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Various Artists

Sowing the Seeds

The 10th Anniversary

(Appleseed; US: 11 Sep 2007; UK: Available as import)

Review [21.Feb.2008]

Appleseed Recordings specializes in contemporary, traditional, and political folk music. The company, whose motto is “Sowing the Seeds of Justice Through Music”, combines a utopian version of the future with a gritty understanding of our past and present circumstances. Appleseed has just released a double CD to celebrate its 10th anniversary. The first disc, labeled “And Justice For All”, features topical songs that address poverty, the War in Iraq, and capital punishment by musicians like Bruce Springsteen, Pete Seeger (it was a tribute for Pete Seeger on this label that initially brought Seeger’s music to the attention of the Boss) Billy Bragg, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Joan Baez and Jackson Browne, and Wyclef Jean. The second disc, “Love Hope and Appleseed” offers a more upbeat selection by artists that include David Bromberg, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Judy Collins, John Stewart, Roger McGuinn, and Arlo Guthrie. Forty years ago, many of these artists were in the mainstream of popular folk that truly was popular. These days folk is a niche market, but these musicians still know how to captivate, educate, and entertain the listener.

Rating:

Steven Horowitz has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Iowa, where he continues to teach a three-credit online course on "Rock and Roll in America". He has written for many different popular and academic publications including American Music, Paste and the Icon. Horowitz is a firm believer in Paul Goodman's neofunctional perspective on culture and that Sam Cooke was right, a change is gonna come.


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