John Stewart & Darwin's Army - Darwin's Army

Darwin's Army

John Stewart & Darwin's Army

APR 1025

Appleseed Recordings
P. O. Box 2593
West Chester PA 19380
Email: folkradisl@aol.com

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Moshe Benarroch
(moben@internet-zahav.net)

For a singer who has recorded 38 solo LP's and many others with the Kingston Trio, this is a nice intermezzo. This is clearly a band effort, so the need to put Stewart's name at the front of the band is only a marketing strategy.

The songs are mostly traditional, with covers of Dylan, Hardin and others, and two original songs by band members John Hoke and Dave Crossland. All four members, who include the three mentioned above in additon to Buffy Stewart, sing on this recording. Their different voices make for a nice listening experience, but most of all, makes you want to see them perform live.

All of the songs are enjoyable, with killer versions of Dylan's Back Pages, and Don't it Make You Want to go Home, a version not very different from the Gene Clark/ Clara Olson version. Here, too, it is sung as a duo by John and Buffy Stewart.

Darwin's Army serves also as an introduction to John Hoke and Dave Crossland. Listening to their two songs and their voices makes us look forward to hearing their debuts CD's. As much as I know, they haven't yet released any solo projects.

John Stewart is one of the most important American singer-songwriters of the second half of this century. He has an instantly recognizable voice and also a very personal way of writing. You can easily identify his songs even when others are singing them. Even in this team effort his signature is everywhere, and it adds another career to one of the most impressive discographies in American music.

A few words about the recording: this is an HDCD recording, and for those who have an HDCD converter will find much to like in it. I don't have one, yet I still found the sound on this CD to be topnotch, as well as in other Appleseed CD's I have heard.

Song List:

  • Dreamland (John Hoke)
  • My Back Pages (Bob Dylan)
  • Darlin' Corey (Trad.)
  • Wild Mountains Thyme (Trad.)
  • Bay Of Mexico (Trad.)
  • Don't It Make You Want To Go Home (Joe South)
  • Blood In The Fields (Dave Crossland)
  • Boy In A Bubble (Paul Simon)
  • Santy Anno (trad.)/ Coal Tattoo (Billy Ed Wheeler)
  • Silver Wings (Merle Haggard)
  • Twelve Gates Of The City (Trad.)
  • They Call The Wind Maria (Lerner & Lowe)
  • Goodnight Irene (Leadbelly and Allan Lomax)
  • Somewhere Over The Rainbow (Yip Harburg & Howard Allen)

Edited by Roberta B. Schwartz (rschwartz@oeb.harvard.edu)

Copyright 1999, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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