Jefferson & Friends,
The Baby & the Bathwater: New Songs for Peace & Justice
(Porch Swing, 2006)

Do they still write songs of protest as Dylan, Saint Marie, Seeger, Paxton and others did back in the days of the Vietnam War? Until I listened to this album, subtitled "New Songs for Peace & Justice," I thought that folk singers had lost that passion to a large degree.

This is certainly a passionate album from a writer with very strong feelings about the world today and the things being done in the names of the common man. From Katrina to Congress, Jefferson gives it with both barrels. In fact, he gives it so strongly, I doubt if we will hear a single track from this album on radio anytime soon. That is the tragedy of this collection of 17 tracks. They all have a message that needs to be heard and probably needs to be as strong as he delivers it, but by that same token most will not hear it.

Track titles including "War Time," "Take This Rifle" and "All the Wars" will give you a fair idea of what to expect, and you should note that some of the language is as strong as the message. He takes "We'll Go No More a-Roving" and changes the lyrics to replace "roving" with "warring" to good effect. Similarly, his final track "La Flor de Paz" shows us that sometimes "softly, softly" is more effective than outright confrontation.

If you like your music and lyrics with passion, this is worth checking out.

review by
Nicky Rossiter

3 November 2007

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