Link to Living Tradition Homepage





VARIOUS ARTISTS - Shake The Chains

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Shake The Chains
Quercus Records QRCD003

On the face of it, claiming a deep bond between folk song and politics doesn't seem such a radical stance to take. You would be hard pressed to avoid themes of social change at the average folk club. In this project, however, the relationship is taken a stage further.

Five of the best contemporary performers - Nancy Kerr, Greg Russell, Findlay Napier, Hannah Martin and Tim Yates - were commissioned to “explore the role songs have played in social change, resistance and protest” and to write new material that underlines the link. All have other responsibilities - indeed, you wonder how someone with the schedule of Kerr manages to fit it all in - but they manage to come up with songs covering a range of issues without it sounding like it is written by committee.

Just one complaint. Some of the songs drawn from elsewhere on this CD sound excessively familiar. If I Had A Hammer and We Shall Overcome anyone? Better the relative obscurity of Ding Dong Dollar in protest against Scots nuclear bases.

The whole crew will be touring in the New Year and will be well worth seeing.

Dave Hadfield

Secure On-line mailorder service
Many CDs we review are available from The Listening Post.
Check to see if this CD is available.

The Listening Post is the CD mailorder service of The Living Tradition magazine.
This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.