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Rebel Voices

Album: Rebel Voices: Songs of the Industrial Workers of the World
# Song Title   Time
1)    Preamble to the IWW Constitution
2)    Organizer, The
3)    Little Red Hen
4)    Which Side Are You On?
5)    Two Bums, The
6)    Banks of Marbles
7)    Put It on the Ground
8)    Popular Wobbly, The
9)    Song of the Rail
10)    Hold the Fort
11)    We Have Fed You All a Thousand Years
12)    Ain't Done Nothing If You Ain't Been Called a Red
13)    Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
14)    Boss, The
15)    Preacher and the Slave, The
16)    Mysteries of a Hobo's Life
17)    Stung Right
18)    Jo Hill's Last Will
19)    Mr. Block
20)    Power in the Union
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Artists include: Utah Phillips, Faith Petric, Fred Holstein, Bruce Brackney, Marion Wade, Bob Bovee, Jeff Cahill, Kathy Taylor, J.B. Freeman, Robin Oye, Eric Glantz and Mark Ross.
  • Personnel: Fred Holstein (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar); Mark Ross (vocals, guitar, banjo); Bob Bovee (vocals, guitar, harmonica); Faith Petric, Eric Glatz, Jeff Cahill (vocals, guitar); Bruce Brackney (vocals, 12-string guitar); Robin Oye (vocals, mandolin, flute); J.B. Freeman, Marion Wade, Kathy Taylor, Utah Phillips (vocals).
  • Liner Note Author: Utah Phillips.
  • Recording information: Holstein's, Chicago, IL.
  • Editors: Bruce Kaplan; Mark Ross.
  • Flying Fish and Rounder are independent labels which started up in the '70s, specializing in various types of roots music. The former company was apparently started up by Bruce Kaplan, a dissatisfied member of the Rounder collective. One of the disagreements might have been about politics, an element that Rounder seems to avoid despite the strong presence protest songs have in many types of American folk styles. The label even went as far as to remove a controversial political song from a Hazel & Alice album, while Flying Fish, on the other hand, has actually released some product with a strong leftist bent, this compilation of labor songs among them. The most obvious audience for music such as this are people who are upset about their jobs; based on that perhaps faulty concept, this album should have sold millions. The presence of Utah Phillips looms large. He is a combination activist, organizer, songwriter, singer, and storyteller, and there are few performers who can put across a song such as "The Two Bums" as well as he can. The album also combines its participants into various small groupings and a big ensemble finale, an idea that works just as well in an album sequence as it has on many folk festival stages. There are several numbers originating with Joe Hill, needless to say, but also a grand Malvina Reynolds cover by Faith Petric and a terrific take on the classic "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum" by Bob Bovee. Besides delivering its intended messages, this collection also puts the spotlight on some fairly unknown performers in a context that brings welcome thematic strength and emotional power to their work. ~ Eugene Chadbourne
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