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Tom Paxton - Looking for the Moon

Looking for the Moon

Tom Paxton

APR CD 1069

Appleseed Recordings
P. O. Box 2593
West Chester, PA 19380

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Guntram Gudowius

Tom Paxton's latest studio album Looking for the Moon is no big surprise to anyone familiar with his songs and the music he's been sharing with us for four decades now. In the best tradition of bards like Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, he has his ear at the heart of the people and his eyes watch out for details in their lives. Paxton puts those details in lyrics that can move you to tears, give you a warm comfortable feeling of shared experiences or have you burst out with laughter. His songs have become classics and many of the older ones are still relevant today. They have been covered by countless other artists in their particular styles, but, still the fingerprint is Tom's.

You can count on Tom to tackle any issue or event. While on his live albums, Politics and For The Record for example, satirical comments about politicians, yuppiedom or the "joys" of getting older stand side by side with anti- war songs new and old, Looking for the Moon has a mature and tender feeling to it. Whether he's riding on a train towards New York City and letting his mind wander in the country side or describing small town life in Montana, there are comments about social changes that are not always for the better, pointed out without anger. He describes the pain of a ten-year-old losing his dad, sings about a river (most likely the Hudson) and the scenery it flows through using it as a metaphor for the constant change in life. Content love songs spring from the experience of a long lasting and happy family relationship. Tom writes about the World Trade Center tragedy (written 9-24-01) from perspective of one person who made it out safely because of the help of the firefighters who ran up the stairs while he and others ran down and outside. Very touching!

The music is essential Tom Paxton as well, easy going melodies that sound familiar by the second chorus and make you want hum along. The production is pure acoustic backed by fine musicians. Styles range from Bluegrass to Country and Folk. Anne Hills and Nanci Griffith add their harmonies to some of the songs.

The booklet contains all the lyrics, musicians' info and a few photos of Tom and some fellow musicians.

Let's hope that Tom keeps up his good work of recording and entertaining folks at concerts for a long time to come.

Track List:

1. Looking for the Moon
2. My Pony Knows the Way
3. Me and A Couple of Angels
4. Easy Now, Easy
5. Homebound Train
6. Early Snow
7. My Oklahoma Lullaby
8. My River
9. Come Away with Me
10. Marry Me Again (written with Debi Smith)
11. The Same River Twice (written with Susan Graham White)
12. Life in The Key Of C
13. The Bravest

The Musicians:

Tom Paxton - lead vocals, acoustic guitar (on all songs), harmony vocal on 7, 8
Nanci Griffith - harmony vocal on 2, 6
Anne Hills - harmony vocal on 1, 4, 8, 9, 11
Tim Crouch - mandolin on 1, 8, 11, 12 and fiddle on 8, 9, 12, 13
David Francis - upright bass on all
Mark Howard - acoustic guitar on all
Pat McInerney - snare drum on 13
Kirk "Jellyroll" Johnson - harmonica on all
Al Perkins - dobro on 1-4, 6-10, 12, 13 and Kona guitar on 5, 11
Jim Rooney - harmony vocal on 7, 8
Pete Wasner - piano on all

Produced by Jim Rooney

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2003, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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