There are many thoughts that come to mind when I hear the name Pete Seeger: Socialist, outspoken folkie, encyclopedic knowledge of music worldwide, compatriot to Woody Guthrie, Pinko-Commie, and axe-wielding madman running after an electrified Bob Dylan. It is his love and gift for folk music from around the globe, though, that I hope he will always be remembered.
Listening to Pete Seeger, in concert, is like being with a historian and archaeologist of the world’s music. He seems to know every song ever sung, and to be friends with their writers and singers. He is the soul of America, a true treasure trove of song.
I have a handful of concerts by Seeger, some official, others not, and in every one is a historical road map of folk. Though he often plays by himself, with banjo for accompaniment, he is never short of musicians, for he makes everyone in the audience part of the band. No, Pete Seeger concerts are not Holy Places where the music is sacred, and the audience mere worshipers. We are part of the song, singers and clappers and performers one and all. In nearly every song, he points out a chorus, or a repeating line that he encourages the audience to sing. Where they can’t sing, he says they can clap and hum.
It has been way too long since my last Fresh Boots. In the last several weeks, I have, in fact, obtained new bootlegs, but for whatever reason (namely my own laziness) I haven’t written about them. I am working on some new schedules and plans to maximize my writing while I am also working.
In some ways, working will help me write, because my time is now limited and thus the need to schedule and prioritize is greater.
I have also been spending the past several weeks slowly adding my music collection to my computer, and then onto the iPod. It is slow, grating work, but it is moving along nicely. This has, in part, also kept me from downloading too much music, as the ripping process takes up a lot of memory, and slows downloads a great deal.
Enough of that, let’s get to the boots.