WORLD-RENOWNED VOCAL ENSEMBLE SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK ADDS SOMETHING DIFFERENT – A JAZZ TRIO! – ON NEW 2-CD LIVE SET AND UPCOMING SPECIAL SHOWS CELEBRATING MUSICAL INFLUENCES
NEWS FLASH: First Lady Michelle Obama, who has called SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK one of her “favorite groups in the whole wide world,” attended the SWEET HONEY "Tribute" CD release concert at Washington, D.C.’s Howard Theatre on Thursday, March 7. The a cappella quintet previously performed at the White House in 2009 at First Lady Obama’s request.
Backstage at the Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C., 3/7: (l. to r.) Sweet Honey In The Rock sign language interpreter Shirley Childress, Sweet Honey vocalists Aisha Kahlil, Louise Robinson, Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, First Lady Michelle Obama, Sweet Honey vocalists Carol Maillard and Nitanju Bolade Casel. (Photo courtesy of Sweet Honey In The Rock).
NEWS FLASH #2: an interview and call-in segment with Sweet Honey's Dr. Ysaye Barnwell, who will leave the group in mid-May after 34 years to pursue other creative outlets, was aired on National Public Radio's "Talk of the Nation" with host Neal Conan on April 29. To listen to Dr. Barnwell talk about her history with Sweet Honey and her future plans, just follow this LINK. Sweet Honey is currently auditioning for a new voice to join the quintet.
NEWS FLASH #3: an interview with Dr. Barnwell, originally scheduled to air on Friday, March 29, on "The Tavis Smiley Show," syndicated by Public Radio International, was broadcast on Friday, April 19. To listen in, please follow THIS LINK
With its roots in the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties and its branches continually stretching to encompass new musical genres and creative challenges, the internationally acclaimed female African-American a cappella quintet SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK has ventured into new territory on its new live 2-CD set on Appleseed, A Tribute – Live! Jazz at Lincoln Center, available now as hardcopies through our website and CDBaby.com, and from bricks-and-mortar stores and online (including digitally) as of February 26.
Seeking to honor songs previously recorded, performed, and in some cases written by an earlier generation of female African-American singers, the members of SWEET HONEY spent two years crafting a concert presentation that, for the first time, incorporated an instrumental trio to do justice to the jazz-oriented repertoire of Abbey Lincoln, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone, Odetta, and Miriam Makeba, among others. They performed two historic “Tribute” concerts in Rose Hall at the prestigious Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York in April 2011, the highlights of which comprise A Tribute – Live!
After performing several more “Tribute” shows last year, SWEET HONEY scheduled five additional “Tribute” concerts in late February and early March 2013, bridging Black History Month (February) and Women’s History Month (March). Check their concert calendar here for “Tribute” concerts and the group’s “usual” kinetic and intoxicating performances.
CONGRATS TO TOM RUSH ON 50 YEARS OF PERFORMING!
Appleseed is delighted to congratulate Tom Rush on his first half-century of professional music-making, celebrated by an all-star concert in Boston on December 28, and eagerly looks forward to his next 50 years of creativity.
It’s been 50 years since Tom Rush appeared on the Boston/Cambridge music scene with a repertoire of folk and blues, a warm, inclusive voice, deft guitar-playing, a well-honed sense of humor, and a keen ear for choosing perfect songs by his more established predecessors and fellow “newbies” to cover. He was among the first to record songs by James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Jackson Browne prior to their own recordings, and has continually searched out well-suited materials from both well-known and obscure writers while blossoming as an original songwriter himself.
It’s been more than 20 years since Tom presented his one of his “Club 47” (named after Boston’s famous folk venue) star-studded shows in the city’s Symphony Hall featuring his talented friends, concerts that were sometimes broadcast by PBS and NPR and were cherished by listeners near and far.
