THIS WAS ARTIE'S MOST RECENT "NOTES FROM THE ROAD"
"Pete Seeger: The Power of Song" is a terrific film. Jim Brown has managed to capture Pete Seeger's politics and extraordinary contribution to American music with a documentary of tremendous insight and emotional power. Pete Seeger is by nature quiet and self-effacing. I know from personal experience how difficult it is to get Seeger to talk about himself on camera. He prefers to give credit to others (Woody Guthrie for example), or champion his passion cause of cleaning up the Hudson River.
Recently, Alan Chartock at WAMC invited me to host a panel discussion -following a showing of the film- with my brother Happy Traum, historian Edward J. Renehan, Jr., Jeff Rumph of Clearwater and the film's director Jim Brown. The discussion ranged from Seeger's defiance of House Un-American Activities Committee to his passion for the environment. Jim Brown revealed that Natalie Maines was not familiar with Pete Seeger's blacklisting when the Dixie Chicks took enormous flak for opposing Bush's war in Iraq. Had they been aware of Seeger's role, The Dixie Chicks may have tapped into the enormous support network that Pete Seeger mentors. Politics aside, perhaps Happy Traum summed up the evening with a succinct comment: "One thing that struck me in the film is Pete's exceptional musicianship. He is an amazing singer and player who set an extremely high musical standard for all of us."
NEWSFLASH: My new Homespun DVD Easy Chords And Progressions: An Effortless Way To Make Your Songs Sound Great has just been released. This DVD is a hands-on lesson in putting chords together in unique ways to make your songs take on a fresh and dynamic quality. This lesson is important for anyone who loves chords and arranging songs, like I do. I touch on many styles, from expanding chords in the key of D to jazzy chords like C9 and E minor 7. I loved making this DVD because chords are my favorite topic and I love passing this information on to other players. I'm sure it will help you to become a better guitarist. You can watch samples at http://www.homespuntapes.com/shop/product.aspx?ID=1473 and the DVD is available directly from Homespun Tapes.
Reviews for Thief of Time keep on coming, as major magazines here and in Europe are discovering the CD. In the February issue of Downbeat, Frank Hadley writes, "Where The Blues Began asserts a surprising poetic power and Bonnie Jean could pass as a superior Steely Dan tune. Halifax acknowledges the 18th Century French Canadian exodus as stirringly as The Band's Acadian Driftwood." Maverick in the UK writes: "When the brand name is as solid as Traum, it's a safe bet that what's inside the packaging will end up another treasured possession!" I liked reading that. Thief of Time can be ordered securely from this website, or at Amazon, iTunes, Rhapsody and CDBaby among other sites.
See you down the road!