news about music about contact
T o m ...P a x t o n

beach full of shells

Tom Paxton
Comedians & Angels


“. . . Paxton is still a vital artist, as this fine collection shows. . . . Love songs that deal with long-term relationships are few and far between in pop music. There are more of them in country music, but they're often cloying, cliché ridden, and embarrassing. Paxton avoids all those traps with nine delicious tunes to his wife Midge. . . . These love songs will bring a glow to anyone who has ever experienced a long-term love affair or successful marriage. . . . ‘Jennifer and Kate,’ dedicated to his daughters, is a meditation on fatherhood, funny as well as achingly beautiful and poignant. The title track pays tribute to his pals Dave Van Ronk, the Clancy Brothers, and other singers and poets who made the Greenwich Village scene so vital. Like the rest of the songs on the album it’s a masterwork of unassuming poetry married to a strong, folky melody. Paxton’s songwriting here is deep and affecting, touching the heart ever deeper with repeated listening. (4 stars out of 5)”
– j. poet, All Music Guide

“Since the early-1960s, Tom Paxton has been the most reliable of folk-rooted singer-songwriters turning out countless topical songs that perfectly capture their moments-in-time and countless love songs that are perfectly timeless. This collection is devoted to songs of love; many inspired by his wife, others by his daughters and old friends. Nearly half of the 15 songs are new . . . The other eight are new versions of older songs from his rich catalogue. At 70, Paxton’s voice is still supple and it seems obvious that he’s singing with total conviction. ****”
– Mike Regenstreif, Montreal Gazette

“Now 70 years old, folk music stalwart Tom Paxton is only getting better as time grants him a deeper perspective on things that matter – especially love, which is what his captivating new album, Comedians & Angels, is mostly concerned with. He certainly sounds great: His smooth voice is sturdy, soulful, and expressive, and his phrasing is deeply nuanced, the better to heighten his telling insights and forthright confessions. Fully 9 of the 15 songs are written expressly for his wife, Midge, and not a single one is cloying or emotionally overwrought. Rather, they are all unfettered expressions of gratitude and affection for something pure, true, and enduring . . . Warriors of the Old Left are saluted in the stirring, hymn-like opener, ‘How Beautiful upon the Mountain,’ and the firebrands of Paxton's musical youth are summoned in the title track, thoughtful, unsentimental but deeply resonant of a time when Paxton, Dave Van Ronk, the Clancy Brothers, and others gathered over drink, radical politics, and music at the Lion's Head and solved the world's problems – a moving postscript to a journey, and to an artist, listeners can cherish.”
– David McGee, Barnes & Noble Editorial Review

“Dedicated to Midge, his wife of more than four decades, his latest album focuses on love songs – six recent compositions that sit easily alongside re-recorded versions of nine numbers from his vast back catalogue. . . . ‘And If It's Not True’ is a delightful waltz-tempo romp through Barcelona, Paris and New York, with Joey Miskulin’s French café-style accordion adding a nostalgic note. ‘Dance in the Kitchen,’ also in waltz time, celebrates the homelier side of love, while the elegiac title track reminisces about Paxton’s long-gone compatriots from the early 60s Greenwich village folk scene. A crack team of guest musicians and backing singers (including Nanci Griffith among others) helps things along, but it’s Paxton's masterful grasp of songcraft that gives them something worth doing to do.”
– Sarah McQuaid, Evening Herald, Dublin, Ireland

“Tom has always specialised in love songs of one sort or another, many also exhibiting a keen political conscience, and these two strands are prominently on display on this aptly titled, reflective new disc, Comedians and Angels. As is Tom’s warm-voiced expression of universal sentiments couched in an equally universally accessible style. . . . Tom’s always had such a tremendous gift for crafting songs, a gift that is timeless and (in the nicest sense) old-fashioned, and the 15 songs contained on this CD are no letdown. . . The musical backing is in the gentle tried-and-trusty light folk-flavoured-country mould, and the supporting musicianship is first-rate. . . . A very nice album that's relaxing and genial yet thoughtful, and absolutely archetypal Paxton: reason enough to celebrate, I'd say.”
– David Kidman, NetRhythms, January 2008


“I’d like to thank Paxton for making it to 70. Many didn’t. Understandably, some of them who didn’t are on his mind and subsequently in the music of this latest release . . . He can relish, as he so obviously does on these fifteen tracks, in the pure joy of writing, playing, and above all, living. All of which, I'm very happy to say, find fruition here. . . . Consider Comedians & Angels as a letter from an old friend, reminding us, that no matter the ups and downs, the gripes and gaffes, life is good.”
– Mike Jurkovic, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange

“Tom Paxton turned 70 last year, and there is a distinct feeling of a life being weighed and balanced in many of the songs here. The veteran singer is in good form vocally, and the essential simplicity of his style places him beyond issues of fashion. . . . there’s lovely instrumental accompaniment from a stellar cast of musicians (with Nanci Griffith among the backing vocalists). (3 stars)”
The Scotsman, Edinburgh, Scotland

“. . . Paxton turns his attention to a full album of love songs, but it isn’t in the traditional Michael Buble love song style. Paxton looks at love from both sides now, and then some as well.  A finely crafted album that mixes some new and old material together in new renditions, one of the pillars of contemporary folk continues to show that he’s got what it takes as he veers into his 70s.”
– Chris Spector, Midwest Record