On December 28h, many dreams were realized when Tom presented his first new Symphony Hall concert in decades with the aid of a fund-raising online Kickstarter campaign to bankroll the show. Along with his own set, Tom hosted such compatible musicians as fellow Appleseed artists Jonathan Edwards , David Bromberg (pinchhitting for Nanci Griffith, who was unable to attend), plus longtime friends David Buskin and Robin Batteau, the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and relative newcomer Dom Flemons. Joining Tom’s backing band was his longtime accompanist Trevor Veitch, who hadn’t performed with Tom for years. Tom chose “Wasn’t That a Mighty Storm” from his early days to perform as an encore and dedicated it to the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The three-hour show was webcast and was a satisfying triumph for Rush and all involved.
For a more detailed account of the show that first appeared in the Boston Globe, please follow this link.
WINTER 2012 SUPER SALES – New releases included!
What better time than the winter holiday season to buy some great music at sale prices for your family, your friends, and yourself?
Here are some of the hottest deals available for this coldest of seasons:
-- Our two new Pete Seeger releases – Pete Seeger & Lorre Wyatt: A More Perfect Union (regular price $16 plus shipping) and Pete Seeger: Pete Remembers Woody (2-CD set regularly priced at $20 plus shipping) – are on sale together for a total of $30 including shipping). Read more about these CDs in the news item lower on this page.
-- Our new November releases – award-winning singer/songwriter/poet Anne Hills’ The Things I Notice Now: Anne Hills Sings the Songs of Tom Paxton, a 12-song tribute to Anne’s longtime friend and recurrent collaborator, the iconic Tom Paxton, and Kim and Reggie Harris’s first CD in four years, Resurrection Day (both CDs are spotlighted in a news item below) – are available for $15 each plus $2.25 shipping per disc (or $3.50 shipping for both).
-- Buy four or more Appleseed CDs (2-CD sets count as two CDs) and receive a free copy of our 2-CD Sowing the Seeds – The 10th Anniversary label sampler – 37 tracks including eight exclusive recordings by Pete Seeger & Bruce Springsteen, Donovan, Ani Difranco and more. (Single CDs are generally priced at $15 each and double-CDs vary in cost from $20 - $23; please check the price on each CD’s website page and consult our shipping rates page.
-- Buy any 10 Appleseed CDs (2-CD sets count as 2 CDs) – all of the new releases are eligible – for $100 and free shipping within the US.
Browse through our roster of outstanding releases by other noted musicians such as Tom Rush, Tom Paxton, Jesse Winchester, David Bromberg and Roger McGuinn – you’ll find something for everyone.
To order, please mail your CD choices, mailing address, and a check to Appleseed Recordings / P.O. Box 2593 / West Chester, PA 19380, or you can call in your order, address, and credit card info (including expiration date and security code; sorry, no Discover cards) to this secure phone number: 610-701-5755. No e-mail orders will be accepted.
ANNE HILLS SALUTES TOM PAXTON, KIM AND REGGIE HARRIS REAFFIRM LIFE AND ACTIVISM ON NEW RELEASES!
The winter holiday season has already begun at Appleseed with the release of two new CDs celebrating the power of music and its practitioners.
Anne Hills, solo artist and one of folk music’s great collaborators, pays tribute to her friend, mentor, and recurrent recording and performing partner Tom Paxton with The Things I Notice Now: Anne Hills Sings the Songs of Tom Paxton, in honor of Tom’s 75th birthday on Halloween 2012. The CD contains Anne’s renditions of 12 Paxton originals, including the brand new “Redemption Road” (co-written with Geoff Bartley), and she’s joined by Tom on three duets. With some input from Tom, Anne chose “songs that feature his lesser-known, poetically beautiful writing” and take a long look at real life: lovers and families separated by economics or exhausted emotions, splintering communities, the passage of time, and the poor used as pawns in politics.
Resurrection Day, the seventh Appleseed CD by the husband and wife duo Kim and Reggie Harris, not only continues their dedication to songs of social change and political activism but also celebrates Reggie’s recovery from a life-threatening illness lasting 13 years. The one upside to his illness was that its cure – a liver transplant – inspired eight new original songs by Reggie reaffirming the sweetness of life and the need to make every moment count, personally and politically. There’s plenty of social commentary in the originals and cover versions, which include Phil Ochs’ “Do What I Have to Do” and the Depression-era standard “Hallelujah, I’m a Bum,” but also an underlying conviction that positive change is both vital and possible.
FOLK/ACTIVIST ICON PETE SEEGER, 93, SURVEYS PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE ON TWO NEW CDS!
Appleseed has started September with the release of two new recordings by Pete Seeger, America’s greatest living folk and topical songwriter and musical/political activist!!.
A More Perfect Union, which includes guest appearances by Bruce Springsteen, Tom Morello, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, and Dar Williams, contains 14 fresh new songs that present Pete's and collaborator Lorre Wyatt's responses to recent political, economic and environmental issues alongside gentler appreciations of life’s good moments, meditations on the future, and exhortations to individual action. Pete Remembers Woody, a two-CD set, celebrates the centennial birthyear of Pete’s friend, quasi-mentor and sometime musical partner, the late Woody Guthrie, through Pete’s spoken, firsthand reminiscences as one of the last contemporaries of our country’s first great topical songwriter. Interspersed are renditions of Woody’s songs by Pete with Woody’s son Arlo, other Guthrie-influenced performers, and Woody himself (from a vintage recording).
A recent interview with Pete Seeger about his two new Appleseed releases was aired on National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition," hosted by Scott Simon, and can be heard via this link.
You can also read Appleseed founder and president Jim Musselman's comments about his friendship with Seeger and Springsteen, the label's history and musical/philosophical/philanthropic philosophy, and a startling revelation about Jim's one-time back-up singer role for Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt by following this link to his recent interview in the Huffington Post.
Following consecutive Grammy Award-winning CDs on Appleseed, At 89 (2008) and Tomorrow’s Children (2010), Seeger had no specific recording plans until he was approached by an old friend, singer-songwriter Lorre Wyatt, about completing some songs the two had worked on before a stroke sidelined Wyatt for 15 years. New songs co-written by the duo inevitably sprouted, and sessions for the co-billed A More Perfect Union took place near Pete’s home in Beacon, N.Y. Augmenting local musicians including the CD's co-producers, guitarist-vocalist David Bernz and percussionist/engineer Jeff Haynes are vocal contributions from Bruce Springsteen (his third collaboration with Pete and sixth song recorded for Appleseed); former Rage Against the Machine guitar-shredder Tom Morello, also known as The Nightwatchman; outspoken musician/activist Steve Earle; Emmylou Harris, queen of all country-flavored singers; and Dar Williams, the extraordinary singer-songwriter who is active in many sociopolitical causes. Morello also plays lovely acoustic lead guitar on the heartwarming title song. On the CD’s opening song, “God’s Counting on Me . . . God’s Counting on You,” the passionate rasp of The Boss’s voice proclaims, “It’s time to turn things around/Trickle up, not trickle down,” a sentiment amplified on his latest CD, Wrecking Ball, which is rife with songs about economic injustice.
Here's a LINK to the story about the two new releases that appeared as a Billboard exclusive on August 1.
These two new Seeger CDs mark the 15th year the independent Appleseed label has been releasing Pete’s new and archival material, as well as three highly lauded collections of newly-recorded versions of Seeger-related songs performed by Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Baez, Ani Difranco, Billy Bragg, and other great artists. It was at Appleseed president Jim Musselman’s urging that Bruce originally recorded the song “We Shall Overcome” for the label’s Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 1 (1998). The recording also planted the seed for Springsteen’s 2006 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions CD and subsequent tours, helping to bring Pete’s music to new generations.
Seeger has been the recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Award, the Presidential Medal of the Arts, a Lifetime Legends medal from the Library of Congress, and induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
APPLESEED JOINS FACEBOOK!
