Calling Pete Seeger an icon has gotten kind of boring. To be absolutely truthful, it's also a sure sign of journalistic laziness to use such threadbare accolades to describe this great humanitarian, American hero, and populist spokesman.
Above all else, Pete Seeger is an educator with a banjo who fully and faithfully understands the oral history implicit in the global song. He wholly recognizes the need for the collective heart to sing these songs and see themselves and their neighbors, near and far, in the rhyme—an ancient history transmitted by melody and voice.
Previously unreleased and sonically updated for optimum sound, Live In '65 finds Pete in Pittsburg facing down the forces then (still?) tearing away at the American fabric: the Kennedy hangover and civil rights unrest. Vietnam, the Cold War, and the rise of rock 'n roll's dominance.
But like his battle with McCarthy and his prolonged blacklisting, Seeger stood his ground at the Carnegie Music Hall in February 1965 and delivered, what still today reflects, his lifelong mission: It's a great big world out there held together by an Indra's Net of song. Thus A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall, The Bells of Rhymney, If I Had A Hammer, Guatanamera, This Land Is Your Land, Where Have All The Flowers Gone and Abiyoyo all ring of this one truth. So too does Oh Susanna, and He Lies In An American Land.
It's even lame to ascribe that Pete Seeger has walked the walk from his first step. But some things never go out of fashion, and here's hoping Live In '65 is the beginning of a whole new trend.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles