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Stand For What You Stand On: Where We Live
A CD Campaign For The Universal Right To Clean Air And Clean Water
By Steven Digman, Violin & Publishing Company
(more articles from this author)
2005-03-05
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Artist: Various
Title: Where We Live
Genre: A CD Campaign For The Universal Right To Clean Air & Clean Water
Label: EMI
Website: www.wherewelive.org
Download: “What A Wonderful World”
What a Wonderful World

Format: A Musically Beneficial (Benefit) CD From Earthjustice that features the lyrically linguistic artistic works of Nora Jones, Bob Dylan, Dan Zanes (with Lou Reed & the Rubi Theater Company), Mose Allison, Captain Beefheart, Rubén Blades, Michael Franti & Spearhead, John Hammond & Tom Waits, Los Lobos, Maria Muldaur & Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, The Neville Brothers, Karen Sovoca, Pops Staples & Ry Cooder, Sweet Honey in the Rock, and Tina Turner with Robert Cray.

On the business side (before I began this review and behind the above mentioned artists’), I ask Cara Pike (Vice President of Communications for Earthjustice) who (what voice) was responsible for starting the creative flavor of this CD? How long did the entire process take from beginning to end, and what was the most difficult part of putting this CD compendium together?

“Mike Kappus of the Rosebud Agency was my partner on the project and really took the lead on the creative side. I had input, but he selected most of the tracks. The process took about a year and a half. We first had to get the okay from the artists through their managers, then work out the licensing with the artists' record labels.

The hardest part was getting the gratis licenses from major record labels. Often, we had to go back to the artists' management and ask them to call their labels. So ultimately, the CD would not have been possible had it not been for the commitment of the artists. Norah Jones' management, for example, was a real pleasure to work with and very helpful."

-- Cara Pike

THE REVIEW

The first-track begins with Nora Jones singing “Peace” (written by Horace Ward Martin Tavares Silver). ‘Hear’ Jones entrances the listener first with the mellifluous pianissimo use of melodic melancholy – her piano, and then applying cautiously (measure by musical measure) the blue familiar palatalized trill (thrill) of her voice. A well-performed song that articulates to the listener, a lyrical fairytale place that singing(ly) becomes: WHERE WE, (Wish We), LIVE.

“I Shall Not Be Moved” (the second-track) is a traditional song, which is non-traditionally arranged and sung by the vocal ‘oracular-ship’ of Pop Staples, with the added musical influence (flavor) of Ry Cooder. Beginning with a broken chord, it slides slowly into a crescendo of Appalachian up-tempo well-played Gospel/Soul.

Track-five features Bonnie Raitt and Maria Muldaur singing the traditional song “It’s A Blessing” in a slow, excellent terpsichore step (duet) of blues.

“What A Wonderful World,” written by George David Weiss & Robert Thiele in 1967 (the seventh-track), is a beautiful, simplistic song written with ‘poetry class’ lyrics that work well within the ‘proletarian (working) class’ unique voices of Dan Zanes and Lou Reed, ending with the spoken clarity and word beauty of The Rubi Theater Company. A simply ‘Wonderful’ song!

“Sister Rosa” (the tenth-track), performed by the Neville Brothers, is a musical historical rendering about a young girl in 1954, in a not so ‘Wonderful World.’

And closing with “Happy Birthday,” a telephone call, literally (read the liner notes), sung by Captain Beefheart, which is fortunately (or unfortunately) for the listener, the last song and only 35 seconds long.

A Musical CD Compendium of fifteen-tracks (plus one phone call) of vocally great artists, Where We Live is a musical listener CD investment that will hopefully help create a better ‘Wonderful World.'

ABOUT EARTHJUSTICE

“…Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. Earthjustice donates its services to hundreds of organizations and communities, bringing about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws…”

For more information and to contact the author, click on the author’s name at the top of the page.


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