After stonewalling 21st Century advances in technology as long as we could, Appleseed has joined the future and now has a page on Facebook We hope you’ll visit us there as another way of keeping track of our new releases, artist news, and anything else we think you’d be interested in, and please "like" us if you like what you see there.
SPRINGSTEEN'S “WE SHALL OVERCOME” REMAINS A POWERFUL SONG FOR HOPE AND HEALING
It’s been 15 years since Bruce Springsteen first recorded the song “We Shall Overcome” after Appleseed president Jim Musselman gave Bruce a tape of Pete Seeger's music and a request for him to choose a song, specifically "We Shall Overcome," to record for Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, the first of Appleseed’s three widely praised tributes to folk/activist icon Seeger.
On July 22 of this year, Bruce Springsteen performed “We Shall Overcome” in front of 50,000 people at a memorial concert in Oslo, Norway, honoring the memory of the 77 Norwegians killed in Anders Breivik’s bombing and shooting rampage a year earlier.
To see Bruce and “Little Steven” Van Zandt’s performance at the memorial concert, follow this LINK.
This is not the first time a Springsteen rendition of the song has been employed to give strength and comfort after tragic events. Bruce’s version of the song was used in national TV newscasts in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist airplane hijackings and attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. The events of 9/11 were, sadly, not the first tragedy to inspire use of Bruce’s solemn, heartfelt recording; it was also played frequently as part of the healing process by those who lost family and friends in the April 1999 shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. More recently, Bruce performed the song on the nationally televised “Hope for Haiti” benefit concert in January 2010.
Bruce has recorded six tracks to date for Appleseed projects. His most recent contribution can soon be heard on our late September 2012 release A More Perfect Union, a collaboration between Pete Seeger and fellow songwriter Lorre Wyatt that includes guest vocals by Springsteen (on “God’s Counting on Me . . . God’s Counting on You”), Steve Earle, Tom Morello, Emmylou Harris, and Dar Williams.
To read more about the Springsteen/Seeger/Appleseed connection, please follow this LINK
WORLDBEAT STAR AND ACTIVIST JOHNNY CLEGG HEATS UP NORTH AMERICA ON SUMMER TOUR
Everyone who either enjoyed or missed last spring’s triumphant North American tour by South Africa’s worldbeat crossover star – singer, songwriter, guitarist, dancer, anthropologist, and political activist Johnny Clegg – will be thrilled to read that Johnny and his five-piece electric band are kicking off this summer’s 25-date tour of the US and Canada on June 27 in Somerville, Mass.
For more than three decades, Clegg has dazzled audiences around the world with his live shows, his infectious and meaningful songs and his outspoken views on apartheid, meanwhile racking up millions of record sales and numerous awards, including a Knighthood from the French government. His Human CD, released by Appleseed in 2010, builds on Clegg’s critically acclaimed, massive-selling success in combining Western pop and Zulu rhythms, English lyrics alongside South African musical structures. Johnny first became known to international audiences as the leader of Juluka, South Africa’s first interracial band, and its successor, Savuka, before embarking on his own solo career within the last decade. His music had an audible influence on Paul Simon’s best-selling Graceland CD; the South African vocal group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, a major presence on Graceland, will be sharing the bill with the Johnny Clegg Band on many dates this August, the first North American pairing of these two dynamic groups.
Clegg and his adopted homeland have come a long way since the early days of his career, when his records were banned from airplay and he was arrested and detained on numerous occasions during Apartheid for violating segregation laws. Clegg’s upcoming tour has been preceded by his April receipt of the National Order of Ikhamanga, presented by the President of the Republic of South Africa, for “his excellent contribution to and achievement in the field of bridging African traditional music with other music forms, promoting racial understanding among racially divided groups in South Africa under difficult apartheid conditions, working for a non-racial society and being an outstanding spokesperson for the release of political prisoners.” In early June, Clegg received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from from Dartmouth College (see photo below; Johnny, right, with Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim ).. It's Johnny's third honorary doctorate.
