Peggy Seeger,
Love Call Me Home
(Appleseed, 2005)

In a world where stars can fade by age 25, it is great to review an album by a lady approaching her 70th birthday who has entertained and enlightened us for half a century. I believe that the second part of that accolade is the more important in assessing this diva of folk. Her songs always entertain but by making us think she achieves her greatest hold.

Love Call Me Home marks her 21st solo release, and there is more to come -- it is only the second of a planned trilogy of albums. It mixes old and new songs, but always great songs.

The magnificent feat here is not just the choice of material but the fact that many of the traditional songs are released in her voice for the first time. Imagine 50 years and 21 albums and she is still coming up with "new" old songs. This release is like an anthology of folk. We get the full range of songs from the ever-popular murder ballad "Poor Ellen Smith" through supernatural tales like "Rynerdine" to romance and betrayal in "Careless Love."

I loved the old stuff but was mesmerized by the two new compositions that open and close the album. The title track refers to a friend of Peggy's who passed away, and it will tug all the more at the heartstrings for knowing that it is about a real event.

But my favourite track is the opener, "Singing about Hard Times." This is a brilliant song that does not refer to the hard times of the Stephen Foster song. It reminds us that we live with job losses, wars and suffering every bit as bad as the 19th century and makes us wonder what progress has been.

This is a great release from a wonderful singer, interpreter and writer of folk songs.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 2 July 2005

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