman and Lullabies For Strangers are particular favourites of mine, but in all honesty the entire package is a delight, that benefits from repeated plays. I have loved Neill MacColl’s guitar playing for many years, but Calum is no slouch himself, for example his slide guitar on Lubrication is brilliant. More than anything else this is an album that just makes me smile.

Grem Devlin


This review appeared in Issue 138 of The Living Tradition magazine