If you follow this link, you can read more about Johnny and, if you scroll down to the bottom of that page, there’s another link to his 2012 North American tour dates.
To hear Johnny Clegg talk about his music, life, and activism:
Follow this LINK to the interview conducted by Euan Kerr on Minneapolis Public Radio on July 7..
Boston radio station WBUR interviewed Johnny on-air on June 27 on their "Radio Boston" show: Follow this LINK to hear the interview.
You can also listen to Johnny on these interviews conducted during last summer's tour:
Johnny’s in-studio performance and interview with David Dye, host of the Philadelphia-based, syndicated "World Cafe" radio program can be heard by following this link.
NPR's Morning Edition broadcasted an interview between Johnny and program host Renee Montagne that included excerpts from Johnny's Human CD and can be heard by clicking on this link.
And here’s a link to an interview and two-song in-studio performance by Johnny that was broadcast on January 31, 2011, to more than 300 stations on NPR’s syndicated “Tell Me More” program, hosted by Michel Martin; just scroll down to the segment entitled “Johnny Clegg Mixes, Infuses Music with Anthropology.”
Hear Johnny discuss his new CD in depth and his thoughts on contemporary African music and politics in an interview with Banning Eyre on Afropop Worldwide / Afropop.org, an internationally syndicated weekly radio series and website hub for African and world music news in this video.
PEGGY SEEGER SAYS GOODBYE TO U.S. WITH NEW LIVE CD
In mid-April of this year, Peggy Seeger wrapped up her month-long “farewell to North America” tour, leaving behind not only satisfied audiences but also a new live CD as a souvenir for those who saw her perform and those unlucky enough to have missed her. (It’s not her age – late 70s – that is curtailing tours too far from her adopted UK home -- “The reason is the airlines, chiefly . . . and the [driving] distances between shows,” she told the Sydney Morning Post.)
Live, recorded at a mostly solo 2010 benefit performance in New Zealand, is only the second in-concert release by one of “the 20th Century’s most important folk musicians: a major force in popularizing Southern mountain music; a giant in the British song revival…and a songwriter whose anthems predicted the feminist movement” (Boston Globe). The CD’s 23 tracks capture the many strengths of Peggy’s half-decade-plus career: her clear, distinctive voice and skills on guitar, piano and banjo, her expertise as a convincing interpreter of traditional folk songs, her acute sociopolitical songwriting, and her alternately tart, moving, and wickedly funny spoken interludes and poems. According to Blogcritics.org, “It is her wry comments and poetry that connect the songs and give the concert a warm and personal appeal that reflect her views and character best.”
Peggy’s only previous live CD is Three Score and Ten, a 2-CD recording of Peggy’s star-studded 70th birthday party, held on stage in London’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in 2005. Taking part in the musical celebration were her half-brother, the international folk/activism icon Pete Seeger, and brother Mike (solo artist, old-time music expert and New Lost City Ramblers co-founder, now deceased) in one of their rare appearances together and the first-ever recording of all three together. Also joining the party were Peggy’s children, partner Irene Pyper-Scott (also present on Live), the legendary folksinger and multi-instrumentalist Martin Carthy, his wife and performance partner Norma Waterson, their daughter, singer/fiddler Eliza Carthy, and contemporary singer/songwriter/activist Billy Bragg.
Peggy’s most recent studio CD is Fly Down Little Bird, released last year by Appleseed, a duet album recorded with brother Mike shortly before his untimely passing in 2009.
DONOVAN INDUCTED INTO ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME!
Appleseed is delighted to congratulate that ageless “Sunshine Superman,” Donovan, on his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 14.
In the ceremony held in Cleveland's Public Hall, fellow R 'n' R Hall of Famer John Mellencamp inducted Donovan with remarks describing him as "one of the original originals." Mellencamp help up a copy of Donovan's Fairy Tale album he bought as a seventh grader in 1965 and exclaimed, "I wasn't just listening to Donovan, I was living Donovan. He was my inspiration."
