Warner Bros.
Folk, Political Folk, Folk Revival, Children's Folk, Traditional Folk, Folksongs

Album Review

Sixty years old as of 1979, Pete Seeger hadn't lost an iota of his edge on this attractive album, lovingly produced by his old cohort in the Weavers, Fred Hellerman (whose photo prominently adorns the back cover). Hellerman gave Seeger a little more production than he was used to, but the touches are mostly light, even whimsical, more often than not played by Hellerman himself on a bewildering collection of instruments. And sometimes Seeger does away with all backing in a number of a cappella songs, like the blatant double-entendre joke "The Photographers." Though the times were turning conservative, the left is never off the table as far as Seeger is concerned, for the album leads off with "Garbage," a trenchantly pessimistic song about the consumer society, and closes with a satirical round written by his father, musicologist Charles Seeger (the latter features a reunion of all three of the original Weavers). While many of the songs here are remakes of things drawn from his inexhaustible song bag, Seeger does come up with a handful of new tunes of his own, topped by a gem called "Maple Syrup Time" that welds a political allegory to an absolutely lovely tune and a Caribbean-flavored backing. This, as well as the remake of the Spanish Civil War rouser "Viva la Quince Brigada," a Native American canoe song, and a Sicilian tarantella remind listeners that Seeger, in his world-embracing manner, was always a consummate eclectic, borrowing lots of things from foreign cultures that struck his fancy. Though Seeger continued to make live albums with Arlo Guthrie and Harp, this would be his last solo studio album for about 16 years (Paul Winter lured him back to make Pete in the mid-'90s when his voice was fading), and it captures him in joyful, life-affirming form.
Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Garbage
  2. Sailing Down My Golden River
  3. Mexican Blues
  4. Photographers
  5. I'm Gonna Be an Engineer
  6. Seneca Canoe Song
  7. Maple Syrup Time
  8. Viva la Quince Brigada
  9. As the Sun Rose
  10. Sour Cream
  11. Tarantella
  12. Garden Song
  13. Harry Simms
  14. Allelulia/Joy Upon This Earth