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  • Jefferson's Tree of Liberty
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Jefferson's Tree of Liberty

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Audio CD, September 2, 2008
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 2, 2008)
  • Original Release Date: 2008
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: The Lab
  • ASIN: B001D5F3RG
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #135,066 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Wasn't That A Time
2. Follow The Drinking Gourd
3. Santy Anno
4. Cowboy On The Run
5. I Ain't Marching Anymore
6. Chimes Of Freedom
7. Genesis Hall
8. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
9. Royal Canal
10. Risin' Of The Moon
11. Frenario
12. In A Crisis
13. Maybe For You
14. Comandante Carlos Fonseca
15. Pastures Of Plenty
16. Imagine Redemption
17. On The Threshold Of Fire
18. The Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood

Editorial Reviews

Jefferson's Tree Of Liberty is an unusual Jefferson Starship album in a number of ways. First, it's the first covers album any Jefferson configuration has ever recorded in their five-decade career, which is a noteworthy event in itself, but that's not the only thing different about JTOL. When Jefferson Starship decided to cut a whole album of folk tunes popularized by their heroes and peers, it was decided to create a sound not too dissimilar to the early version of the Airplane that Kantner and Balin founded over 40 years ago. The CD features one song with Grace Slick and has Paul Kantner, David Freiberg, Darby Gould, Cathy Richardson, David LaFlamme, Mart Balin, David Grisman and Prairie Prince also on the CD.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
If anything else it makes for a good excuse to pull out those old Weavers, Sandy Denny and Byrds records from out of the closet.
Avalon Don
Then it immediately was taken out of the jewel case and put into a plastic sleeve and taken to the basement where maybe my heirs will give it a spin.
Jay Boco
Well done to all involved: to the band for its music, to the part players for what they've added, to the management for finally making it all happen.
Steve Rowland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Katherine McCarthy on September 4, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Tree of Liberty is everything you've ever loved about Jefferson Airplane/Jefferson Starship (exorcise the memory of the emasculated Starship.) Driven by Paul Kantner's ringing 12 string Rickenbacker, the soaring harmonies, this collecton is a call to arms, to dream, to go to the edge and beyond. Jeffersonians past, present, future, and even retired, are mostly present and accounted for. (Only Jorma is among the missing, and his finger picking acoustic skills would've fit right in. Maybe next time?) Never has America needed to be reminded of righteous anger, and putting that anger into positive motion to change the world, more than it does now.

It's an album of rebels and revolutionary anthems - across the times, across the oceans, across the continents. From Ireland, to Nicaragua, to union workers in the fields of California, to 13 upstart colonies declaring their independence from an oppressive monarchy, along the Underground Railroad, to utopian dreams of redemption, brotherhood, and peace, 19 soul rousing and blood pumping songs. Who would've thought the lustiest and loudest collection of songs would be made by (mostly) wooden instruments? Who would've thought the most passionate album to be released this year would come from Jefferson Starship?

Lest you think this is a dreary collection of political polemic dirges, think again. This is an album to listen to with people, two big bottles of wine, and to sing along to. After a few listens you won't be able to help yourself. The songs choices range from Woody Guthrie, the Weavers, Phil Ochs, Dylan, Lennon, Marley, and Sandy Denny. And from the greatest of them all, Traditional.

It kicks off with a rousing nod to "Volunteers" before it settles into the Weaver's classic "Wasn't That A Time.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Steve Rowland on September 13, 2008
Format: Audio CD
This is a Jefferson Starship album like no other before. It's also the first Jefferson Starship studio recording for over a decade, so expectations are (understandably) high. Providing long-term fans approach it with the right expectations then they shouldn't be disappointed. On the contrary! I can guarantee that many people will be surprised by what they hear and I anticipate that the majority will be delighted. As for anyone whose never heard Jefferson Starship in any guise before, they're going to be mighty impressed.

You have to begin with the premise that this is essentially a folk record. Many of you know that's where Paul Kantner and David Freiberg started out as musicians; and those of you who've read my detailed interview with Paul in Holding Together Magazine last year will recall his love of The Weavers, the '50s folk quartet fabled for their stunning vocal harmonies and principled left-wing politics. You could say that's where Jefferson Airplane really began. They then became outlaws in the eyes of an America where the dream of establishing and respecting the rights of every person, regardless of sex, colour or creed, was already writhing under a hail of assasssins' bullets and poisonous anti-democratic machinations. That was '63 going on '68, when our heroes were, by their own admission, "obscene, dangerous, dirty, violent and young". But, of course, the wheel keeps on turnin' - so now in 2008 things aren't a whole lot better on the sex, colour and creed front, anti-democratic machination has been honed to an art form and our heroes are no longer young. Thankfully for us, they're still capable of being obscene, dangerous, dirty and violent, in as much as they have raised their voices in protest against the empire one more time. That's essentially what folk music does.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mark D. Prouse on October 14, 2008
Format: Audio CD
The Jefferson Starship website includes a detailed review of this new CD. It mentions the inclusion of Grace Slick, and I could swear that she can be heard in the background on a couple of the tracks. She certainly is on the poor-quality bonus track, which sounds like it was recorded on an old Craig cassette recorder - in mono - in someone's living room. I scanned the booklet several times in vain for any mention at all of Grace Slick. Not even in the "Special Thanks" section is she mentioned. Kantner and others who write about these songs in the notes also make no mention of their former band mate. It made me wonder, what's up with that? My only guess would be that Grace Slick wanted her official retirement to remain so, and refused credits or photos.

Marty Balin makes a brief and welcome appearance on the lovely "Maybe For You," but that's about it for him, so aside from the participation of David Freiberg, how is this a Jefferson Starship album? I ask this because although Kantner is a blazing presence here, the music isn't, for the most part, the rock and roll style associated with Jefferson Airplane/Starship. So it is with some confusion that I listened to this album for the first time. Now, I have extremely eclectic taste, and I love folk music, so this CD turns out not to be a stretch for these ears to appreciate. Amusingly, there are places where I was reminded more of The Grateful Dead, and indeed, sometime Jerry Garcia collaborator, David Grisman, participates on a fine rendition of Woody Guthrie's "Pastures Of Plenty" and the traditional "Frenario" (a Dead staple also covered by numerous folk luminaries under differently spelled versions of the name).
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Topic From this Discussion
Imagine Redemption
I agree, it's a gorgeous mash-up of two beautiful songs. It suits the times now as well, doesn't it?
Sep 3, 2008 by Jessica |  See all 2 posts
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