Instead of reading from prepared notes, Donovan recited a poem inspired by his induction that concluded “Like the silence of the sea, I thank you for this bright green laurel resting now upon my brow, I thank you goddess and thank you innocence and I thank my fellow artist all," before performing three of his biggest hits, "Sunshine Superman," "Season of the Witch" and "Catch the Wind," with Mellencamp sharing vocals
During a four-decade-plus career in which he’s blended folk, pop, psychedelia, world music and jazz, the Scottish singer-songwriter has kept his music unique and magical and the original “peace, love and flowers” ideals of the Sixties alive. His most recent CD, Beat Café, released by Appleseed in 2004, was described by Uncut magazine as “a warm evocation of the bohemian world of bebop, poetry, berets and coffee houses,” while Dirty Linen called it “his best album in decades.” Donovan also recorded exclusive versions of the anti-war classic (written by fellow Appleseed artist Buffy Sainte-Marie) "The Universal Soldier" for our label's 2007 Sowing the Seeds - The 10th Anniversary set, and Pete Seeger's "My Rainbow Race," which appears on our award-winning Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 1.
Artists become eligible for the induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists' contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.
NEW RELEASE BY MIKE AND PEGGY SEEGER AVAILABLE NOW!
It is with a mixture of pride and sadness that Appleseed has released the final recordings by the late Mike Seeger, in collaboration with his sister (and longtime Appleseed artist) Peggy Seeger, on the new Fly Down Little Bird CD, now available.
The CD, recorded shortly before Mike’s untimely death from cancer in 2009, contains unvarnished, unoverdubbed versions of 14 traditional American folk songs that Peggy describes as “learned in childhood, recorded in adulthood.” Sharing lead and harmony vocals, Mike (banjos, harmonica, fiddle, guitar, harmonica, mandolin) and Peggy (banjo, guitar, piano, lap dulcimer) transport listeners into a world of spare, acoustic arrangements and plainspoken, frequently pointed lyrics. It’s a world they have helped to maintain as performers and documentarians as well as inspirations to young musicians over the last half-century.
Mike’s devotion to preserving traditional Southern music in its original form led to a performing and recording career that encompassed more than 40 albums, solo and with others, three dozen documentary recordings, numerous instructional videos, and six Grammy nominations. The New Lost City Ramblers, the group he cofounded in the late ’50s, has been recognized as a seminal influence by everyone from Bob Dylan to the Grateful Dead. “He played . . . the full index of old-time styles,” wrote Dylan in his autobiography, and “he played these songs as good as it was possible to play them. What I had to work at, Mike already had in his genes.”
Peggy first established her own career in the U.K. in the mid-’50s, where she formed a personal and professional partnership with singer/songwriter/playwright/political activist Ewan MacColl, joining his campaign to relate folk traditions to modern life and political activism. Peggy’s discography, mostly as a solo artist, encompasses more than two dozen albums, over a hundred other recordings, and authorship of hundreds of original songs. She has been recognized as “one of the most authoritative voices in American and English folk. . . an esteemed interpreter of traditional material and a gifted instrumentalist…[and] perhaps best known for her observant and caustic original songs…” (Billboard).
With this third and final duo collaboration, Appleseed adds Mike to its roster of musical Seegers – his and Peggy’s half-brother is the iconic folk musician and activist Pete Seeger.
Please follow this link for more information on Fly Down Little Bird.
