Saturday, October 31, 2009

For Greenpeace Supporters And Old Folkies

Environmentalists and fans of Phil Ochs (pictured, appropriately, to the left), James Taylor and Joni Mitchell may be interested in a new Greenpeace benefit album titled Amchitka that will be available exclusively through the organization on Nov. 10.
The two-CD set  was recorded at an Oct. 16, 1970 concert at Vancouver's Pacific Coliseum that raised funds to protest U.S. nuclear bomb tests near the Aleutian island of Amchitka, Alaska and launched Greenpeace. 
Ochs was one of the foremost protest singers (he described himself as a "singing journalist") of the '60s and I've been a longtime admirer. He performs eight songs on disc one — including one of his best known numbers, "I Åin't Marching Anymore," and "Joe Hill" — and his lyrics still resonate with meaning almost 40 years after his performance.
I've never been much of a Taylor fan, aside from "You've Got A Friend," "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" and "Handy Man" (which all came later in his career, and he didn't write any of them anyway), but his set includes early hits "Fire And Rain" and "Carolina In My Mind."
I may be chastised for being a bad Canadian or perhaps an insensitive boor for having little appreciation for Mitchell, but so be it. Her 10-song set, which takes up the entire second CD, includes "Woodstock," "A Case Of You" and "The Circle Game." She also tacks Larry Williams' "Bony Moroni" on to "Big Yellow Taxi" and Bob Dylan's "Mr. Tambourine Man" on to "Carey." Mitchell is joined by Taylor towards the end of her performance.
The between-song audience addresses by the three artists are also entertaining in places.
Proceeds from Amchitka go to a worthy cause, so pay a visit to the Greenpeace website once the album becomes available if you'd like a copy.


np The Apples In Stereo — #1 Hits Explosion 
(There's some pure pop goodness on here.)

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