Brothers & Sisters (2CD)
WORLD MUSIC / ETHNIC FOLK
DISCMEDI (DM 4203 02)
The world has always been short of heroes. They have never been abundant, but it is now, in our days, when the most orphan of figures to admire seems. Perhaps that is why, seen from our painful orphanhood, the colossal profile that never stops growing and enlarging. In the artistic and in the personal, in the human and the legendary. In his role as an icon of North American folk and tireless agitator of consciences. His banjo was always an accusing finger ready to point out injustices wherever they hid. His voice, that of the silent, marginalized, defeated, exploited and forgotten. Wherever there was a just cause (from Vietnam's atrocities to the sacrifice of International Brigades, from fighting for the black people's civil rights to union mobilizations), the venerable figure appeared with his banjo and his bag full of traditional themes and own songs on the way to being it. The story of this ninety-year-old New Yorker is that of an inexhaustible fighter guided by the highest values and unable to turn his eyes to the contemplation of the intolerable. But it is also the story of a true folk pioneer, probably one of the most important and influential of all the popular American music has given. His music is an immense volume that most of those who have or have had some interest in traditional music in the United States continue to drink.
‘Brothers & Sisters’ reviews throughout its two CDs a good part of the brightest chapters of the New Yorker’s extensive discography. In the first album, we find a Seeger in complete solitude, with the only company of his banjo (the one in which the legend 'this instrument catches hatred and forces him to bend' still reads) interpreting his songs and stealing pieces from the songbook traditional. The second, of extraordinary artistic and documentary value, collects the best compositions of Almanac Singers, the band in which Seeger played with his good friend Woody Guthrie and other prominent folklorists such as Josh White or Bess Lomax. In addition to the extraordinary music of the Almanac Singers, this second album also includes a representation of Seeger's work as the head of another legendary formation of American popular music: The Weavers. With this band, he created some of his most ambitious pieces, connecting his folk with jazz and, even, anticipating the fever of mestizo music for decades, seeking inspiration in the rhythms of Latin, African, Israeli or Asian music.