APPLESEED OFFERS HELP TO “HOPE FOR HAITI CAMPAIGN”
As you can tell by our website’s home page, as part of the worldwide “Hope for Haiti” fundraising campaign by the entertainment industry to aid earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Appleseed is donating all digital download sales of two highly appropriate songs when ordered from iTunes though our website. On the January 22 multi-channel “Hope for Haiti” fundraising telethon, Bruce Springsteen and his (Seeger) Sessions band performed (click to view their performance) “We Shall Overcome” The gospel-based anthem of endurance and activism was recorded by Bruce11 years ago as one of the songs Appleseed boss Jim Musselman requested he work up for our first Pete Seeger tribute, Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 1”, where this version first appeared. No song could be more apt in representing the need for determined hope and strength – by the Haitians – and direct action – by the better-off countries around the world.
We are also donating proceeds from digital downloads of the collaboration between Haitian-born rapper and producer Wyclef Jean, who is heavily involved in the relief efforts, and Eric Andersen on “White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land” from Eric’s Waves CD.
Appleseed songs by subject
Whether you’re a radio or media programmer looking for material or a music lover assembling a mix tape or CD, we have compiled a list of Appleseed songs that share thematic categories (i.e. love, politics, holidays, celebrations of life, cool cover versions, and many other subjects). Please investigate this useful resource for song titles, the artists who recorded them, and on which Appleseed CDs these songs can be found. (click here).
PETE SEEGER , NOW 91, STILL SPREADING ACTIVISM THROUGH MUSIC WITH NEW CD
America's greatest living folk icon, Pete Seeger, who celebrated his 91st birthday on May 3rd, continues his life's work of spreading activism, tradition, and music with a brand new CD, Tomorrow’s Children, now available for release through our website and in stores on July 27. The 19-song CD, Seeger’s first studio recording since his Grammy-winning 2008 release, At 89, is a loving snapshot of Seeger recording with children and neighbors in his hometown of Beacon, NY.
Says Seeger, “The future of the entire human race lies in the hands of children so I felt this was an important collaboration.”
NEWEST NEWS FLASH: On November 30, 2010, Tomorrow’s Children was nominated for a GRAMMY Award in the “Best Musical Album for Children” category in a ceremony televised on primetime televsion. Pete’s previous studio CD, 2008’s At 89 , won a GRAMMY in the “Best Traditional Folk Music” category, and the Pete Seeger & Friends 2-CD set, Seeds: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 3 was a 2003 nominee in the same category.
The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards will be held on "GRAMMY Sunday," Feb. 13, 2011, at Staples Center in Los Angeles and once again will be broadcast live on CBS from 8–11:30 p.m. (ET/PT).
NEWER NEWS FLASH: Pete talks about Tomorrow’s Children, turning down BP’s hefty licensing offer to use one of his songs for an ad, and his thoughts on music in Joe Fassler’s blog in The Atlantic.
NEWS FLASH: hear Pete talk about Tomorrow's Children on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" with program host Neil Conan in this August 12 interview.
Starting in 2008, Seeger became a regular visitor to a local Beacon elementary school where teacher Tery Udell had been working with her fourth graders to sing and write songs about what they were studying. For more than a week, Seeger interacted with every child in the school, sharing his own music and past history and encouraging the kids to do likewise; he brought along some of the kids to perform with him at local festivals and events.
Assembling in a local studio, Seeger, producer/musician David Bernz, some of the Sloop Clearwater staff, musical friends and neighbors and, most importantly, the schoolchildren known as “The Rivertown Kids” subsequently recorded about twenty songs (all with Seeger performing vocally and/or instrumentally) that show that the values of environmental stewardship and social justice have been embraced by the youngsters. Some of the songs are Seeger standards, such as “Take It from Dr. King” (which Pete performed on “Late Night with David Letterman” last year) and “Turn, Turn, Turn” (with new verses added by Pete’s wife, Toshi), others were written by some of the adults at the sessions, such as Bob Killian’s “There’ll Come a Day,” but most display “the folk process” that Seeger had imparted to the kids – that adapting the lyrics of older songs to fit current situations is the key to keeping music relevant and meaningful. Three of Seeger’s tunes are given new words by the children. There’s also a new song co-written by Pete, David Bernz and author/activist Harvey Wasserman, “Solartopia,” with Pete, special guest Dar Williams, and David Bernz trading verses about the need for a nuclear-free world that uses pollution-free energy sources.
The dictum, “Think globally, act locally,” has long been a guiding Seeger principle, and in recent years he’s attracted new warriors on the global level, partly due to a trio of multi-artist tribute CDs to Pete’s music released by Appleseed, which presented new versions of Pete’s songs as recorded by Bruce Springsteen, Joan Baez, Steve Earle, Jackson Browne, Natalie Merchant and other politically conscious performers. Springsteen subsequently assembled his Seeger Sessions CD, DVD and international tours to spread Seeger’s messages of music as entertainment, as education, and as social change. Last year’s 90th birthday party for Pete at Madison Square Garden included musicians from Springsteen to John Mellencamp to Dave Matthews and helped raise money for Pete’s beloved Sloop Clearwater and the non-profit organization he founded to help preserve the Hudson River. Seeger’s previous studio album, At 89, was packed with songs that directly confronted issues of ecology, activism, economically-driven wars and the endangered state of the human race and earned a Grammy Award as “Best Traditional Folk Recording.”
The release of Tomorrow’s Children is cause for rejoicing. It shows Pete Seeger still doing what he does best – spreading ideas through music – and a new generation learning the lessons he teaches so lovingly and so well. Happy Birthday, Pete! Maybe this is the year for that much deserved Nobel Peace Prize!
APPLESEED’S MUSSSELMAN DELIVERS KEYNOTE SPEECH AT SPRINGSTEEEN SYMPOSIUM IN NJ
Although Bruce Springsteen has always recorded for Columbia/Sony Records, his ties to Appleseed stretch back at least a dozen years, when Appleseed founder and president Jim Musselman approached him with a request that Bruce record a Pete Seeger song for the first of Appleseed’s three tributes to Pete’s music.
Bruce recorded a somber, powerful version of “We Shall Overcome” that appeared on our Where Have All the Flowers Gone: The Songs of Pete Seeger, Vol. 1 2-CD set in 1998, years before it became the title track of his own 2006 CD, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions, inspired by Bruce’s long-term immersion in the Seeger music Musselman introduced him to.
Springsteen has subsequently appeared on three more Appleseed CDs, including two historic song collaborations with Pete Seeger, and also recorded and performed a version of Seeger’s “(If You Love Your Uncle Sam) Bring Them Home,” adding his own politically charged verses to the additional lyrics by Musselman that updated the 1965 anti-Vietnam War song to address the 2003 US bombing of Iraq.
You can read more about the relationship between Springsteen and Appleseed elsewhere on our website.
The latest link between superstar-with-conscience Springsteen and our idealistic label was Musselman’s participation in a three-day gathering in New Jersey, “Glory Days: A Bruce Springsteen Symposium.” The symposium, from September 25 to 27, featured more than 130 presentations by more than 130 writers, musicians, and Springsteen scholars representing thirty states and eight countries. Musselman delivered a keynote speech on “We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions” at Monmouth College and also moderated two panels devoted to Springsteen’s politics over the course of the weekend.
The three-day event was spread out between New Jersey locations Monmouth College in West Long Branch, the Sheraton Center in Eatontown, and the venerable Stony Pony club in Asbury Park, one of Bruce’s prime performance spots early in his career and in later guest visits. Some of the other speakers at the symposium included Grammy Museum President Robert Santelli (longtime editor of the Springsteen-centric periodical Backstreets); original E Street Band drummer Vini “Mad Dog” Lopez; and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Vice President for Education and Outreach Lauren Onkey
The first “Glory Days” symposium, held in September 2005, drew 330 educations, journalists, historians, musicologists and fans interested in scholarly analysis of Bruce Springsteen and his influence on many aspects of American culture. The symposium received national and international press coverage in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Learning, and on the BBC, and Parade Magazine named the event as “The College Weekend of 2005.”