12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
This is one of TWO Pete Seeger-related albums being released today (the other is the 2-CD set titled "Pete Remembers Woody". Each is different and I'll be posting my review of the "Woody" title elsewhere on Amazon.
Of the two songwriters listed and shown on the front of this CD, Seeger is, obviously, the best known. Wyatt, a neighbor of Seeger's in the Hudson River Valley of New York, works with Seeger on the Clearwater Project and is best known for his song "Somos El Barco" (We are the Boat). Which is on this CD as well. Seeger and Wyatt sing together on many of the songs but, for "Somebody Else's Eyes" it's just Seeger on guitar with Sara Milanovich on violin. Seeger goes it alone on the next track "Strange Lullabye". You can hear the affects of his age on the latter but Seeger has always been about the words and the story. Even in his prime years, no one would ever call his voice "melodious". As with any Seeger record there is a humor story song and "Howling For Our Supper" is that this time. It's just Seeger and Wyatt and Seeger's 5-string banjo in a song portraying cats singing (well, howling) for their dinner. There's also a fun song about aging - "Old Apples" - with a chorus about how old apples still make great applesauce.
The duo has some well-known friends along to help on a few of the songs this time. Bruce Springsteen adds his voice to the opener "God's Counting on me.. God's Counting on You". But he's not alone here. Apparently recorded separately and added in the mix, "the Boss" joins Seeger, Wyatt, The Rivertown Kids (more of Seeger's neighbors) and at least another dozen folks listed as "additional singers". It's less crowded on "Memories out of Mud" (about post-Katrina) where Dar Williams joins Lorre (Pete's nort on this track) accompanied by a clarinet and percussion. Dar hangs around to join Pete and Lorre, along with Steve Earle, for" this Old Man Revisited". Track 13 - "Wonderful Friends" is sure to be a Seeger sing-a-long standard. Finally, a goodly portion of this 60-minute disc is filled with the closer, "Bountiful River" which clocks in at nearly 10 ½ minutes!
No, this isn't the best Pete Seeger album. How could it be. Look at all that's come before this one. But the fully-independent Appleseed Records label, helmed by Jim Musselman, is allowing Pete to continue to make new music and cover new topics. For this I'm thankful and this is an album that long time Seeger fans - you know who you are - will want to hear.
I hope you found this review both informative and helpful.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2012
I received my CD, A More Perfect Union 2 days ago and loved it. My favorite song "God's counting on me, God's counting on you". It gave me that inspiring feeling that all of Pete's older songs have given and I was singing right along with Pete and Lorre. I really like political songs, which we have so few of these days and especially "Old Apples". We need to have more songs that respect people as they age and teach our children to do that too. Reading the story behind all the difficult moments for Pete and Lorre as they pulled this CD together makes it even more fabulous. Somos El Barco is the most beautiful recording of Lorre's song I've heard, including the one on Harp. I hope that this CD will inspire many people to think about what it means to live life with compassion for people, living creatures and this earth we live on and to not just think about making another dollar. I highly recommend this work of art from Pete and Lorre. Emily
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2012
There are an amazing variety of memorable songs here, all intensely and quite personally relevant to life, friendship, the planet, our country, political activism, aging, war, healing, and more. For those who've been waiting for the first official Pete and Lorre version of their acclaimed 'God's Counting On You' here it is in spades--rollicking, rhythmic, and impossible not to sing along with. And while on the well-known track, here is the first full recording ever, and first full recording by Lorre Wyatt, of his world famous song of solidarity with others 'Somos El Barco'. You can tell that he and Pete, who really are old friends that have been writing songs together for 40 years since the early Clearwater days, were having a good time recording this. While Pete's voice at 92 is raspy and old, he can still sing up a storm, and Lorre's touching tenor voice compliments and supports him beautifully.
I seldom cry when I hear songs, but found the tears streaming down on two cuts, both Pete's touching lullaby to a child in a war-torn country (is it Afghanistan?), and the hauntingly beautiful Fields of Harmony, which simply and poetically speaks of his long life on the leading edge of the fight for justice and compassion and looks ahead to his being beyond all that and able to look down on it. There is real encouragement here for we who are wanting and working for a better world in A More Perfect Union, Bountiful River, and other songs leavened by smiles about old apples making good sauce and cats howling for their dinner. I found the songs, the variety, the arrangements, the added voices of the chorus and other well-known folkies, all to be outstanding, and the story of the difficulties behind the making of this album really fascinating. And I find myself singing various cuts as I go about my work--a sure sign that something has gone deep in. Let's hope that Pete and Lorre keep on writing, singing, and recording together!
on February 26, 2013
Pete Seeger is an amazing musician! I bought his last cd, made at age 89, and liked it a
lot. This one is great too, with lots of new songs! Very very moving, and to think it was recorded
while Pete is in his early 90s.