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J o h n... S t e w a r t


best of friends

John Stewart
The Day the River Sang



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track listing

1. Baby, It's You itunesbuy
2. Jasmine itunesbuy
3. East of Denver itunesbuy
4. The Day the River Sang itunesbuy
5. Run the Ridges itunesbuy
6. New Orleans itunesbuy
7. Golden Gate Fields itunesbuy
8. Amanda Won't Dance itunesbuy
9. Sister Mercy itunesbuy
10. Broken Roses itunesbuy
11. Naked Angel on a Star-Crossed Train itunesbuy
12. Midnight Train itunesbuy
13. Slider itunesbuy

America’s songwriter laureate returns with
   a new collection of unforgettable songs!

Since leaving the Kingston Trio in 1968 to record his distinctive folk/rock/country/ bluegrass originals, helping to lay the groundwork for the careers of John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Dave Alvin, Steve Earle, and the rise of the Americana movement, John Stewart has written and recorded more than 50 albums of mostly stripped down songs of everyday saints and sinners, their moments of elation and desperation, and of our country’s natural beauties and toxic political undercurrents.   

The Day the River Sang, the latest collection of new Stewart originals, again affirms John’s credentials as one of our most overlooked painters of indelible musical pictures. Using the warm, minimal brushstrokes of his own acoustic and electric guitars, his longtime Dave Batti/John Hoke rhythm section, and occasional wisps of keyboards, harmonica and backing voices, Stewart applies a similarly effective less-is-more approach to his lyrics and vocals. Now in his mid-sixties, Stewart invests the opening love song, “Baby, It’s You,” with a sense of relief and gratitude a younger man might lack. But the youthful gleam in his eye is unmistakable on the frisky “Amanda Won’t Dance,” the album’s other lightly rocking ballad. The pull between heart and highway is frequently felt, particularly in the lovely “Jasmine,” on which John’s weathered tenor unexpectedly swoops into a sweet falsetto, the tongue-in-cheek “East of Denver” and the deeply road-weary “Broken Roses.” And one would be hard-pressed to find a more poignant elegy for the pre-Hurricane Katrina Crescent City than “New Orleans,” with its heartbroken piano accompaniment a la Tom Waits and Randy Newman, regret-filled vocals, and lyrics that were largely written by John’s longtime wife, soulmate and sometime singing partner, Buffy Ford Stewart.

With their musical foundations in folk, country, rock and bluegrass, John’s songs have always encompassed subjects stretching from the sky above to the mud below. The Day the River Sang includes a terse character study of the “junkies and jockeys at post-time and coast time” at “Golden Gate Fields,” harking back to John’s boyhood spent working in California racetracks alongside his father, and the lightly jazzy “Slider,” which watches a good girl go wrong. On the metaphysical end of the spectrum, the title track is a vision of paradise and peace, while “Sister Mercy” is a naked plea for guidance in troubling times (“It seems I’ve lost directions/And I’ve always had them down.”). In between are John’s tribute to his muse, “Naked Angel on a Star-Crossed Train,” the propulsive tragicomic nightmare of “Midnight Train,” with a dig at “El Presidente,” and a new version of “Run the Ridges,” from John’s Kingston Trio days.

There’s more to John Stewart than “Daydream Believer,” his #1 hit in 1968 for The Monkees. Here’s his new CD. Listen and believe.




other releases:

looking for the moon

Under American Skies
....................UnderUWires From the Bunker

darwins army

Darwin's Army

also appears on:
where have all the flowers gone
The Songs of Pete Seeger Vol 1
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

sowing the seeds

Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary